Hodags outgunned in final minutes, drop close contest to RapidsSubmitted: 11/26/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer

RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander High School boys basketball team relinquished a four-point lead with 1:32 left in the game, and Wisconsin Rapids ripped off the final nine points of regulation to take a 55-50 win over the Hodags Monday night in Rhinelander.

Junior guard Alex Bassuener was the star all night for the Raiders, and came up big during the final stretch.

"He shouldn't have had time to set up (for his shots). That's why, right now, I'm kind of fuming. We star names, we give these scouting reports, and we've got to learn from this," said RHS coach Derek Lemmens after the game.

Bassuener poured in six three-pointers and 24 total points. His effort included a personal 5-0 run in the final two minutes to snatch the lead, and the game, away from the Hodags.

"We had our chances, and it should have been ours, but it wasn't. We had better learn from this and get better," Lemmens said.

Mitch Reinthaler led Rhinelander with a sparkling performance, going 10-13 from the field on his way to 24 points. But it was how the game ended that's likely to stick in the minds of Hodags players, coaches, and fans.

The teams were deadlocked at 44 entering the fourth quarter, and points flowed slowly until the final two minutes. The Hodags took a 50-46 lead with 1:32 left on the clock, but then Bassuener nailed a long three, got a steal, and was fouled on his drive to the hoop. His two free throws yanked the lead away from Rhinelander in fewer than 30 seconds.

Sam O'Melia was too strong on an open three-point look on the next possession for the Hodags, and four free throws down the stretch sealed the result for Rapids.

"We just had mental lapse after mental lapse. Shooters - not finding them, turning the ball over, being careless. I'll say ‘youth' one more time, but that's the last time I'm saying it this season. We better start growing up," Lemmens said.

Along with Reinthaler, Colton Volkmann shined for the Rhinelander offense, finishing with 15 points on 4-6 shooting. Lemmens also highlighted some of his younger contributors.

"I thought that Brandon Reinthaler gave us great minutes. I thought Devin (Oleinik) played solid. He's got to continue to hunt his shot. I really liked what Colton Volkmann and Mitch Reinthaler did, and I like what Nick Wright did as well," he said.

On the defensive end, Lemmens mixed a combination of mostly man-to-man defense with a smattering of 2-3 and 1-3-1 zone. Individual and team defensive efforts helped limit one of the most talked-about players in northcentral Wisconsin to just five points.

Wisconsin Rapids' Philip Flory committed to play to Marquette before even suiting up for a high school game. The freshman, and son of RHS great Mike Flory, was shut down by the Hodag defense.

"He's going to Marquette, but he's a freshman, he's young," Lemmens said. "I thought we just played good straight-up defense."

Riley Pressley chipped in 13 points for the Raiders.

Monday's game was defined largely by runs for each team. Rapids clawed their way to a 15-13 lead after a quarter, but the Hodags fought to a 26-22 advantage midway through the second. Then, the Raiders went on a 9-0 spurt before the half that included two three-pointers by Bassuener. Only a drilled three by Brandon Reinthaler pulled Rhinelander within a pair of points at the half.

The Hodags were forced to storm back from a 40-34 deficit in the third, and they reeled off six points in a row to tie the game at 40. The teams traded a few baskets to reach the 44-44 tie after 24 minutes and set up the fateful final quarter.

As a team, the Hodags shot 18-38 from the floor and 6-14 from distance. They turned the ball over 13 times to eight for Rapids. The Raiders took the rebounding edge, 25-20.

Despite a number of positives, the performance left Lemmens frustrated after the loss.

"It's disappointing. Our youth showed. I think mentally, we're just not tough enough right now," he said.

Rhinelander breaks for more than a week before their next game action. The Hodags will host Merrill next Tuesday in preparation for their December 6 Great Northern Conference opener at Medford. Hear the Merrill game on HodagSports.com, with tipoff at 7:30.

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


Play Video

CRANDON - Kids learn math and English in school, but this evening, the Crandon school district taught their students how to stay drug free. All year long, the school has been promoting values such as respect and forgiveness and tonight was no different.

The Red Ribbon Walk started at the courthouse and then went to Crandon High School. Along the way, walkers saw signs with facts about living a drug free life. No matter how young the students were, they still heard the message loud and clear.

"It's really good for the youth because they can see not to do drugs. To have this event, it should be about a fun experience and it's really good for kids," said 5th grader Bryce Marshall.

Even with the cold temps and rainy weather, there was still a great turnout. After the walk, there was a presentation by motivational speaker Mike McGowan to really push the message of staying drug free.

"I think it's important that we bring forward all the reasons why drugs are bad for kids. They know drugs are bad but how does it affect their lives?" said Crandon parent and teacher Agnes Keller.

The Red Ribbon walk was just one of many events that the school will have over the year to show students how to live out good, positive values.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - The Northwoods didn't get a lot of bitter cold or snow early last winter.  That forced Vilas County to keep its snowmobile trails closed much later than it hoped.

But the county set its target opening date for this year, with hopes we see a very different winter.

The county set a projected date to open trails of December 12.  That allows deer hunters to get through their season without worrying about snowmobiles in the woods.

+ Read More

PRICE COUNTY - One of the men who led police from several counties on an hours-long manhunt near Park Falls in June will soon return home to Florida.

Daniel Schoonover, 23, appeared in Price County Court on Wednesday. He pled no contest to all three charges of escaping a criminal arrest, resisting an officer, and possessing LSD.

Schoonover received a sentence of deferred judgment for the escaping charge and a total for 150 days in jail for the other two charges. He also has six months to pay back more than $900 in court fees.

Back in June, Schoonover and two other men were driving to a music festival in Highbridge when they were pulled over. Police found LSD in the car and tried to arrest Schoonover and the other man, but they took off into the woods. Police from Price, Rusk, Taylor, and Saywer counties as well as the DNR and the U.S. Forest Service all helped in the search. Schoonover was eventually spotted on a county road around 8 o'clock that evening.

He's been in the Price County Jail ever since. That's 144 days, and he will get credit for the time served.

According to the criminal complaint, Schoonover said he ran away because he was afraid of getting arrested in another state. Schoonover said he didn't know about the drugs in the car, and that he only drove with the other men because he knew they were headed to the music festival and needed a ride. Before jail, he worked as a cook in Florida.

His attorney said Schoonover does not have a criminal record anywhere else.

The other two men involved, Adrian Rodriguez and Kevin Sweeney, will return to Price County Court in November and December, respectively. 

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - People know Helene's Hilltop Orchard in Merrill as the place to go to get your fall season fix.

The pie makers and apple peelers come in early to crank out caramel apple pies fresh throughout the day.

When people come to Helene's, they are usually greeted by the smell of the pies before they even see them.

"I love being out in the parking lot when people step out of their cars and smell the air. It doesn't smell like a lot of other farms. It's distinctly the cinnamon sugar you smell," said Helene' Hilltop Orchard baker Olivia Telschow.

Helene's is only open for six weeks from mid-September to late October; however, Telschow works alongside her mother Helene throughout the entire year.

Even in the winter, the apple orchard is checked on.

"February is pruning season. Think of me when it's minus ten and it's snowing and windy and snow drifts because I will be out there," said Telschow.

The orchard is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through October 30th.

Helene's will close Sunday for the season, but pies will be available to order for Thanksgiving.

Call (715) 536-1207 for more information.

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - A former Merrill choir teacher will be sentenced today for sexual assault.

Last month, 26 year old Chase Tonar plead no contest to sexual assault of a student by school staff in Lincoln County Court.

Tonar is accused of having sex with a student both while he was a teacher at Merrill High School and after he resigned last May.

Police arrested Tonar in July.

The Lincoln County District Attorney says he will ask for jail time, as well as sex offender reporting and counseling.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - A driver lost control of her car and crashed into the woods southwest of Eagle River late Wednesday afternoon.

It happened on County Highway D near its intersection with County Highway H. The driver was the only person in the car. She wasn't injured.

An Oneida County Sheriff's Deputy on scene couldn't yet say why she lost control of the car.

+ Read More

Play Video

THREE LAKES - Baseball fans in Three Lakes watched the Cleveland Indians beat the Chicago Cubs in the first game of the World Series on Tuesday night.

A few of those fans might live on Cy Williams Road, or down the street from Cy Williams Park. As they watched, they may have drawn the connection between that Northwoods man, Cy Williams, and the game they were watching on the field.

+ Read More
+ More General News

Click Here