- The Rhinelander boys basketball team forced a frenetic pace of play and a used considerable size advantage to bump to 2-0 on the season with a 65-38 win at Crandon Saturday.
The Hodags forced countless Cardinal turnovers in the backcourt, and scored quickly on their own possessions to put up 42 points in the first half.
“We really were hoping to force tempo. If we sit back, it kind of allows them to run sets and do things like that. We want to make them uncomfortable and play at a pace that they might not be familiar with,” said Rhinelander coach Derek Lemmens.
Shane White led the team in scoring for the second straight game, putting up 20 points against smaller Crandon defenders. That included two monster one-hand slams on breakaways.
Lemmens was most impressed with his team’s defense. Crandon star Kory Kincaid tallied 20 points, but it was hard work to get to that number. Lemmens liked the defensive work of guards Brad Kenote and Tyler Thorsen.
“They never allowed – who I think is a really good player – Kincaid, to get comfortable. And they never allowed their offense to get really a flow,” the coach said.
Kenote also chipped in 11 points. Brett Mathews had 13, while Colton Volkmann added nine.
The pace of play was a noticeable advantage for the Hodags.
“We felt like we’re a little deeper than them, so we wanted to get up and down. With that many possessions, we’re going to have a few more turnovers, but we got some pretty good looks,” Lemmens said.
After taking a 22-point lead to the halftime locker room, the second half was a formality.
One bright spot was an improvement in preventing offensive rebounds by the opponent. Lemmens said it was an area of focus after a lackluster effort at Wisconsin Rapids last week. Against Crandon, that area of the game was better.
“Overall, I think we were pretty good at one-and-done,” he said.
Rhinelander outrebounded the Cardinals 26-8 in the first half alone.
The Hodags used a pressure 2-3 zone defense for much of the game, a departure from the mostly man-to-man look against Wisconsin Rapids.
Rhinelander next visits Merrill on Tuesday. Hear that game with Adam Matyska on HodagSports.com. Tip is set for 7:30pm.