Each week WSN will take a look at the happenings in the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference, which includes many of the two-year campuses in the UW system. A look back at the big performances and news from the week before, a look ahead to some of the big games coming up, plus a Player of the Week will be featured.
It was an extremely busy week in Wisconsin Collegiate Conference men's basketball action, which featured a number of tight games and second half comebacks.
UW-Washington remained perfect on the season with three straight hard-fought victories, featuring a different high-scorer in each game. It started last Wednesday, when the Wildcats traveled to Manitowoc. The game was tied at 30 at halftime, but Washington pulled out a 69-65 victory, as Darrian Langerman (Grafton) had a team-high 17 points. Friday night, the Wildcats were tied at the break with Fond du Lac, but blew it open in the second half for an 87-74 win. This time, A.J. Barnes led the way with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Washington trailed by nine at halftime on Monday, but rallied for a 79-77 win over Sheboygan. This time, J Thomas led the team with 20 points.
There was quite a bit of excitement between rivals Manitowoc and Sheboygan on Saturday. Manitowoc led 34-29 at halftime, but the teams were tied in the closing seconds. With just 3.8 seconds remaining, Quentin Beaudoin (Sheboygan North) went the length of the court, banking in a three-pointer at the buzzer to give Sheboygan a 74-71 win. Beaudoin would finish with a game-high 25 points on nine-of-11 shooting.
It was just the latest close loss for Manitowoc, who led 39-37 at halftime against Marinette on Monday. However, the visiting Buccaneers would go on a 16-0 run to open the second half. Manitowoc regained its composure, though, outscoring Marinette 42-19 the rest of the way for the team's first victory of the season, an 81-72 final. “I told the guys after the game that I couldn’t be more proud of them for not giving up and fighting through that stretch," said Manitowoc head coach Neil Hall. "The way our season has gone so far, we’ve had a few opportunities to kind of flush things down the drain, but these guys showed a lot of grit tonight."
Elsewhere, UW-Rock trailed Marathon 37-32 on Saturday but would explode offensively in the second half to claim a 92-87 win. David Harper (Janesville Parker) led six players in double figures with 26 points, making nine-of-ten free throws. Rock got the win despite 15 made three-pointers from Marathon.
After a 14-game week last week, things pick up even more this week with 16 games on the schedule.
It begins tonight with six games, all of them divisional showdowns. There's a huge one in the East, as unbeaten Washington hosts Fox Valley, sitting at 2-0 in league play and 3-2 overall. Early control of the division is on the line. Likewise, the only two unbeaten teams in West Division play meet up tonight as well, as Baraboo travels to Rock.
There are five games scheduled on Saturday, along with five on Monday.
UW-Sheboygan has played a number of very tight games this year, so it came as no surprise that Saturday's game against rival UW-Manitowoc was tied in the closing seconds. With just 3.8 seconds remaining on the clock, Quentin Beaudoin (Sheboygan North) went the length of the court, banking in a three-pointer at the buzzer to give Sheboygan a 74-71 win. Beaudoin would finish with a career-high 25 points on nine-of-11 shooting.