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.
MERRILL - A Northwoods school pulled off a big surprise on Friday to honor a few veterans. After months of planning, students and staff at Kate Goodrich Elementary got to see the payoff of all their hard work.
"It was like kind of overwhelming," said Wolfgang Lenk.
Lenk, Todd Annis, and Randy Perry had no idea they would be the guests of honor.
"To see all these kids and knowing how hard they worked selling all this, and now your name comes up that you're one of the three recipients, it was awesome," said Annis.
RHINELANDER - A scoop of frozen custard goes down pretty well on a humid day like the Northwoods saw Friday. Rhinelander's Associated Bank made grabbing a scoop an easy way to help others.
Culver's set up a mobile custard stand outside the new bank building on the corner of Lincoln Street and Oneida Avenue from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Fifty cents from every $2.50 cup sold went to Associated Bank's Children's Miracle Network fund.
The bank is hoping to raise $500 through its fundraisers for CMN this month.
Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified. Rockfleet Broadcasting / Northland Television, Inc. and By Request Web Designs shall not be held responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, or misprints.