Golden Eagles use 20-2 second-half run to end Dons’ season
By Paul Lecker
MADISON — For the first 24 minutes, Marshfield Columbus Catholic and Barneveld played an evenly matched game with the lead changing hands numerous times and neither team leading by more than six points.
The last 12 minutes did not go as well for the Dons.
Barneveld used a 20-2 run over a seven-minute stretch to open up a big lead and sink Columbus Catholic’s chances for its first WIAA state title as it beat the Dons 72-52 in a Division 5 semifinal Friday morning at the WIAA State Boys Basketball Tournament at the Kohl Center.
Barneveld (25-3) will play Shullsburg (25-3) in the Division 5 championship game at 11 a.m. Saturday. Shullsburg outlasted Chippewa Falls McDonell 63-48 in the first semifinal Friday morning.
Barneveld’s matchup-zone defense and big rebounding advantage (44-22) turned out to be too much for the Dons to handle at the end.
“I thought there were a few times we weren’t catching the ball ready to shoot it, and there were a few times we passed up shots,” Columbus Catholic coach Joe Konieczny said. “We want Nick (Malovrh), Tyler (Fuerlinger), and Hunter (Schultz) to take shots in rhythm, and it just seemed there was never any rhythm offensively.”
An 8-0 run gave Barneveld an early 8-2 lead before the Dons (25-3) got their offense going.
Malovrh and Fuerlinger hit back-to-back 3-pointers, and Fuerlinger added a steal and layup to put Columbus up 10-8 five minutes into the contest.
The Golden Eagles scratched back to take the lead at 18-16, and the game was tight throughout the remainder of the first half.
Columbus’ Ryan Dieringer made a 3-pointer only to be countered by Barneveld’s Matthew Myers, and a lay-in at the buzzer by Kauy Fargo put the Golden Eagles up 30-26 at halftime.
Myers and Dieringer each hit back-to-back 3-pointers again six minutes into the second half, and Columbus trailed 42-41 with 11:55 to go.
After that, it was all Barneveld.
Columbus scored on just one of its next 11 possessions and watched Barneveld open up a 19-point lead.
Myers had a 3-pointer, Malcolm Reed and Mike Zouski converted three-point plays, and Zouski had a steal and basket to give the Golden Eagles a 62-43 lead with 5:01 remaining.
“We missed some shots,” Konieczny said. “Myers hit two or three 3s. He shot the ball really well today. We knew coming in that he had attempted three times as many as the next person, and he shot it very well and was kind of the focus (defensively). Give him credit. I thought once or twice we lost him, but he hit some really tough shots that opened the game up, and we were scrambling even more from there. We could never get over that hump.”
Schultz and Fuerlinger scored, and Schultz canned a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 12 with 3:15 left, but the Dons turned the ball over or missed shots on their next four possessions and could not get any closer as Barneveld closed out the win on a 10-2 run.
Columbus came into the game shooting 49.5 percent overall and 37 percent from 3-point range. Barneveld was able to hold the Dons to 37.7 percent shooting (20 of 53) and 33 percent (9 of 27) from beyond the arc.
“We knew how hard we had to work on our defense to try to stay on their shooters,” Barneveld coach Jim Myers said. “I thought the guys did a great job communicating and staying on their shooters as much as we could. On the other side, we finished shots that we needed to finish and had a lot of guys contribute.”
Fuerlinger finished with 16 points, six rebounds, and four assists, and Schultz and Malovrh each had 13 points for the Dons. Myers topped Barneveld with 17 points, including five hits from 3-point range.
“They played really good help defense,” Fuerlinger said. “There were just really no openings. They played really well, and I look forward to watching them tomorrow.”
Notes: Barneveld sophomore forward Reed was playing with a heavy heart after his mother, Jennifer Lease, died on March 11 while Barneveld was playing in its sectional final game at Watertown. She suffered a brain aneurysm prior to the start of the game and died at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison later that day. Reed finished with 12 points and seven rebounds in the Golden Eagles’ win Friday. “We prayed a lot for their community and team this week for what they’ve been through, and we are incredibly excited for them to have the opportunity to play tomorrow, especially for Malcolm Reed,” Konieczny said. “I think he deserves it, and we’ll root for Barneveld tomorrow.”… Barneveld is looking for its first state title, having made its first state appearance just last season when it lost in the D-5 semifinals. … Shullsburg is going for its second after winning the Division 4 title in 1991, its only other state tournament appearance. … Since joining the WIAA in the 2000-2001 season, the Dons were making their second state trip. Columbus lost in the Division 4 semifinals in 2003. … Barneveld, the champions of the Six Rivers East Conference, defeated Shullsburg, the champs of the Six Rivers West, 57-36, earlier this season in a nonconference game.
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)
Golden Eagles 72, Dons 52
Columbus Catholic 26 26 – 52
Barneveld 30 42 – 72
COLUMBUS CATHOLIC (52): Charles Payant 0-2 0-0 0, Ryan Dieringer 2-3 0-0 6, Nick Malovrh 4-13 2-2 13, Hunter Schultz 5-15 0-0 13, Tyler Fuerlinger 7-14 1-2 16, Jarred Mandel 1-4 0-0 2, Peyton Nystrom 0-0 0-0 0, Matt Olson 0-1 0-0 0, Bryce Fuerlinger 0-0 0-0 0, Nick Hutchison 0-0 0-0 0, Noah Taylor 0-0 0-0 0, Ethan Meece 1-1 0-0 2, Noah Hansen 0-0 0-0 0, Evan Dieringer 0-0 0-0 0, Karak Bushman 0-0 0-0 0. FG: 20-53. FT: 3-4. 3-pointers: 9-27 (Schultz 3-7, Malovrh 3-10, R. Dieringer 2-3, T. Fuerlinger 1-3, Mandel 0-1, Olson 0-1, Payant 0-2). Rebounds: 22 (T. Fuerlinger 6). Assists: 9 (T. Fuerlinger 4). Turnovers: 8. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: none. Record: 25-3.
BARNEVELD (72): Malcolm Reed 4-8 4-7 12, Lucas Evans 3-8 0-1 6, Matthew Myers 6-13 0-0 17, Kauy Fargo 3-8 3-5 9, Mike Zouski 5-8 4-5 14, Trey Laube 1-3 2-2 4, Jacob Slaney 1-1 0-0 2, Jonas Ignatius 2-2 1-2 6, Dayne Evans 0-0 2-2 2, Bryce Vacha 0-0 0-0 0, Samuel Shatrawka 0-0 0-0 0, Jacob Roberts 0-0 0-0 0. FG: 25-51. FT: 16-24. 3-pointers: 6-15 (Myers 5-8, Ignatius 1-1, Zouski 0-1, Reed 0-1, Fargo 0-2, Laube 0-2). Rebounds: 44 (L. Evans 9). Assists: 13 (Myers 5). Turnovers: 10. Fouls: 5. Fouled out: none. Record: 25-3.