Jaguars survive scare from Hornets
By Murray Gleffe
GREEN BAY — By now, everybody who takes the court in a Fox River Classic Conference basketball game better lace their sneakers up from start to finish.
League-leading Ashwaubenon found itself down with less than two minutes remaining, only to capture a 68-66 victory over Green Bay Preble Feb. 11 at the Dessart Center.
“We stayed together and kept fighting,” said Ashwaubenon guard Marcus Tomashek. “The start shouldn’t have happened. We are at the point now where you can’t quit and you have to come back little by little.”
Tomashek led Ashwaubenon with 27 points before fouling out with 1:40 remaining.
Kyle Krueger added 20 points for the Jaguars, which improved to 13-5 overall and 12-2 in the FRCC.
The Hornets (5-13, 5-9) were paced by Nic Tuscan’s 18 points, and Mike Schultz Jr. provided the bulk of the inside scoring with 17 points.
Second-leading scorer Ashton Markell didn’t play for Preble.
The Hornets looked like they were on top of the conference early after scoring the first 11 points of the game.
It took the Jaguars almost eight minutes before they scored a single point – a three-pointer by Tomashek with 10:06 remaining in the first half.
“We showed massive resolve to not let the start get to us,” said Ashwaubenon head coach Mark Tomashek. “There were a lot of things we didn’t do correctly in the way we started the game.”
Ashwaubenon settled down midway through the first 18 minutes and took a 21-18 lead after Brady Wittig hit a corner three-pointer.
Just before the half, Connor Hucek beat the buzzer with a shot in the paint to give Ashwaubenon a 33-27 lead.
With the Hornets leading 43-41 with 12:17 left, Schultz Jr. was called for a charge in the paint and the basket was wiped away.
Matt Imig then came down, was fouled on a three-point attempt and canned all three free-throws to put the Jaguars back in front.
A few minutes later, tempers flared as Ashwaubenon’s Cadian Vang and Preble’s Kevin Rios were issued matching technical fouls for an exchange of words in the lane.
Down the stretch, with Preble holding a 61-57 lead, Imig hit a triple from the top of the key and then converted on a three-point play with 1:17 remaining to give the Jaguars a 63-62 lead.
Holding for perhaps the final possession of the game, the Hornets turned the ball over.
Imig converted two free throws with 38 seconds showing on the clock to give Ashwaubenon a three-point cushion.
Kyle Krueger added a press-break basket, and the Hornets got a late, long-range bomb from Nate Geydoshek to make the final margin a pair.
“When we were on the ropes at the end, we dug out and gutted out a victory,” added Tomashek. “These are young kids learning on the job. They want to be successful. We’ll continue to do things the right way.”
Ashwaubenon: 33, 35—68
Green Bay Preble: 27, 39—66
Jaguars: Tomashek 27, Krueger 20, Imig 11, Wittig 6, Zollar 2, Hucek 2.
Hornets: Tuscan 18, Schultz, Jr. 17, Rios 8, Geydoshek 8, Holm 7, Vanseth 6, LeCapitaine 2.