Girls fall to Pacers, boys maintain solid standing in MCC
By Mike Ramczyk
The Catholic Central boys basketball squad keeps finding ways to win close games.
The Hilltoppers hosted Metro Classic Conference rival Shoreland Lutheran Friday, Jan. 24, and were able to hold off a late Pacers rally to capture a key 59-55 victory.
With the win, Catholic Central improved to 10-3 overall and 5-3 in the MCC, good for fourth place behind three of the best teams in the state, Racine St. Cat’s, Dominican and Martin Luther.
The Hilltoppers snuck into this week’s Wissports.net Division 5 state rankings, where they currently sit at No. 10.
“We have gotten off to the start we have because of the work these kids have put in for 3-4 years,” said Catholic Central head coach Kyle Scott. “They worked hard every summer, and it’s paid off well for them thus far.”
“We have a long way to go.”
Against Shoreland, the Hilltoppers only allowed 14 first-half points, but a late flurry of scoring made it a close game.
Four Catholic Central players scored in double figures, led by Brandon Pum’s 15 points.
“Brandon really carried us offensively,” Scott said. “He hit a few timely 3’s, and was great from the free-throw line, which he has been all year.”
Bennett Wright added 13 points, six rebounds and three assists, and Paul Nevin notched another double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Chas Miles had 10 points and six rebounds.
Scott said the Hilltoppers didn’t finish the game particularly well.
“We played really well defensively in the first half,” Scott said. “In the second half, we didn’t communicate well enough defensively and gave up way too many points.”
“We were able to hold on for a conference win, but we need to be better late in games.”
Catholic Central was able to knock down a solid 8-of-21 triples, including some timely 3-point bombs in the second half to stop Pacer runs.
Wright was 6-for-6 from the charity stripe, and Pum went 5-for-6.
“We made just enough plays to win,” Scott said.
Shoreland was held to 30 percent from the field and only 4-for-26 from 3-point land.
Shoreland Lutheran girls 53, Catholic Central 49
In the first game of the doubleheader Friday night at Catholic Central, the girls didn’t have the same late-game fortune as the boys.
The Pacers led, 31-28, at the half and staved off the Hilltoppers in the end.
Three Pacers scored in double figures, and the team shot 60 percent from the floor.
The Hilltoppers, who dropped to 6-8 overall and 2-7 in the MCC, were held to 42 percent shooting.
Maddy von Rabenau led Catholic Central with 16 points and hit 4-of-7 3-pointers.
Freshman Kayla Loos added 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting with seven rebounds.
Izzy Phillips tallied 10 points and five rebounds.