Seymour falls short in sectional final
By Murray Gleffe
APPLETON — It was arguably the biggest game Seymour has played since 2011 when the Thunder defeated Port Washington and made it to the state tournament.
This go-around didn’t turn out in its favor, as No. 1-seeded Xavier coasted to a 78-61 WIAA Division 2 sectional final victory over No. 3 Seymour in a boys’ basketball game Feb. 27 at Torchy Clark Gym in Appleton.
Mason Dorn was held to 16 points on six made shots for Seymour.
Alex Sherwood led Xavier with a season-high 35 points.
“Xavier is good,” said Bobby Kuchta, Seymour head coach. “They pass the ball quickly, and when they get to the paint, they finish lots of the time. Our game plan was to slow them down in man, but they kept hitting contested shots.”
The Hawks opened a 21-14 lead after Cal Mares downed a triple.
A bit later, Xavier doubled up the Thunder, 34-17, when Sherwood connected on a long, 27-footer from the right arc.
“We tried to make Alex put it on the floor, but he did everything well,” said Kuchta. “He had a career night.”
The Thunder made a late push to cut Xavier’s lead to 36-23 at the break.
However, it was short-lived, as the Hawks came flying out of the second half gates with an 11-2 run to extend their lead to 47-25 with 14 minutes remaining.
The Thunder missed six of their first seven shots coming out of halftime.
“Xavier defended Mason every time down the floor,” said Kuchta. “He kept his composure and kept fighting all night.”
Seymour slowly chipped away, cutting the lead to 58-46 with 6:55 left, but it would be the closest it would get the rest of the night, as the Hawks scored nine of the next 11 points to build their lead again.
“I’m proud of the seniors for sticking with it,” said Kuchta. “It’s not easy having a new coach. It’s a great group of kids who did everything we asked of them.”
Seymour: 23, 38 — 61
Xavier: 36, 42 — 78
Thunder: Tru Cornell 16, Dorn 16, VanHandel 11, Griesbach 6, Treyton Cornell 5, Daugherty 3, Weyer 2, Inman 2.
Hawks: Sherwood 35, Zuleger 14, Trent Twombly 9, Mares 9, Pfefferle 7, Nate Twombly 2, Shimek 2.