MADISON, WI - Wisconsin's lopsided victory over Southeastern Louisiana in Sunday afternoon's season opener wasn't unexpected for the Badgers.
What was a surprise for the Kohl Center crowd was the return of Mike Bruesewitz to the court.
Bruesewitz, who only returned to practice Friday after suffering a serious laceration on his lower right leg during practice Oct. 9, scored 10 points in 13 minutes as No. 23 Wisconsin throttled the Lions 87-47.
"I'm definitely recharged and refocused," said Bruesewitz, who hit all three of his shots, was 2-for-2 from the line and grabbed three rebounds. "I was really excited to come into the season before the injury, and now (the excitement) is about 10 times more.
"I'm excited that I got cleared to play today. I was all smiles last night, this morning and all through pregame. I'm really excited to be back, I guess that's the best way to describe it."
Jared Berggren led the Badgers (1-0) with 19 points and Ben Brust had 14 points and 11 rebounds for Wisconsin, which scored the first 19 points and cruised to its 11th consecutive season-opening win.
Senior Ryan Evans had nine points and nine rebounds and Berggren grabbed nine boards as the Badgers dominated on the glass, outrebounding the smaller Lions 49-22.
But after the game, much of the talk centered around Bruesewitz. Berggren was asked what he expects to see from his teammate.
"You guys have all seen it, what he's capable of, the energy and intensity he brings, the toughness, he does all the little things, getting on the glass, getting rebounds, he'll knock down open shots, he makes plays for himself and other people," Berggren said.
"That's what we love about him and that's why he's a key piece to our team. So we're happy he's back now and I think he's ready for a couple more minutes now. He's looking pretty good."
The personable Bruesewitz, known as much for his curly red hair that he's again growing into an Afro as for his work rate, grinned and said, "I'm going to tear up over here."
Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said it was clear in practices Friday and Saturday that Bruesewitz was ready to log at least some minutes.
"To see a guy like that back with that kind of experience, it was so obvious in practice on Friday and Saturday what he gives us," Ryan said. "So now to have that back, we're very thankful."
Count Southeastern Louisiana coach Jim Yarbrough among those who didn't expect to see Bruesewitz on Sunday.
"No, I did not. I was extremely disappointed to see him out there today," deadpanned Yarbrough, whose team continues its challenging start to the season with games at Marquette on Tuesday and New Mexico State on Thursday. "They have enough weapons without him. He's so rugged, tough. ... He was terrific."
Redshirt freshman George Marshall, starting at point guard for Wisconsin with junior Josh Gasser out for the season with a torn ACL, hit a 3-pointer just 13 seconds in to set the tone of the day.
Berggren and Brust had six and five points, respectively, in the opening surge and freshman Sam Dekker followed Marshall's lead by draining a 3 on his first collegiate shot to make it 19-0 with 12:49 left in the first half.
Students celebrate International Day in the Northwoods
WOODRUFF - The Olympics might be over, but the Paralympics are underway in Sochi. Teachers at one local school are using the Olympic spirit to teach students about other countries.
Students at North Country Montessori celebrated International Day Friday morning. The students learn about different countries throughout the school year.
"The children at Montessori do a huge unit on geography and world culture, and we used today as a way to express the information that we found and things that we've learned," says North Country Montessori director Candice Henderson.
This year's theme was the Sochi Olympics.
Each student dressed up as a different country and sang songs in Russian.
This was the school's 30th annual International Day celebration. It ended with a potluck meal featuring ethnic food from different countries.
Diehard Bears fan trades in his orange and blue for green and gold
ST. GERMAIN - We all love our favorite sports teams. But what would happen if you had to dress up in your rival's gear? That's exactly what happened to Bears fan, Jerry Healy.
He's the janitor at St. Germain Elementary School. Healy challenged the students to raise over $700 for charity. If they did he'd wear the green and gold.
“Mr Healy you're unbelievable thank you for doing this,” says Jerry Healy, St. Germain Elementary School Janitor. “One kid said, "all this is disgusting Mr. Healy,” and another little kid who's a diehard Packers fan came up he came up and he's got an orange and blue pair of pants on and goes I'm a bears fan, today you're a packer fan, and that was pretty cool he's in second grade.”
As you can see the students surpassed the goal. The money went to pennies for patients. It’s an organization that supports people diagnosed with leukemia. The challenge brought the whole school together.
“Well I think they rose to the occasion they understood they're helping others in an easy but fun way. They came together as a class, as a whole school and just had a lot of fun with it,” says Jeff Waltz, a third grade teacher at St. Germain Elementary School.
This wasn't the first time Jerry got to dress up as a Packers fan. He did the same thing a few years ago when students accomplished a reading goal.
VILAS COUNTY - More people today use maps on their phones when traveling, but some people still like those paper maps.
The Vilas County GIS just made 15 maps of the area. They give people the option to download and print them at home. A map of Boulder Junction even won an award at the 27th annual Wisconsin land Information Association conference in Middleton.
“There was a lot of interest in creating a portable, easy to use map atlas that responders, town crew, delivery entities, could take out in the field with them and find any address point any road name any water body,” says Rebecca Nordine, Vilas County GIS Specialist. “Something that they could bring out along out in the field with them.”
The atlases will give people an easier way of looking up addresses across Vilas County.
“We do offer up online mapping and that's great but if you get into an area where there's no cell phone or no internet service you'll need something a map or paper map to fall back on,” says Nordine.
Each atlas will be updated at the beginning of the year.
To download a copy of the atlases for FREE you can visit: http://vcgis.co.vilas.wi.us/vcom/.
Attorney general candidates believe heroin high priority, growing problem
RHINELANDER - Wisconsin will get a new state attorney general this election year.That could mean new changes for the department.
But many of the candidates agree that more needs to be done to deal with heroin in Wisconsin.
Police and prosecutors say the drug continues to spread throughout the state. Republican candidate Brad Schimel, Waukesha County district attorney, believes heroin and opiates are one of the state’s biggest challenge.
"We're seeing more people die from accidental drug overdoses than we're seeing in car crashes," Schimel said. "That is a dangerous statistic for us to be looking at."
According to a Gannet Wisconsin Investigative study, at least 199 people died in 2012 in Wisconsin from drug overdoses.
The legislature has passed several bills this session to fight heroin and help people who are addicted to the drug.
State Rep. Jon Richards-(D) Milwaukee, is one of three Democratic candidates running for attorney general. He believes the state needs to keep going after drug traffickers.
"Local prosecutors and law enforcement are already stretched to the max in terms of their man power," Richards said. "We have to be addressing these new problems of public safety in creative ways and effective ways."
Democratic candidates Susan Happ and Ismael Ozanne were not available before running this story.
Richards was touring the Northwoods Friday talking to media and district attorneys in the area.
The Democratic primary is set for August 12th. Election day is Nov. 4, 2014.
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