Jaguar comeback falls just short
By Murray Gleffe, Correspondent
ASHWAUBENON- (Nov. 21) The Ashwaubenon Jaguar boys basketball team fought back from a fifteen point deficit in the second half only to come up short in the waning seconds.
The Seymour Thunder defeated the Jaguars by a final of 59-55.
For the game, the Thunder hit 11 three point shots.
Bryant Phillips led the Jaguars with 15, and Anthony Guarascio added 13.
The Jaguars welcomed back Phillips right out of the gate as he canned the first points of the game for either side to put the home team up 3-0.
Guarascio added two baskets from the left wing and suddenly the Jaguars were up eight points on the Thunder.
“I was happy how we jumped on them early,” said Chris Karcz, Jaguar Head Basketball Coach. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t match shot for shot with them towards the end of the first half.”
However, things changed around halfway through the first half. Up to that point, the Thunder had hit only three of their first twelve shots and were ice cold from beyond the arc.
Riley Murphy and Trevor Cornell changed that by going on a tear from three point land hitting six of their next eight shots.
During that six minute sequence, the Thunder turned an eight point deficit into a nine point lead (26-17) with 4:10 remaining in the first half.
The Jaguars weren’t connecting on their own shots, and they were giving the Thunder second chance opportunities on the offensive boards, which led to points.
Just before the buzzer, Murphy hit a 23- foot jumper from the right sidelines to put his team up 33-21 at intermission.
The Thunder increased their lead to 15 twice in the second half; the last coming at 55-40 with 5:35 left in the game.
“I wasn’t happy that they grabbed so many offensive rebounds versus us, “added Karcz. “We let them get second, and third chances and they then capitalized with making threes.”
At that point, it didn’t look like the Jaguars would make a late push to get back into the game against the Thunder.
However, the Jaguars made one final push to make the game interesting!
Instead of taking the air out of the ball, the Thunder started turning the ball over and taking bad shots from the perimeter.
The Jaguars Phillips hit a three to start the spurt, and Evan Wood a three pointer from the left corner to cut the margin to three (58-55) with 1:35 left in the ball game.
It was part of a 15-3 Jaguar run.
The nerves then kicked in for both sides.
Both teams missed consecutive one and one opportunities from the free throw line, and the Jaguars were called for an illegal moving screen on their subsequent possession.
In the end, it cost the Jaguars a chance to tie the game.
The Thunder’s Rhett Driessen added one of two free throws (closing point) to give the Thunder the ball game on the road.
Seymour/Ashwaubenon Box Score
Seymour 33,26, 59
Ashwaubenon 21,34 55
Thunder Totals: FG’s 22-56, 3 PT FG’s 11-33, FT’s 4-8
Murphy 20, Driessen 14, Cornell 8, Krause 6, Blake 6, VanDeHei 3, Dorn 2
Jaguar Totals: FG’s 21-50, 3 PT FG’s 8-26, FT’s 5-9
Phillips 15, Guarascio 13, Cox 8, Baierl 6, Wood 6, Brooks 5, Dolphin 2