WITTENBERG - A 14-0 second-quarter run propelled Wittenberg-Birnamwood past the Hodag girls basketball team Monday night, as the Chargers bested Rhinelander 45-31 in Wittenberg.
Witt-Birn used the spurt to go from up three points to up 17. Rhinelander would never climb back within single digits on the evening.
"We're not quite good enough to beat Wittenberg in 32 minutes. We probably played them pretty strong for about 25. We had that breakdown in the second quarter where they got to us. We're about seven minutes away from playing to this caliber of opponent," RHS coach Ryan Clark said after the game.
Scoring was a concern for the Hodags most of the night. In no quarter did Rhinelander score more than nine points. Witt-Birn used a 2-3 zone to stifle penetration and post entries.
"They kind of plug up the middle, so it's hard to get the ball to Kylie (Hunter) and Riley (Ashenbrenner) inside," Clark said.
Sydnei Smith led the Hodags with 12 points, including a pair of three-pointers. Hunter chipped in with nine, and freshman Kaly Kostrova added four. No other Hodag tallied more than two points.
Mikayla Hartman paced three Chargers in double figures with 13.
A Witt-Birn full court press for most of the night forced turnovers in Rhinelander's backcourt, not to mention troubles in the half-court set.
"Twenty-one turnovers. Now, a lot of that is a credit to Wittenberg's atheticism and aggressiveness. We didn't shoot very well. But we can't have 21 turnovers. We need more offensive opportunities," Clark said.
Rhinelander played a zone with some man-to-man principles most of the night, but it couldn't force the Chargers into many poor shots.
"They're disciplined. We would adjust to them, but they didn't panic," Clark said.
After a closely contested opening quarter, the Chargers led 12-9. Following their run in the second, Rhinelander responded with a 7-0 run of their own to make it 28-18 at the half. Witt-Birn extended their lead by four after the third, which matched the final margin.
The Chargers knocked off their second team with a much larger enrollment this year. They opened the season with a six-point win over Wausau East. Witt-Birn is now 6-1, and is riding a five-game win streak.
The Hodags dropped to 3-6 on the season.
Rhinelander returns home, and to Great Northern Conference play, on Friday against Mosinee.
"It's fun. You get to play at home on a Friday night, and it's a conference game," Clark said.
Mosinee is the only team to have beaten Witt-Birn this season. Tipoff for the Hodags and Indians is set for 7:30.
Rhinelander at Wittenberg-Birnamwood Monday, December 30, 2013 Rhinelander 9 9 5 8 - 31 Wittenberg-Birnamwood 12 16 9 8 - 45 Rhinelander (31) - Smith 12, Hunter 9, Kostrova 4, Haker 2, Willging 2, Aschenbrenner 2. Wittenberg-Birnamwood (45) - Hartman 13, Nier 12, Alwes 10, Zeinert 9, White Eagle 2.
LAKE TOMAHAWK - All around you witness goodwill gestures. It could be as simple as a smile and wave or opening a door for someone. In Lake Tomahawk, it's making a pie.
"I made a pretzel crust with butter and sugar, " explains Sheila Punches. Sharon Hilgendorf adds, "Flour, for the thickening."
Snowshoe baseball's been entertaining crowds since the 1960's. But over at the concession stand, the pie takes center stage.
Strawberry rhubarb, banana butterscotch pie, blueberry pie, rocky road and coconut cream are just a few of the creations. "I like making ones that I think will appeal to the crowd," says Linda Penno.
Each week a different service club's in charge of the snack shack and in turn, takes home the proceeds. Locals bakers, a lot of local bakers make their best pies and donate them to support the cause.
"You get involved with it over the years and it just becomes your way of life on Mondays," says Punches.
On an average night they sell 80 pies. Each one is cut into six pieces and are only two dollars a slice. That means making almost a thousand dollars is easy as pie.
Ken Lochte of Rhinelander exclaims, "This is the only place you get your dessert first, before you get your food." "It's a great honor and pleasure and I've been doing it for quite a few years now," adds Rebecca Morien.
No matter how you slice it, everyone benefits from this unique fundraiser.
"It is unique and different which makes Lake Tomahawk special," says Morien. "It's a very good fundraiser for the community who in turn give it all back. So, it's kind of a domino effect you know," adds Hilgendorf.
If you think this is a lot of pies, the team is requesting the bakers provide double this Friday. They're hoping to have more than 200 pies for the Snowhawks game against the Wounded Warriors.
EAGLE RIVER - A new type of foundation could give you a better way to build a home, and the idea for the improvement starts right here in the Northwoods.
Composite Panel Systems in Eagle River builds composite panels for home foundations. Composite means anything made of two or more materials, which includes fiberglass in this case. The company describes the EPITOME Quality Foundation Wall as a revolutionary composite building solution for residential foundations.
The company makes them off site, and then they put them together on location. Composite Panel Systems' Scott Weber says that means a shorter build time compared to concrete foundations.
RHINELANDER - You can expect to see a major reconstruction in Downtown Rhinelander in 2016. The downtown area will improve its look and layout through a "streetscape" project. The new look could include wider sidewalks, outdoor restaurant seating and parking changes on Brown Street, but before any of that happens, city leaders need feedback from their community.
Downtown Rhinelander Incorporated already had surveys filled out b businesses in the area about parking on Brown Street.
The construction company came up with a compromised solution. The proposal keeps Brown Street as a two way street, but there will be parallel parking on the west side and angled parking on the east side.
47-year-old Karen Wessell of Star Lake died in yesterday's swimming accident in Vilas County. A boater pulled 2 people out of the water after they started drowning on Star Lake. We now know Wessell died shortly after.
Wessell went under water during a rescue attempt.
The Vilas County Sheriff says 3 women and 4 kids were along Trampers Trail. 3 boys swam across the channel and were told to come back. They got tired swimming back to shore so the women had to help. Wessell used herself to push one of the boys above the water to keep him from going under. A boater saw them, pulled them out, and started doing CPR.
CONOVER - The Chain Skimmers Water Ski Team from Conover won the state title for their division last weekend in Wisconsin Rapids. Summer water ski shows are a wonderful part of the Spirit of the North.
"I don't know how to spend the summer anywhere else," said Jessica Clark.
She is one of about 35 skiers between the ages of 12 and 31 who spend their summers on Lake Pleasant in Conover. They come from Illinois, Wisconsin, Florida and Texas.
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