Tiger boys go 14-0 in MBC
The New Richmond boys are undefeated Middle Border Conference champions, and the Tigers hope their fun has just begun.
The Tigers wrapped up their perfect MBC season on Friday with a resounding 74-47 win over Amery. The win puts the Tigers at 14-0 for the MBC season and leaves them at 18-2 as they begin what they hope is a lengthy WIAA tournament run.
In WIAA Division 2, the Tigers are the top seed in this regional. They began regional play on Tuesday against Hayward, the eighth seed. If the Tigers were victorious on Tuesday, they will be back on their home court at 7 p.m. this Thursday, against the winner of the game between Osceola and Ashland.
Winning the conference title, and then going undefeated in the MBC, were goals for the Tigers. But those goals are the tip of the iceberg.
"The 18-2 season is something special, but that gets a sour taste if we don't get a successful post-season," said Tiger coach Rick Montreal.
Montreal said the goal for the team is, at a minimum, to reach Saturday's regional finals, which will be played at 7 p.m. in Rice Lake.
The upset loss the Tigers suffered in the second round of regionals to Northwestern last year still weighs heavily on the minds of the Tiger players and coaches.
"I think the kids will be very focused in the second round and not be looking ahead or taking anyone for granted," Montreal said. "One game at a time has to be our mantra."
Montreal said the way the Tigers played in their finale against Amery is a good indication to him that the team is focused to perform well in the playoffs.
The Tigers whipped Amery on Friday. Reserve seniors Kyle Mitchell, Jerrod Berget, Brandon Wienke and Alex Emerson were moved into the starting lineup for the game, along with leading scorer Brett Anderson. The seniors gave the team a great start, scoring the first 13 points of the game. By the end of the first stanza the Tigers led 17-4.
"I wanted to acknowledge the fact that they worked hard all year," Montreal said about rewarding the four seniors with the start.
The Tigers had gotten out to a 17-5 start against Baldwin-Woodville in the first quarter last Monday, but then never did much to extend the lead. That wasn't the case on Friday. The Tigers outscored Amery in every quarter of the game.
The front line of Tyler Hansen, Anderson and Dan Stovall couldn't be stopped by Amery in Friday's game. The post trio combined for 50 points in the game. Anderson and Stovall also combined for 16 rebounds.
The last time a team went undefeated through a Middle Border boys season was 2004 when Amery ran the table on the conference schedule.
New Richmond 74, Amery 47
Loverude 1 0-1 3, A.Stewart 4 2-2 10, Paulson 3 1-4 7, N.Stewart 0 1-2 1, Gehrman 4 3-5 11, Elwood 1 0-0 2, Luehman 2 5-6 10, McLeod 1 1-2 3. Totals 16 13-22 47.
NEW RICHMOND (74)
Peper 0 0-0 0, Anderson 7 4-7 18, Mitchell 1 2-3 4, Berget 30-0 7, Zimmerman 1 2-2 4, Sabby 1 3-3 5, Bauer 0 0-0 0, O'Flanagan 1 0-0 2, Wienke 1 0-0 2, Stovall 5 1-4 12, Emerson 0 0-1 0, Hansen 7 5-7 20. Totals 27 17-27 74.
Amery 4 18 14 11 47
New Richmond 17 21 19 17 74
Three-point goals -- Loverude, Luehman, Berget, Stovall, Hansen. Fouled out -- Paulson. Total fouls -- Amery 21, New Richmond 22.