By Daniel Schoettler

Sports Correspondent

Ben Stoll provided the scoring punch for Whitewater as the senior ended his career with a double-digit performance in the team’s season finale Feb. 26.

Stoll scored 13 points as the Whippets fell in first- round action of the WIAA Division 3 tournament at St. Thomas More, 78-61.

Whitewater fought back from a 20-8 deficit to tie St. Thomas More at 33 going into the halftime break,

“We just got in a hole in the first half and had a lot of energy to tie it up as I thought we played well against the pressure for the last eight minutes of the first half,” head coach Dan Gnatzig said.

The Whippets pulled ahead early in the second half before getting cold for four minutes as they were outscored 45-28 in the second half.

“In that spurt, we turned it over a little bit and Thomas More hit some big shots,” Gnatzig said.

Stoll led the way with 13 points, while Eli Kohl added 9 and Jake Martin finished with 8. Cooper Pease also contributed 7 points, while Hunter Martin had 6.

Whitewater averaged 48 points per game this season. Jake Martin led the way in scoring at about 13 per game with 278 points and averaged around eight rebounds per game. Senior Dylan Pease was second on the team in scoring with 211 points and led the team in assists with 60.

“I talked to the players after the game about how important our seniors were to making us a competitive team,” Gnatzig said. “We were competitive with some teams for the majority of the game. For those seniors to step up and play well throughout the year really helped some of our younger guys see how good some of the teams are in our league and our nonconference.”

Whitewater ended its season 5-18 overall and 4-14 in the Rock Valley Conference.

Next season, the team will bring back Jake Martin, Carter Brown, Eli Kohl and Cooper Pease.

“Cooper Pease played some of his best ball at the end of the year, and Eli had a solid game in the tournament and did some big things that some people didn’t realize,” Gnatzig said. “Carter had a really difficult point guard role as a sophomore, too. Those four players are going to be big, along with some guys that played JV basketball as well as some freshmen.”

 
 

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