Hodag ballers clinch conference titleSubmitted: 02/12/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer

RHINELANDER - One goal down, plenty to go.

The Rhinelander High School boys basketball team hit their first major goal Tuesday night, downing Lakeland 61-43 to clinch at least a share of the Great Northern Conference crown.

After this, a deep WIAA playoff run is next on the wish list.

Tuesday's victory at the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium was extra satisfying. It meant the Hodags improved to 2-0 this year over rival Lakeland and former coach Rich Fortier. It was Fortier's first time coaching as a visitor in the gym he used to call home.

RHS senior Brett Mathews poured in 13 points in the second half, finishing with 19 points on the night. Leading scorer Shane White was held to 10, but was helped by four Hodags in double figures.

"Coach Fortier is so good at finding who your top scorers are and making other guys beat you. We're so fortunate because we have so many guys that can do that," said RHS coach Derek Lemmens.

Mitch Reinthaler scored 11 points, and Brad Kenote looked his best since returning from a collarbone injury. He also had 11.

Dylan Lerdahl and Bryon Andrews led the Thunderbirds with eight points apiece.

Up just 15-14 after a quarter, the Hodags galloped to a 29-18 lead at the half.

"We came out hot. But it's a tendency we have, to come out hot, then I think we relax a little too much. They climbed back in, but we got a rhythm in the game, and it flowed a little better," Lemmens said.

Rhinelander's lead would never dip below 11 the rest of the way, stretching to 22 at one point in the fourth.

The Hodags mixed man-to-man, 2-3, and 1-3-1 zone looks on defense.

"I like that as an option. It gives us different things to establish our defensive rhythm and eliminate their offensive rhythm, keep them guessing as to what we're in," said Lemmens.

RHS visits Tomahawk on Thursday, and returns home to face Northland Pines on Friday. A win in either game would clinch an outright GNC title. The back-to-back games will also be good preparation for attacking their next goal, the playoffs.

"I have no problems with that. We need to get into that mindset. If we're fortunate enough to get a victory on Friday (in the playoffs), we've got to go again Saturday anyway," Lemmens said.

Rhinelander improved to 16-2 overall and 9-1 in the GNC. Lakeland fell to 14-7, 7-4.

Lakeland vs. Rhinelander
Tuesday, Feb. 12
Lakeland 14 4 10 15 ľ 43
Rhinelander 15 14 13 19 ľ 61
Lakeland (43): Dylan Lerdahl 8, Bryon Andrews 8, Matt Hartzheim 7, Thomas Bruckner 6, Jacob Gibson 6, Brad Holcombe 3, Matt Schlicter 3, Michael Fossen 2.
Rhinelander (61): Brett Mathews 19, Mitch Reinthaler 11, Brad Kenote 11, Shane White 10, Colton Volkmann 6, Austin Bowman 2, Ben Eversmann 2.
3-Pointers: L 3 (Hartzheim, Holcombe, Schlicter). R 6 (Mathews 2, Volkmann 2, Kenote, Reinthaler).

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com


Play Video

MINOCQUA - Every year thousands of kids go hungry. 

On Saturday nearly 600 volunteers from the Northwoods decided to help feed some of those children. 

The "Food for Kidz" organization, invited people to Lakeland Union High School, to help package non- perishable goods.

 The packages will be donated worldwide and to nearby food pantries.

Within the past eight years volunteers have packaged one million meals.

 Last year was the first year the organization started donating to local food pantries. 

This year volunteers will give 30,000 meals to the Northwoods community.

"It's just the recurring exuberance of the people that come in and do the packing we have many, repeat people that come year after year," said "Food for Kidz" Co-chairman John Breiten. 

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - We all have Tylenol and other medicines in our cabinets at home, but what do you do with them when they expire?

Saturday, local officials helped people properly dispose of those unwanted medicines as part of Wisconsin's Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - A simple grooming process many people take for granted helps keeps John honest with himself.

"You can't think too far ahead, at least that's the situation I find myself in," John said.

Convicted of drunk driving seven times, John -- who Newswatch 12 is only identifying by his first name -- faced a harsh reality when he ended up in prison after three arrests in just 13 months.

+ Read More

WAUSAU - Scott Walker faced a tough crowd at times in Iowa during his failed presidential bid. Now, an undercover video released this week may show those protesters were planted on purpose.

The Journal Sentinel reported the videos show activist Scott Foval bragging about disrupting a Walker rally in Iowa. Those videos were released by conservative activist James O'Keefe.

Foval talks about bringing people out of state into Wisconsin, but doesn't give a reason why.

+ Read More

Play Video

RICE LAKE - The Merrill football team doesn't feel it got the respect it deserved when WIAA playoff brackets came out last weekend. The Bluejays shared a Great Northern Conference championship.

But they were pinned to a number 8 seed, the lowest in the bracket, and travel to face top-seeded Rice Lake in a Division 3 Level 1 game Friday night.

Recent history doesn't favor Merrill in the playoffs. It has lost six straight playoff openers, dating to 2009.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - People often leave unused prescriptions in their cabinets at home. But Wisconsin's Attorney General hopes you turn those prescriptions in Saturday to help solve a growing problem.

October 22 is Wisconsin's Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

Attorney General Brad Schimel said more people die from accidental drug overdoses in Wisconsin than from car crashes.

+ Read More

MINOCQUA - By the time most of us finish breakfast, we already start planning what to eat for lunch.

For some kids all around the world, that next meal sometimes never comes.

The Food for Kidz Minocqua committee will lend a helping hand to change that Saturday morning.

Lakeland Union High School's common area will transform into a full-blown assembly line.

Food for Kidz volunteers will pour and pack ingredients into plastic bags.

The goal is 175,000 packed meals.

Food for Kidz needs more volunteers by tomorrow to meet that goal.

"If you haven't experienced this, come out and try it and you'll go away with just a great feeling," said Food for Kidz co-chair John Breiten.

Kids and adults of all ages are welcome to walk in to volunteer.

The food packages will be shipped off to anywhere from Honduras to Mozambique.

Some special meals will be set aside and sent to local communities in the Northwoods.

"It's just a great, fun community event. I think the kids especially take something away that they are giving beyond themselves," said Food for Kidz sponsor and Lakeland Union High School Spanish teacher Karen Roerich.

Walk-in volunteers are welcome to attend either packing shift tomorrow morning.

The first shift is from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. The second shift is from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

If you can't make it out to Lakeland Union High School Saturday, donations are always welcome.

Call John Breiten at 715-686-7570 for more info.

+ Read More
+ More General News

Click Here