Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Hodags Postseason Road Starts With Regional WinSubmitted: 02/22/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com

RHINELANDER - Shane White won the matchup of star big men, and the Rhinelander High School boys basketball team overcame a halftime deficit to open their WIAA Division 2 postseason with a 46-35 home win over Merrill on Friday.

White poured in 20 points in his matchup with 6-8 Bluejays forward David Jesperson. Jesperson had finished the regular season leading the Wisconsin Valley Conference in scoring and rebounding, but put in just 14 points Friday night.


"(White has) done a great job of playing a role this year, even though he has that star caliber, he keeps it within the team. He wanted to show people, when it comes to a player, I can be just the same as these other guys," Hodags coach Derek Lemmens said after the game.

Jesperson was held to just four points in the second half. As a team, RHS held Merrill to only 14 points after the break.

"We did a better job of containing. When we get over-aggressive and create holes for them, that's when they can get in there. They don't have a ton of skill players, I didn't feel. What we had to do was keep in front and try to limit Jesperson," Lemmens said.

Colton Volkmann scored 12 for the Hodags on four timely three-pointers.

"We said in the coaches' office, Colton Volkmann comes alive in the playoffs. We were looking for it, and every time he hit was right when we just needed one to get some separation," said Lemmens.

Rhinelander got off to a hot start, jumping to a nine-point lead after one quarter. It was an opening period to be expected from the top-seeded Hodags against #4 Merrill.
"We came out the way we wanted to. We did the things we had up on the board we took the game plan and we got it done," Lemmens said.

But the Bluejays surprised RHS to rally back for a halftime lead at 21-20, with Jesperson finding his second-quarter stroke.

"We got away from what we had drawn up and what we wanted to do. We just let our emotions get the best of us," Lemmens said.

Rhinelander employed a 2-3 zone defense in the half-court for nearly the entire game. It was at peak effectiveness after halftime, holding Merrill to just six in the third and eight in the fourth.

The Hodags step right back onto the court at the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium for Saturday's Regional Final. They will face #3 Medford, who won 58-56 at second-seeded Lakeland Friday night. Medford handed RHS one of their only two losses on the year, a 56-32 thumping on Jan. 25.

"Medford has to do more traveling, so if anything, we have the advantage," Lemmens said of Saturday's game.

Reports from Minocqua indicated Medford star guard John Keefe injured his leg on the final play of Friday's game. His status for the Regional Final is undetermined.

The Hodags and Raiders will tip at 5:30pm Saturday. Join Ben Meyer and Jeremy Mayo for the play-by-play action on HodagSports.com starting at 5:00 pm.

Merrill vs. Rhinelander
Friday, Feb. 22
Merrill 6 15 6 8 35
Rhinelander 15 5 10 16 46
Merrill (35): David Jesperson 14, Jake Anderson 8, Paul Theorin 6, Andrew Seaman 2, Alex Zettler 2, Chaz Mootz 2, Nick Peterson 1.
Rhinelander (46): Shane White 20, Colton Volkmann 12, Brad Kenote 5, Brett Mathews 4, Mitch Reinthaler 4, Austin Bowman 1.


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





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

ST. GERMAIN - Last year, every member of the Vilas County Board voted to send a pointed message on shoreland zoning to Wisconsin's state legislature.

Every member--except one.

Eighteen board members voted for a resolution saying the new, relaxed state shoreland zoning rules were no good. Those board members believed the county's own, stricter shoreline zoning rules served its lakes well.

+ Read More

Play Video

THREE LAKES - Texting makes communication easier and more efficient than ever.

But students at Three Lakes Junior and Senior High School learned Wednesday that, when you're driving, texting can wait. Students gathered in the gym to learn the dangers of distracted driving as part of AT&T's It Can Wait campaign.

+ Read More

Play Video

ANTIGO - For the last week and a half many people shared stories of shock, sadness, fear and hope out of Antigo.

Police, students and clergy all spoke out, struggling to figure out why the prom night shooting happened.

For the first time on Wednesday, one shooting victim told his story.

Collin Cooper, 18, said he's doing ok. He spent nearly seven days in the hospital, undergoing three surgeries to get the leg just below the knee on the right track to heal properly. He wraps an ace bandage around his left calf, which covers the wound. He also has stitches from where doctors made incisions during surgery. He also has a vacuum-assisted closure, or V.A.C., for the wound.

"I can't walk yet," Cooper said. "But they said I can put pressure on it in about three to four weeks, I think they said. But I wont be back to walking on it fully for three to four months."
He said doctors told him the bullet shattered 10 percent of his tibia, a major bone in the calf.

"They said the lucky part is it didn't hit any major arteries and it only nicked one vein," Cooper added.

Now Cooper has to sit at home and rest up. His blood levels are still low, and it hurts to hold his leg vertically. Several times a day he has to do ankle and knee exercises to strengthen the muscles around them. Otherwise he has to keep his leg elevated, even while he sleeps, which is in a hospital bed the family already had. He said it's hard sometimes to take it so easy because he's been on several sports teams throughout high school and is used to being very active.

He says when family and friends aren't visiting him at home, he plays video games and watches TV. He can't yet return to school, so he his doing some work from home.

But when you ask Cooper about how he's processing the shooting at prom, he just shrugs.

"I'm kind of bummed to be down right now but I'm thankful and lucky that it was just this and it could have been a lot worse," Cooper said.

He's been bombarded on social media, flooded with questions and friend requests. He's only posted several times since the shooting, with the #AntigoStrong hashtag that's been trending on social media since the prom.

The oldest of five has leaned on his faith, his family and his friends.

"I'm fine I just want people to worry about Collin," said Cooper's friend Spencer Fittante, 17, who was walking out of prom with Cooper when he was shot. Fittante helped tie a his tie around Cooper's leg as a tourniquet.

"I never thought anything like that would ever happen to us, ever," Fittante said.

Still, Cooper won't let the injury keep him from working this summer or walking across the stage at graduation. He joked about practicing walking up stairs with his crutches. He said he thinks his humor helps him cope.

He's proud of and humbled by the Antigo community. He said there are days when it gets hard, but he's got the support of his family and friends. He wants to move on, but he also thinks sharing his experience might be able to help others.

"It's cool to see how the town has rallied around me and the all the other victims," Cooper said. "I think it's kind of a cool opportunity to have to share with people what happened. And I can kind of help them through things too. So I mean I want to put some of it in the past but some of it I want to hold onto so I can be able to help people in the future."

Cooper said his date who was grazed by a bullet is also doing well. He said she is back at school in Illinois. Cooper still plans to work this summer and attend college in the fall. 

+ Read More

MADISON - Wisconsin prosecutors have charged a man accused of killing an Illinois woman in a random drive-by shooting along an interstate.

Twenty-year-old Zachary Hays was charged Wednesday with first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree recklessly endangering safety.

+ Read More

ANTIGO - The photo of American soldiers raising the flag over Iwo Jima brings Americans a lot of pride, especially the people of Antigo. But more than 70 years after that photo was taken, history buffs are questioning whether Antigo's own John Bradley is, in fact, in that photo as previously believed. The Marines have now opened an investigation in an attempt to answer that question.

+ Read More

Play Video

PRESQUE ISLE - We told you last year about a possible water bottling plant in Minocqua, that didn't end up happening. 

Instead, project leaders tried to open the bottling facility in Presque Isle, but that might not happen either.

The Presque Isle Zoning Committee voted Wednesday against changing zoning rules for the plant.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - With her hands folded and head bowed, Northland Pines Senior Class President Sam Hytry stood humbled and empowered Wednesday afternoon.

"I'm praying for Antigo and everyone else that's involved," Hytry said.

Hytry shared those prayers during the school day through a smartphone.

"We sent out an email yesterday and we also used social media like Twitter and Facebook to kind of get the word out too," Hytry said.

The word was actually two, combined in a hashtag: "#AntigoStrong."

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here