Imig, Tomashek lead Ashwaubenon to regional championship
By Murray Gleffe
ASHWAUBENON – A few days after being named first-team all-conference in the Fox River Classic Conference, Matt Imig and Marcus Tomashek showed up on the big stage for the Ashwaubenon boys’ basketball team.
Imig had 23 points and Tomashek added 21 to lead No. 2-seeded Ashwaubenon to a 71-43 victory over No. 3-seeded West De Pere in a Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 2 regional final game March 5 at Ashwaubenon High School.
Danny Campbell paced West De Pere (17-9) with 13 points.
It was the lowest output offensively for the Phantoms this season.
“I didn’t expect it to be like this,” Ashwaubenon Head Coach Mark Tomashek said. “Our kids wanted it. (West De Pere) has a great basketball team. We executed on both sides of the floor.”
With the victory, the Jaguars (22-4) advanced to face No. 4-seeded Oshkosh North, who upset top-seeded Notre Dame Academy, 68-62.
The sectional semifinal game is Thursday, March 10, at Green Bay Southwest High School.
The Phantoms took an early 6-3 lead after Ethan Heck connected on a reverse layup.
Imig and Tomashek then started to heat up, as Ashwaubenon went on a 20-8 run over six minutes to go up 23-14 midway through the first half.
“Marcus and Matt have played basketball all over the nation,” Tomashek said. “I expect big things from them. Both need to step up if we’re going to keep winning. I couldn’t be prouder of the boys.”
The Jaguars’ 2-3 zone defense also played a key role in limiting West De Pere’s touches in the paint.
Ashwaubenon took a 30-19 lead into halftime and then scored the first six points of the second half to build its lead to 17 points.
“We wanted to control the tempo,” Tomashek said. “We didn’t want to get into a track meet with them. We limited their fast-break points and spurt ability.”
The Phantoms made one last push behind the outside shooting of Campbell and Kaden Hannula to trim the lead to 39-30 with about 13 minutes remaining.
West De Pere got no closer the rest of the way.
Imig got a kind roll off the rim on Ashwaubenon’s next possession, and the Jaguars scored 14 of the next 18 points to go up 53-34 with six minutes left.
“We did a nice job doing the things we discussed in pregame and practice,” Imig said. “We played with lots of confidence. I saw an opening tonight and took my shots.”
Down the stretch, the Jaguars’ defense continued to put the clamps on a West De Pere team that couldn’t get into an offensive rhythm.
Ashwaubenon built its biggest lead of 30 points after Sam Hurley hit a long-range jumper, and the Jaguars coasted from there.