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Inconsistency of New Richmond boys basketball confounds coaches

New Richmond’s Caleb Manecke (5) battles for a rebound in the Tigers’ loss to Hudson last Tuesday.

The New Richmond boys basketball team knew what was coming.

That didn’t mean the Tigers could stop it from happening.

The Tigers knew they’d face a Chippewa Falls team that plays at a crazed pace in Saturday’s game. The Tigers gave the ball away more than 30 times and allowed 13 three-pointers as they got blitzed by the Cardinals, 91-57.

The Tiger coaching staff had thoroughly scouted Chippewa Falls to prepare for the Cards’ scrambling style. For nearly the entire first half, the Tigers handled the pressure, frequently breaking the CF press for easy scores.

But Chippewa Falls ended the first half with a 10-0 run to inflate the lead to 47-32.

The Cards followed their 31-point second quarter with 27 more points in the third quarter as they pulled away.

The loss drops the Tigers to a 2-7 record this season. The team’s coaches are frustrated that their plans aren’t being carried out on the court.

“We’re at a crossroads,” said Tiger head coach Rick Montreal. “We have three priorities (for the holiday break). It will be rebounding, taking care of the ball and listening to what you’re coached to do. If losing becomes easy or acceptable, I’ll find the right guys. It’s got to matter.”

Junior Noah Berger scored a career-high 17 points on Saturday, getting a number of layups when the Tigers broke the press.  Connor McCann scored 12 points and Caleb Manecke finished with 11 points. Jason Fern’s seven rebounds led the team followed by Berger with six. Josh Geigle had four assists.

Setback at B-W

The Tigers had thought their defense was fixed when they went to Baldwin-Woodville last Thursday. Blackhawk senior Logan Weyer wrecked any repairs the Tigers had made.

Weyer lit up the Tigers for 30 points and the rest of the Blackhawks scored 30 more as the Tigers dropped to 1-3 in the Middle Border Conference with a 60-48 loss.

The game started well for the Tigers as they rolled up a 19-10 lead in the first quarter. Momentum turned on them in the second quarter, with the Blackhawks outscoring them 17-5 to take a 27-24 lead at halftime.

Manecke led the Tigers with 16 points. Noah Berger finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds.

Loss to Hudson

The Tigers may have lost 36-25 on their home court to Hudson last Tuesday, but the Tigers continued to see positive progress in their defensive play.

There were long stretches in the second and third quarters where the Tigers held Hudson scoreless. The Tigers began the second quarter by holding the Raiders without a point for more than five minutes.

The Tigers have been looking for a player who could be a physical defender in the paint and they may have found it in this game. Junior Ben Peterson was willing to be physical against Hudson’s post players, especially Alex Herink, who had gone over the 1,000-point milestone in his previous game.

While the defense was sharp, the Tigers were at a standstill offensively. The Tigers scored just four points in the second quarter and three points in the fourth quarter.

O’Loughlin led the Tigers with seven points and five rebounds. He shared the team lead in steals with Josh Geigle, with three each.

Holiday break

The Tigers get a long and badly needed holiday break. They will come back to face games on back-to-back nights. They will play at Somerset on Friday, Jan. 3. The next afternoon the Tigers will host Menomonie in a non-conference game.

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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