Rockets move on to regional semifinal at Crivitz
By Paul Lecker
SPENCER — The Spencer boys basketball team lived to see another day as it survived a second-half comeback by Crandon and prevailed 66-61 in a WIAA Division 4 regional quarterfinal Tuesday night at Spencer High School.
Spencer (15-8) moves on to a Division 4 regional semifinal Friday at Crivitz (18-4). The winner plays in a regional final Saturday night against either Edgar or Neillsville.
“We’ll come back tomorrow and look at Crivitz and watch some tape on them,” Spencer coach Randy Reckner said. “Anything we see right now is nothing that we haven’t seen before during the season.”
The Rockets used 21-4 run to close the first half and take a 39-25 lead into halftime.
Crandon quickly reversed momentum, outscoring Spencer 21-5 over the first 7:40 of the second half to take a two-point lead.
It was the Cardinals’ only lead of second half as Spencer scored the next four points to go back in front, but it remained tight the rest of the way.
Crandon twice tied the game, the last time at 51-51 on a basket by Kyle Wagoner, who had a team-high 16 points for the Cardinals.
A bucket from Jack Bezlyk, who finished with 18 points and eight rebounds, and a three-point play by Bobby Pilz gave the Rockets a 56-51 lead with 6:22 remaining.
Wagoner scored the Cardinals’ next five points, and Bezlyk had Spencer’s next four as the Rockets’ lead swayed between two and four for the next several minutes.
Spencer missed on seven of 13 free throw attempts in the final 1:15 to keep Crandon in it, but the Cardinals only made one of their final seven shots and were never able to get closer than two.
“Give them (Crandon) credit. They hit more 3s than I expected, and they got to the rim a little bit more than I thought they would,” Reckner said. “I watched a couple of game tapes on them, and everything they did tonight didn’t show up on the game tape. They played well and left it on the floor.
“We made mental mistakes tonight, and that’s just something we can’t have playing in the playoffs.”
Pilz made 3 of 4 at the line in the final 43 seconds to preserve the lead for the Rockets. He finished with game-highs with 22 points and nine rebounds. The Spencer senior also set a new single-season school scoring record in the game, becoming the first Rocket to ever score more than 500 points in a season. He now has 507 points this year and 1,291 for his career, which is second on the all-time school scoring list. The old single-season record was 488 points set by Mike Schiszik in 1994-1995.
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)
Rockets 66, Cardinals 61
Crandon 25 36 – 61
Spencer 39 27 – 66
CRANDON (61): Kyle Wagoner 6-13 4-5 16, Trevor Tupper 4-12 1-3 9, Blake Weber 3-14 1-2 9, Spencer Schallock 2-8 0-0 6, Hunter Flannery 3-6 0-0 6, Ty Bradley 5-8 3-5 13, Jacob Chapple 0-0 0-0 0, Blake Modjewski 0-0 0-0 0. FG: 23-61. FT: 9-15. 3-pointers: 4-16 (Schallock 2-6, Weber 2-8, Wagoner 0-2). Rebounds: 35 (Flannery 7, Tupper 7, Wagoner 7). Turnovers: 13. Fouls: 19. Fouled out: Schallock. Record: 9-14.
SPENCER (66): Jonny Tomke 0-3 1-4 1, Noah Zastrow 5-9 0-0 12, Calvin Lenz 1-7 0-2 2, Bobby Pilz 7-16 5-7 22, Aaron Pankratz 2-5 0-0 5, Jack Bezlyk 7-10 4-9 18, Ryan Busse 2-4 3-4 7, Jacob Miller 0-0 0-0 0. 24-54. FT: 13-26. 3-pointers: 5-16 (Pilz 3-8, Zastrow 2-4, Lenz 0-3, Tomke 0-1). Rebounds: 40 (Pilz 9, Busse 8, Bezlyk 8). Turnovers: 13. Fouls: 19. Fouled out: Busse. Record: 15-8.