Wittig’s late shot lifts Jaguars over Phantoms
By Murray Gleffe
ASHWAUBENON — Brady Wittig has been a member of the Ashwaubenon boys’ basketball program for four years.
He’s done all of the intangibles besides scoring to help his team.
With a little more than two minutes remaining in the Jaguars’ game versus West De Pere Dec. 4, Wittig connected on a 3-pointer from the right wing to break a tie, and it helped lift his team to a 64-54 nonconference victory at Ashwaubenon High School.
“It’s tough playing a day after an emotional loss like we took (against De Pere Dec. 3),” said Mark Tomashek, Ashwaubenon head coach. “I give the kids credit. They showed lots of defensive intensity early. It was a good bounce-back win for us.”
The Jaguars were led by Matt Imig’s 21 points and six assists.
Marcus Tomashek added 15 points and Kyle Krueger rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10.
West De Pere was led by 6-foot-9 post player Dawson Nordgaard, who had 12 points.
Ashwaubenon jumped out to an 18-4 lead behind four triples and six West De Pere turnovers.
Later in the half, the Phantoms cut the lead to 25-16 on a Nordgaard two-handed dunk.
The Jaguars took a 32-25 lead into intermission.
Six minutes into the second half, Ashwaubenon switched to a 2-3 matchup zone for a few possessions, as defensive stops turned into points for the home team.
After Boone Kirst connected on a three and Imig hit a free-throw jumper, the Jaguars extended their margin to 46-35 with 9:39 remaining.
Seconds later, Tomashek picked up his fourth foul and went to the bench.
“It shows we need Marcus on the floor,” said Mark Tomashek. “I should have gotten him out on the possession before or called a time out. I’ll learn from it. That’s on me.”
It was the spark the Phantoms needed, as they went on a 17-6 spurt to even the game at 52 after Andrew Baumgart connected on an easy lay-up off a back-cut.
“I was happy our kids continued to fight and claw back,” said West De Pere head coach Todd Deschane. “It’s like life – the game is going to have ups and downs.”
Then Wittig nailed the go-ahead triple with 2:18 left to break the tie.
The Jaguars never relinquished the lead down the stretch, as the Phantoms missed nine of their final 10 shots and Ashwaubenon connected on its free throws to ice the game.
“I was proud of our guys tonight,” said Wittig. “We had the lead the whole game, then things got close, but we stayed together as a unit. We didn’t fold when things got tough.”
West De Pere: 25, 29 — 54
Ashwaubenon: 32, 32 — 64
Phantoms: Nordgaard 12, Deschane 9, Baumgart 8, Ricker 8, Heck 7, Heikkila 4, Schneider 4, Skenandore 2.
Jaguars: Imig 21, Tomashek 15, Krueger 10, Wittig 6, Zollar 6, Johnson 3, Kirst 3.