Tritons shock league-leading Jaguars
By Murray Gleffe
GREEN BAY — For 24 minutes, the Notre Dame Academy boys’ basketball team was fighting an uphill battle against first-place Ashwaubenon.
Then, with the flip of a switch, the Tritons went on a game-defining 26-3, second-half run which lifted them to a 64-57 Fox River Classic Conference victory over the Jaguars Feb. 4 at Notre Dame High School.
“We asked the boys at halftime how they were going to respond with 18 minutes left,” said Notre Dame head coach AJ Alexander. “We gave them a couple of key pointers, but they were the ones who went out and did it. Their defense, patience on offense and the ability to knock down key shots during the run led us to victory.”
George Kress led the Tritons with 15 points, and Jack Schumer chipped in 13.
Ashwaubenon was paced by Matt Imig’s 19 points.
Notre Dame’s bench outscored Ashwaubenon, 22-0.
The Jaguars controlled the opening minutes of the game after Marcus Tomashek and Imig nailed a pair of triples.
Ashwaubenon (11-5 overall, 10-2 FRCC) extended its lead to double digits, 22-12, after Kyle Krueger powered home a layup.
Meanwhile, the Tritons (7-9, 5-7) couldn’t get anything to drop.
Notre Dame connected on seven field goals and trailed 30-17 at the break.
The Jaguars increased their lead to 16 points six minutes into the second half.
Coming out of a timeout called by Alexander, the Tritons turned two Ashwaubenon turnovers into four points.
A bit later, Schumer hit two long-range shots, and Danny Nennig hit a floater off glass that gave the Tritons a 45-44 lead with 6:14 remaining.
Schumer’s last three ended the 26-3 run that gave the home team a seven-point lead.
“This year has been very frustrating for me because of injuries and other things,” said Schumer. “I’ve kept the mindset my time will come and stay positive. At halftime, it didn’t look good, but after we hit a few of those shots in the second half, my teammates and I rallied around each other.”
Down the stretch, the Jaguars were forced to foul and eventually cut the lead to 61-57 after back-to-back triples, but the Tritons nailed some big free throws to clinch the upset.
“We had a team meeting at one point and said, ‘The only way we will make an impact down the stretch is if we stay together,’” Alexander said. “We talked about extra help on defense and playing for each other. We’ve started to see the results with three wins in a row, but we have the mentality of one game at a time. We will prepare for Pulaski on Friday, starting tomorrow at practice.”
Ashwaubenon: 30, 27—57
Notre Dame: 17, 47—64
Jaguars: Imig 19, Krueger 15, Zollar 9, Tomashek 8, Wittig 6.
Tritons: Kress 15, Schumer 13, Grzesk 12, Nennig 7, Mitchell 5, King 4, M. Hornacek 3, D. Hornacek 3, Anderson 2,