Tomahawk hoopsters almost topple Bluejays, fall big to Rhinelander
By Jed Buelow
Tomahawk Leader Co-Editor, Sports and Nature Editor
Tomahawk will look to head into the WIAA playoffs on a high note as they finish out the regular season this Thursday, Feb. 27 as Northland Pines comes to town for a Great Northern Conference matchup.
The Hatchet hoopsters are 1-10 in conference action and 6-15 overall. Meanwhile, the Eagles enter the season finale in the middle of the GNC with a 5-6 record and are 11-8 overall. The last time the two teams met up in Eagle River back on Jan. 28 Pines got the win 86-63.
Last week, Tomahawk hit the road for a non-conference matchup against Athens and fell in a close one Tuesday 71-62. Nick Kahle had a big night for Tomahawk from behind the three-point line as he went 4-for-5 from downtown to lead the Hatchets in scoring with 19 points in the loss to the Bluejays.
Hatchet head coach Jacob Jarvensivu said his team had a really good game on the offensive end of the floor.
“Unfortunately our defense let us down. We couldn’t handle their two best players and they did a great job of just going to them again and again,” the coach said. “We need to be excellent on the defensive end of the floor to win, and that is what we will need to get back to in order to right the ship.”
Connor Dichsen also had an impressive night scoring as he finished with 16 points. Tomahawk was also led by Trey Baalke and Drew Bolder as each finished with 7 points.
One area that stood out that gave Athens a clear advantage in the win was on the offensive boards. They more than doubled up Tomahawk pulling down 19 offensive rebounds to Tomahawk’s 8 and finished the game with 39 rebounds total to the Hatchets’ 26.
Tomahawk finished out the week in Rhinelander Friday where they fell to the Hodags in a GNC showdown 84-41. With the win Rhinelander improved to 6-6 in the conference while Tomahawk fell to 1-10.
“We really struggled to get anything going offensively in the beginning of the game. Rhinelander did a great job taking away a lot of the primary looks and we didn’t do a very job job of moving off of those options and getting to the secondary looks,” Jarvensivu said. “I think that because we couldn’t get it going offensively, our defense took a hit as well. Everything they got was pretty easy.”
Payton Bunce had an impressive night against Rhinelander leading the Hatchets in scoring with 15 points and D. Bolder scored 13 for Tomahawk.
Opening tip against Northland Pines this Thursday at Hatchet Fieldhouse is at 7:15 p.m. Then on Tuesday, March 3 #12 Tomahawk will take on #5 Northland Pines again in the opening round of the WIAA Regional playoffs. Opening tip in Eagle River is at 7:15 p.m.