2013 - 2014 Season
Jan. 17 - 18 UW-Marshfield Tournament
WILDCATS WIN 44th ANNUAL MARSHFIELD CLASSIC
By Russ Thull
The UW-Washington Wildcats Men’s basketball team took part in the 44th Annual Marshfield Basketball tournament. The tournament consisted of 4 teams; UW-Washington, UW-Marshfield, UW- Fond du lac, and Fox Valley Technical college. On Friday, UW-Washington played UW-Marshfield. UW-Washington was down 7 early in the 1st half, but battled back to take a 32-29 lead at halftime. UW-Washington did not give up the lead the rest of the way as they outscored UW-Marshfield 33-26 in the second half to advance to the championship round 65-55. Evan Rathke led the way for the Wildcats with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Chris Gough kept his hot shooting streak going, scoring 18 points on 6 threes. Bill Haught also stepped up big time with his season high 14 points and 7 rebounds. “Bill is a high character individual, he works extremely hard in practice and I always know what I will get from Bill. We don’t win this game without Bill hitting some big shots vs Marshfield’s zone.”
Fox Valley Technical College also advanced to the finals after knocking off UW-Fond du lac. Saturday’s Fox Valley Tech and UW-Washington championship game is a rematch from a matchup earlier in the season which Fox Valley Tech won 85-60. “We knew that we were going to compete in this game because we are a different team than what we were in game 3 of this season. We knew in our first matchup that we gave up a ton of transition points. We also emphasized that we needed to get Evan Rathke a lot of touches down low. Fox Valley Tech plays a very aggressive man defense and they don’t like to give a lot of help off their man. We knew that Evan would have a lot of 1 on 1 opportunity in the post if we could get him the ball.” The Wildcats were successful in that attempt, as Rathke was a handful inside, scoring a game high and season high 37 points as he helped lead UW-Washington to a 81-76 victory. “In my 10 years of coaching, I don’t know if I ever coached a player with the full package of talent and leadership that Evan offers. He is a phenomenal player, yet he is an even better leader for us. It is an honor for me to coach him and too watch him play the game the way he does.”
Rathke was also named to the all-tournament team, which consists of the top 5 players for the weekend as well as earning tournament MVP as he averaged 30.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 5 assists over the weekend. Chris Gough also played a major role in the Wildcat’s success as he was also named to the All-tournament team as his hot shooting has made teams shake their heads on how to defend him. His presence as a deep threat also opens up the floor for others as well. Over the past 4 games, Chris is shooting 25/43 from three point range. He finished the tournament averaging 21 ppg, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. The Dynamic Duo of Evan and Chris was far from the reason the Wildcats took 1st place in the tournament as many other Wildcats stepped up at crucial times. Jon Lardy was a force on the boards, as he averaged 11 rebounds per game. Kyle Gallant, Tim Montag and Cory Crews did a great job handling pressure on the perimeter. Kyle finished Friday night’s game with 8 rebounds and 8 assists. He also did a great job handling the pressure in both games only turning the ball over 3 times combined. “Kyle is playing his best basketball of the season. To have 2 games which he averaged 32 minutes in each with only 3 turnovers as the point guard is a tremendous feat.”
The Wildcats (9-7 overall, 4-3 conference) have 5 games remaining before playoffs begin. They are on the road vs UW-Marinette on Saturday looking to extend their 4 game winning streak.
Jan. 13 UW-Washington vs UW-Richland Center
Wildcats win second semester opener 88 - 73
By Russ Thull
Wildcats start 2nd semester off strong on the road vs UW Richland.
Wildcats have faced their share of adversity throughout this season, but none bigger than the current one. With 5 key players academically ineligible, the Wildcats began the semester with a convincing 88-73 win over UW-Richland. The Wildcats were led by Chris Gough, who scored 29 points and hit 7 three pointers. Evan Rathke and Blake Wiskirchen each added 23 and 18 respectively. "This was the ultimate team win, knowing what we were facing and coming out like we have not lost a step. I know that my players will play hard, they always do." The Wildcats executed well and they were able to get Rathke a bunch of touches in the paint. "We like to play inside out, when we do that it opens things up for others."
UW-Washington will host UW-Sheyboygan on Wednesday at 7pm.
Dec. 11 UW-Washington vs UW-Rock County
Wildcats lose last game of semester, 58 - 66
By Bill Haught
Sometimes you just run out of gas.
That was the case Wednesday night when the UW-Washington County men's basketball team travelled two hours to UW-Rock County to take on the Rattlers. The Wildcats were without top scorer Evan Rathke, who did not play because of an ankle injury.
After being up by 6 and allowing 22 points in the first half of play, the Wildcats extended their lead to 17 by going on an 11-0 run to start the second half. From that point on, roles reversed in the game, as UW-Rock County went on an offensive tear, tying the game at 55 and closing it out with free throws at the end of the game, making the final score 66-58.
The top scorers for the Wildcats were DJ Gollwitzer and Chris Gough, who each had 16 points. UW-Rock County was led by Kyle Hawkins, who had 17 points on 5/10 shooting.
The Wildcats play their next game after holiday break at home, on January 6th versus UW-Concordia.
Dec. 4 UW-Washington vs UW-Waukesha
Wildcats come up short in Waukesha, 84-60
By Bill Haught
Coming off of a game on Monday versus UW-Manitowoc, the UW-Washington County men's basketball team looked to rebound from that loss by taking on the UW-Waukesha Cougars on Wednesday, December 4th.Unfortunately, the Wildcats were not able to overcome the Cougars' fast-paced offensive attack, which was led by guard Christian Valadez, who scored 16 points. Three other Cougars scored in double digits.
Evan Rathke and Chris Gough led UW-Washington County in scoring, with Rathke scoring 22 while adding 6 recbounds and Gough scoring 16 with four three-pointers. At the end of the first half, the Wildcats were down by 17 points, trailing 45-28. After showing brief periods of being able to tug away at the lead, the Wildcats began to lose a chance of getting back in the game, as the UW-Waukesha offense slowed down and ate up the clock for much of the second half.
The Wildcats are looking to bounce back from the loss, which put them at 5-6 on the season, on Wednesday, December 11th at UW-Rock County.
Box Score First Half Second Half Final
UW-Washington County 28 32 60
UW-Waukesha 45 39 84
Evan Rathke: 22 pts. 7/15 FG 6 reb.
Chris Gough: 16 pts. 6/14 FG 5 reb.
Christian Valadez 16 pts. 3/6 FG 4 ast.
Matt Fox-Whitaker 15 pts. 5/10 FG 7 reb.
Dec. 2 UW-Washington vs UW-Manitowoc
Wildcats Fall to Blue Devils at Home, 60 - 75
By Bill Haught
Losing a game you feel you could have won is never easy. The UWWC Wildcats returned to their home gymnasium on Monday to take on the UW-Manitowoc Blue Devils. The Wildcats were unable to secure a victory.
Washington County scored the first basket of the game, but that was the only lead the team held for the game's duration. After getting the UW-Manitowoc lead down to 7 late in the first half, a combination of turnovers and offensive rebounds given up by the Wildcats made it difficult for the team to get the lead down any further.
“Manitowoc's offense thrives off of turnovers and offensive rebounds,” commented UWWC head coach Russell Thull. “The defensive pressure took us out of our rhythm offensively.” The Wildcats gave up 22 offensive rebounds. “We gave them too many extra chances and [that] also limited our opportunites on the offensive end.” added Thull.
Freshman Evan Rathke once again led the Wildcats in scoring, with 23 points. UW-Manitowoc was led by Xavier Fletcher, who scored fifteen points. UW-Washington County plays UW-Manitowoc again in Manitowoc on Monday, February 3rd, and are playing their next game on Wednesday, December 4th at UW-Waukesha.
Despite the loss, the Wildcats are looking to bounce back. Coach Thull commented on his and the team's outlook by saying, “My mindset is the same as every other day; that is to continue to work hard and find ways to improve our team. My players will work hard and we will rebound.”
Box Score First Half Second Half Total
UW-Manitowoc 42 33 75
UW-WC 27 33 60
Evan Rathke 23 pts, 9/16 FG, 6 reb.
DJ Gollwitzer 13 pts, 5/12 FG, 7 reb.
Will Colassacco 8 pts, 3/9 FG, 12 reb.
Xavier Fletcher 15 pts, 6/9 FG
D. Thompson 15 pts, 5/15 FG
C. Bryant 14 pts, 4/10 FG
Nov. 18th - UW-Washington vs UW-Richland
Wildcats halt Roadrunners in come-from-behind win
by Bill Haught
The Wildcats of UW-Washington County continued their now three-game winning streak versus the UW-Richland Roadrunners on Monday, winning 84-77.
UW-WC and UW-Richland started out red-hot on offense, with both teams matching each other's baskets for much of the first half, until UW-Richland went on a run to put the halftime score at 41-37 in their favor.
The Wildcats knew this was an opportunity to step up under pressure, and make a statement by coming back to turn the lead in their favor. Washington County started the half down six points and ended up winning by seven when the final buzzer sounded.
One of the key contributors to the Wildcats' intensity was Evan Rathke, who has been the primary option for his team as of late, coming off of a 30 point game against UW-Marinette two days prior. Rathke scored 37 points, with 21 coming in the first half of play. Despite his stellar scoring performance, Rathke focused on the positives for his team: “We needed one of these games because this was our first close game.
“Evan is a very unselfish player,” said coach Russell Thull. “He played at one hundred percent through the whole 38 minutes he played. He is our leader.”
With much of Rathke's scoring coming in the post and from free throws (by shooting 13/15 from the line), several other players stepped up and played the inside-out game effectively. Starting point guard Chris Gough added 19 points, nine of which were from beyond the arc. Second year forward Tim Hovorka contributed a double-double off the bench, with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The Wildcats are now looking to keep their winning streak alive against UW-Fon Du Lac on Wendesday, rounding out a three-game homestand.
“A three-game win streak is something to be proud of. We're going to get right back at it against Fon Du Lac on Wednesday. We're excited.” said Thull.
Nov. 16th - UW-Washington vs. UW-Marinette
UW-WC Men's Basketball edge out UW-Marinette
By Bill Haught
In a tense finish, the UW-Washington County Wildcats returned to West Bend after 3 away games to out-battle the UW-Marinette Buccaneers, 79-75 Saturday. The victory improves the Wildcats' record to 3-3 overall and 2-1 in conference play.
For the second consecutive game, UW-Washington County had four players in double figure scoring. One of those players was Evan Rathke, who notched 30 points and 10 rebounds in 33 minutes. “I was just trying to get into the open lanes and get in the block to finish the easy shots.”
Points in the paint were a big factor in deciding the game's outcome, as UW-Washington County outscored UW-Marinette 44-18 down low, and several came off of offensive rebounds. UW-WC won the rebounding margin, and scored more points per possession as well.
Sophomore and second-year player Tim Hovorka contributed 17 points off of the bench. “I want to contribute to my team in any way possible. When coach puts me in I'm going to give 110% any time I'm out on the floor.”
Teamwork has been a main focus of the Wildcats, who become a tight-knit group of players that are becoming a more cohesive unit. Head coach Russell Thull stated that “[We've improved on] our overall team chemistry: working together, seeing where guys are cutting, understanding each others strengths, and executing.”
“We're working the ball around, and knowing the offense better. I think our chemistry is something we've improved on. Guys are knowing the offense better so we're not 'thinking' about it. We're running through it and creating.” added Rathke.
The Wildcats look to keep their winning streak going on Monday at home, where they face off against UW-Richland at 7 pm.
Nov. 13th - UW-Washington vs. UW-Sheboygan
Wildcats Win First Away Game
by Bill Haught
After dropping three games in a row to start the first road trip of the season, the UW-Washington County Men's basketball team notched its second win versus the UW-Sheboygan Wombats, improving to 1-1 in conference play and 2-3 overall.
An important part of the Wildcats' win was a 14-2 run that started the game. By the end of the first half, the Wildcats held a 39-19 lead.
Freshman swingman Matthew Lane commented on the Wildcats' initial run by saying, “It was a huge part of our success. Coach Thull got us fired up before the game and laid out the groundwork for what we had to do. We started our last two games out flat, but during this one we executed well.”
“Starting the game well was a good confidence boost,” head coach Russell Thull said. “I was also impressed with how much we shared the ball, as well as how we got it into the post. We were also very efficient to start out the game.” The Wildcats shot 59.3% in the first half of play.
Additionally, UW-Washington County had 4 players in double digits in points. “We have so many guys on this team that can put the ball in the hoop,” Lane added. He also dished out 9 assists in 28 minutes of play. “I'm just happy to be the guy to feed the ball to my teammates.”
The Wombats did stage a run in the second half, but the Wildcats responded by closing out the game to bring the final score to 67-52.
UW-Washington County comes home to play their next game on Saturday at 12:00 versus UW-Marinette.
Nov. 11th - UW-Washington vs. UW-Fox Valley
Wildcats lose battle with Cyclones at UW-Fox Valley
by Bill Haught
Taking on the defending state champions was no easy task for the UW-Washington County Wildcats, who lost to the UW-Fox Valley Cyclones 75-57 Monday night.
Freshman forward Will Colassacco saw this as an opportunity to step up for his team, and was inserted into the starting lineup. Colassacco led the Wildcats in scoring with 15 points off of a perfect 7/7 shooting from the field. “I was making sure to run our plays correctly, make plenty of back cuts, and just play tough,” Colassacco said. “We were working with what we had, since we had two players out with injuries. They played hard and wore us out a little.”
The Wildcats were without their starting sophomore guard, Kyle Gallant, and freshman forward Jon Lardy due to injuries to the knee and groin, respectively.
Starting games off better was a focus for the Wildcats going into the game, and it showed. UW-WC took the lead early on in the game and ended the first half trailing 33-25. Playing tougher defense was a focus for the team, and the Wildcats' defensive effort was led by freshman forward Tim Belland, who took 6 charges before leaving late in the second half with a sprained ankle. “I wanted to get in the best position possible to help my team, and [taking 6 charges] helped our cause.” said Belland.
UW-Washington County wanted to make a statement playing against the reigning state champions, and are looking forward to the rest of the season after battling with the Cyclones for most of the game.
The Wildcats play their next game at UW-Sheboygan on Wednesday, November 13th.
Nov. 6 - UW-Washington vs. Fox Valley Technical College
Wildcats drop away opener vs. Fox Valley Tech
by Bill Haught
The UW-Washington County Wildcats men’s basketball team lost its first away game of the 2013-14 season Saturday night, 85-60, versus Fox Valley Technical College in UW-Fox Valley’s gym.
Fox Valley Tech jumped out to a 12-0 lead to start the game, and held the lead for the entirety of the game.
Several fast break points contributed to the Foxes’ victory, as well as a 35-18 advantage in points off of bench players. UW-Fox Valley scored 21 points off of turnovers, and those points led to layups in transition.
“We have to do a better job of getting back and communicating,” said UW-Washington County coach Russell Thull.
A major factor in the Foxes’ first half offensive attack was Darius Banks, who shot 4/5 from beyond the three point arc in the first half, and finished the game with 24 points.
“We gave up too many high-percentage looks,” added Thull. UW-Fox Valley Tech shot 56.8% during the first half, and led 54-29 at the break.
Despite the Foxes’ first half success, the Wildcats were not going to go down without a fight. Evan Rathke notched 27 points on 10/15 shooting from the field, while adding six free throws.
UW-Washington County held the Foxes to 33.3% shooting for the second half, and tied the Foxes in scoring for the rest of the game at 31-31.
The UW-Washington County Wildcats play their next game on Monday, November 11th, at UW-Fox Valley.
Box Score: 1st Half 2nd Half Total
Washington County 29 31 60
Fox Valley Tech 54 31 85
Nov. 2 - UW-Washington vs UW-Marathon
UW-Washington County Men's Basketball looks ahead following loss to UW-Marathon
by Bill Haught
The UW-Marathon Huskies handed the UW-Washington County Wildcats their first loss of the season Saturday, 98-55, dropping the Wildcats' record to .500 at 1-1 to start the season. The Huskies attacked on both sides of the ball, and used their 18-man roster's depth to their advantage.
UW-Washington County was without two players for the game, Will Collassco and DJ Gollwitzer.
The Huskies also used their size well, out-scoring the Wildcats 48-22 in the paint. Led by Guard Caleb Glennon's 26 points, UW-Marathon's offensive attack proved too strong for the Wildcats' defense.
While the final score was hard to stomach for the Wildcats, the team has maintained that they will learn from this experience. The Huskies out-rebounded the Wildcats 67-40, with many of them contributing to second-chance points.
Co-captain of the Wildcats, forward Jon Lardy reiterated: “The biggest aspect of the game that made us lose was our rebounding not being where it should have been.”
“We contested the first shot, and gave up offensive rebounds that led to putbacks.” said co-captain Evan Rathke, who led the Wildcats in scoring with 14 points.
“We need to finish possessions defensively. That was the number one thing that hurt us.” said head coach Russell Thull. “Nevertheless, it is something that we can work on in practice, and going into the next game,” stated assistant coach Ethan Derricks. “Once we work out the kinks, I think that we will be a team that is tough to beat.”
The game was not without positives for the Wildcats, and the team is taking the loss in stride. “Nobody likes to lose but you have to take it as a learning experience. We'll come together, work hard, and get back into the groove,” Lardy emphasized. “I can't wait until we do.”
The Wildcats play their next game against UW-Fox Valley Tech on November 6th, in UW-Fox Valley's gym.
Oct. 30th - UW-Washington vs. UW-Baraboo
UW Washington Win Home Opener!
The 2013-2014 season is underway for the UW-Washington County Wildcats. It started out with a very entertaining win. It was entertaining because the Wildcats were able to showcase nine new players to go with two returning players. “This is an exciting year for us because of the caliber of players that we believe we have from top to bottom, said Coach Thull” Evan Rathke and Chris Gough got their careers started at UW-WC on a positive note. Evan scored 19 points to go with 16 rebounds and 5 blocks. Chris scored a team high 32 points and shot 9-18 from three point range. “Those are two pretty big stat lines, but what you don’t see is the team effort that the Wildcats displayed. “DJ Gollwitzer hit some big shots off the bench, Kyle Gallant handled the pressure and dished out 7 assists and TIm Hovorka added 7 rebounds, and I could go on and on,” Thull added. The Wildcats next game is at home vs UW-Marathon at 3 pm.
UW WASHINGTON 78 UW BARABOO 63