Tritons second half rally falls short
By Murray Gleffe
GREEN BAY—The Notre Dame Academy boys’ basketball team fell behind by 23 points in the first half and ultimately lost 72-61 to the Appleton North Lightning in a non-conference game played Dec. 27 at the Kress Events Center.
“You can’t play one half of basketball and expect good or satisfied results,” said A.J. Alexander, Notre Dame head coach. “I was very proud of the effort and hustle in the final 18 minutes of the game, but now we have to do it for a full 36 minutes. It’s not the mountain we want to climb back up game-after-game.”
Notre Dame’s George Kress led all scorers with 21 points.
The Lightning were paced by sophomore Maximus Nelson who had 20 points and Jack Kritzer added 19.
It was Kress who opened up the scoring in the game with a pretty up-and-under move to give Notre Dame an early lead.
The Lightning continually tried to get the ball to their frontcourt players where they held a three-to-four- inch height advantage at every position.
After Danny Nennig nailed two free throws to cut Appleton North’s lead to 11-9 with 9:06 left in the first half, the Lightning went on a 25-5 spurt fueled by lay ups, steals and transition baskets.
Alexander called two-time outs amidst the run, as the Tritons found themselves trailing 36-14 with 1:46 remaining till halftime.
With Notre Dame down 21 points at halftime, (38-17) they came out onto Green Bay’s home court and opened the second half forcing turnovers and diving for loose balls.
It translated to made field goals on the offensive end.
Garrett Grzesk and Chris Mitchell connected on back-to-back field goals to cut into the margin, but Appleton North’s offense continued to sizzle as they built their lead back up to 59-39 with 8:41 left in the game.
Notre Dame then went on an inspiring 16-4 run to get within 10 points with 2:58 remaining. Two empty possessions, however, doomed their chances of getting any closer as the Lightning hit 8 of 10 free throws to ice the game.
“I thought Chris and George got after it defensively with intensity,” added Alexander. “We needed a couple of baskets to go our way and who knows what happens if you get within six or seven with two minutes to play. We have to continue to strive to the kids we have to play a complete game to come out on the positive side of things.”
Appleton North: 38, 34—72
Notre Dame: 17, 44—61
Lightning: Nelson 20, Kritzer 19, Brekke 13, Cambray 10, Mullen 8, Popp 2.
Tritons: Kress 21, Grzesk 15, Mitchell 9, M.Hornacek 5, King 3, D.Hornacek 3 , Schmid 3, Nennig 2.