By Michael S. Hoey


The Lake Geneva Badger boys’ basketball team fell to Union Grove in the second game of a boys-girls doubleheader in Union Grove 58-44 on Jan. 11.

The Badgers fell behind early and trailed by as many as 14 points in the first half before rallying and getting to within two in the second half. Union Grove then reasserted control and pulled away for the win.

The Badgers scored first on a basket by Mason DuMez. DuMez was fouled on the play but missed the free throw. Union Grove took its first lead at 5-4 on a basket by Tommy Hempel. That basket began a 13-0 run that the Broncos used to build a 15-4 lead. Kale Rodgers hit a free throw and Ty McGreevy scored to slow the Broncos down temporarily, but Union Grove pushed the lead to 23-9 after that. Union Grove led 25-15 at the half. Sam Rampulla led the way with ten points.

The Badgers came out strong to start the second half. Christian Johnston started the scoring with a three-pointer. Rampulla answered with two baskets, but then Rodgers heated up. Rodgers scored the next nine Badger points to bring the Badgers within 32-27. After a Union Grove basket, DuMez hit a three-pointer to make it 34-30. Kaden Pfeffer hit one of his four second half three-pointers to make it 37-30, but Spencer Bishop hit another three-pointer to make it 37-33. Rodgers then scored again to make it 37-35.

A switch from man-to-man defense to zone helped the Badgers slow the Bronco offense during the comeback, but Union Grove later figured out how to beat the zone. Pfeffer hit two more of his three pointers and Nate Koch hit another to put the Broncos up 46-36.

The Badgers had one last comeback in them. DuMez and McGreevy hit three-pointers to pull Badger to within 51-44 with about a minute and a half to play, but then Rodgers fouled out trying to stop the clock. The Broncos made six of six free throws down the stretch to ice the win.

Rodgers led the Badgers (2-7, 1-4 Southern Lakes Conference) with 12 points. Johnston added ten. Rampulla led the Broncos (4-7, 3-3 SLC) with 14. Koch added 13 and Pfeffer had 12, all on three-pointers.

The Badgers also fell at Wilmot 71-43 on Jan. 8. Wilmot led 34-21 at the half and poured it on in the second half outscoring the Badgers 37-22 and leading by as many as 29.

Turnovers were a big part of the story as the Badgers turned it over 27 times and the Panthers turned those turnovers into 26 points. Wilmot turned it over 16 times and the Badgers scofr3ed only eight off of those turnovers. Wilmot also outscored the Badgers 42-22 in the paint.

Johnston led the Badgers with 14 points. Rodgers and Bishop both added 11. Kevin Sandman led Wilmot (8-2, 4-1) with 18 points. Noah Coleman added 13 and Zack Watson had 12.

Read more Lake Geneva sports in the Jan. 17 Times.


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