It didn’t matter that the Shoreland Lutheran and St. Joseph boys basketball teams didn’t have a Metro Classic Conference win between them entering Tuesday night.
The Pacers and Lancers put on quite a show.
Rallying from a 36-27 halftime deficit, host Shoreland stormed back in the second half, with Sawyer Smith and Quentin Bolton sealing a 71-69 victory with late free throws in what Shoreland coach Paul Strutz called a “classic rivalry game between two competitive basketball teams.”
“What a superb high school basketball game by both teams,” Strutz added. “Great effort on both sides. Extremely proud of my guys for battling back from down nine points at half to slowly cutting it to even and then finally taking the lead.”
Shoreland improved to 3-6 overall and 1-6 in the conference, while St. Joseph dropped to 2-8 and 0-5.
Bolton buried five 3-pointers and scored 21 points while pulling down 14 rebounds to lead the Pacers. Nathan Lahti made four 3s and scored 18 points, while Brandon Freitag scored 15.
Freshman Andrew Alia continued the impressive start to his prep career for the Lancers by going 9-of-12 at the free-throw line and matching Bolton’s game-high 21 points. Matt Schulte, Tim Berry and Joey Feudner each scored 11.
“We are proud of our players and the way they played on the road tonight,” St. Joseph coach Brandon Morris said. “Most of our players have not played in close games like this one, but it was fun to be a part of. We definitely feel we have to get better at having patience and executing on both sides of the ball.
“The more close games we put ourselves in, the more we will get better doing the right things and finishing the game with a win.”
Central 48, Burlington 39
The visiting Falcons relied on a stingy defense to win a matchup between two of the top teams in the Southern Lakes Conference.
Central took a 29-24 lead into halftime and limited the Demons to only 15 points in the second half.
The Falcons (8-1 overall) remained undefeated in conference play at 4-0, while Burlington (7-4) dropped to 4-2.
Senior guards Jaeden Zackery (19 points) and Adam Simmons (12) accounted for all but 17 of Central’s points.
Joey Berezowitz nailed five 3-pointers to lead the Demons with 15 points.
Wilmot 71, LG Badger 43
The host Panthers made it three consecutive wins to improve to 8-2 overall and 4-1 in the SLC.
Wilmot and Elkhorn are both 4-1 in the conference, tied for second place behind 4-0 Central.
Kevin Sandman led a balanced Wilmot attack with 17 points to match a season high, Noah Coleman scored a season-high 13 points, Zack Watson added 12 and London Glass chipped in eight.
The Panthers led 34-21 at halftime.
Christian Johnston led the Badgers (2-6 overall, 1-3 SLC) with 14 points.
Reuther 72, University Lake School 62
McClarney Bell hit 11 shots from the field and scored a game-high 24 points to lead Reuther past University Lake School in an Indian Trails Conference game at Hartland.
Bell’s 12 first-half points powered the Bulldogs (4-6 overall, 3-2 conference) to a 39-29 lead.
Xavier Brzozowski and Kevaughn Parks chipped in 12 points apiece for Reuther, which has won three of its last four games. Javon Sangston added 10 points.
Onix Roige paced ULS (3-5, 2-3) with 19 points.
Oak Creek 66, Tremper 50
The Trojans were unable to overcome a 12-point halftime deficit in a Southeast Conference road loss to the Knights.
Blake Hoffman scored a team-high 14 points for the Trojans, who fell to 5-7 overall and 0-6 in conference. Cameron Huss added eight points.
Quinn Stulo led Oak Creek (6-6, 3-3) with 18 points.
Mike Johnson and Scott Koker