Wildcats Comeback Falls Short Completing One Of the Programs Best Season
Columbus Catholic 68, Gresham 62
For the second straight game, the Gresham Wildcats were forced to attempt a late comeback, but unlike their Sectional Semifinal, the Wildcats were not able to complete the comeback, and the dream of a first ever State qualification fell short. The Gresham Wildcats fell to top ranked Columbus Catholic 68-62 in a Division 5 Sectional Final.
“We wanted to get to state so bad, but we still had a great season” said Derek Bowman. Gresham made some mistakes with the ball early, and could not get shots to fall, shooting 26 percent in the first half. Gresham Coach Jeff Zobeck said you can’t do that against a team like Columbus Catholic.
“We got in too big of a hole in the first half” Zobeck said. “We could have laid down at halftime, but again, the guys were determined to make it a game and felt they could win it.”
The Don’s were on fire in the first half, shooting 14 threes in the first 18 minutes. Hunter Schultz put up eight of his own and scored 19 points in the first half. The Wildcats were forced to make some defensive adjustments in the second half.
“We went to a 1-2-2 zone in the first half, but that was not effective for us. We switched to a 1-3-1 and that went pretty well for us” said Zobeck.
Down 45-22 at the half, Gresham regrouped and set the stage for a second straight comeback. The Wildcats came back from 8 points down in the last minutes of regulation on Thursday, putting them in position of winning the game in overtime.
“Just like the last game we were down and we kind of used that as a drive to come out, play hard and we just fell short” Zobeck said.
The Wildcats were able to make some big plays on offense, getting the game down to 5 points. The Don’s made some big free throws late to secure the win.
“We are not going to get to where we wanted to be, but this group and my Seniors had a good year” said Zobeck. The Wildcats also became more aggressive in rebounding after the break.
“We did more boxing out and were more aggressive and that helped bring us back” said Derek Bowman.
“When we started knocking down some shots, I knew we had it in us, we just ran out of time” said Neal Cerveny. “We were looking just to win Regionals, but we got to the Sectional Finals.”
Gresham was led by Neal Cerveny with 21, Todd Otratovec 18 and Derek Bowman with 16. The Don’s were led by Hunter Schultz who scored 23, Tyler Fuerlinger with 22 and Nick Malourh scored 10.
The Columbus Catholic Don’s beat four CWC-10 in the postseason to get the State Semifinals.
WIAA BOYS BASKETBALL SECTIONAL FINALS SCORES
Stevens Point 76, Oshkosh North 61
Arrowhead 61, Kimberly 58
Madison Memorial 50, Madison East 35
Brookfield Central 74, Milwaukee Vincent 66
Cedarburg 78, Kaukauna 75
La Crosse 92, Wausau East 53
Waunakee 57, Westosha Central 39
Milwaukee Washington 52, New Berlin Eisenhower 43
Xavier 63, St. Valders 57
Prescott 78, Mauston 62
Lake Mills 5o, Adam’s Friendship 47
Ripon 78, Martin Luther 63
Cameron 41, Stanley-Boyd 27
Darlington 67, Cochrane 55
Roncalli 50, Stratford 32
Destiny 70, Howards Grove 58
McDonnell Central 83, Luck 48
Shullsburg 60, Bangor 58
Columbus Catholic 68, Gresham 62
Barneveld 62, Hilbert 42