MG thumps Watertown boys by 25 in Badger South opener
Watertown’s boys basketball program matched up pretty well against Badger South teams in a nonconference setting the last two seasons.
That won’t be the way things go for the Goslings in their inaugural season as a league member.
Monona Grove saw to that in the Badger South opener for both teams on Friday night.
Junior guard Caden Nelson went off for a game-high 25 points, leading four Silver Eagles in double figures in an 86-61 romp over Watertown on Friday night at WHS.
Nelson scored 16 of his points in the first half, when MG (3-0, 1-0) opened up a 15-point advantage.
Watertown (0-3, 0-1) trimmed the deficit to 10 by halftime, and began the second half with a 3-pointer from the top of the key by senior guard Ben Smith to make it 41-34.
Monona Grove responded with a 14-5 run to push the lead back into double figures, and that lead grew to 25 in a wide open second half.
Nelson started the run, answered Smith’s 3 with a triple of his own. Senior forward Alec Ogden answered a transition basket by Watertown senior guard Dylan Fagerland with a putback and then Nelson converted back-to-back layups off of steals.
As the half wore on, 6-foot-7 senior forward Jake Schroeckenthaler exerted his will on both ends. He scored 10 of his 14 points in the second half and helped conduct a shot blocking clinic in the lane.
“They are good,” Watertown boys basketball coach Travis Moulton said. “Going in, we were really concerned about their big man. That was our focus the last two days. We had (former Watertown forward) Des Smith in last night to prepare us.
“On film, I wasn’t expecting how good their guards and other players were. I knew they were solid, but I didn’t think they would dominate the game like that. They could get in the lane any time they wanted, and not even off a lot of side to side movement. Off one pass, they were getting to the gaps and then we’re playing recovery.
“It just wasn’t a good performance from us on any part of the game. Part of that is us playing into that … no ball fakes, staring everything down, not being strong with the ball. So they were very good defensively, but I don’t think we played very well offensively, either. I think part of their good defense was our bad offense.”
The Goslings finished with an unfavorable 21 turnovers to 10 assists ratio.
Senior forward Trevor Tietz scored 14 points to lead the Goslings while Smith added nine and junior guard Clayton Haase added seven. Junior forward Noah Jeseritz returned from injury and added six points in his varsity debut. Sophomore point guard Cade Oiler and Fagerland each added six as well.
If there was one aspect of Friday’s event Moulton offered high marks to, it was the atmoosphere provided by the school’s musical staff.
“To start the game, there’s nothing better than Friday night high school basketball, especially when the band is there,” Moulton said. “Their drum line with (band director) Reid LaDew, he does a great job with them and Ryan Moldenhauer had his carolers there to sing the national anthem. I mean, I’m disappointed with how we played, but I know when the game started that Monona Grove must have been thinking Watertown has their stuff together. It’s just an awesome way to start a Friday night game.”
Watertown hosts Fort Atkinson on Tuesday, Dec. 12.
“We have a week now to prepare for Fort, who will be very physical,” Moulton said. “We just have to use this week to get better. This was the first game that I felt disappointed in the performance. The first two, I thought we battled. I don’t think we battled tonight.”
JV falls, JV2 wins: Watertown’s junior varsity lost to Monona Grove 45-37. Deon Nailing scored 16 points to lead the Goslings, while Michael Kuckkan added eight. Watertown’s JV2 team won 51-50.
MONONA GROVE 86, WATERTOWN 61
Monona Grove 41 45 — 86
Watertown 31 30 — 61
Monona Grove (fg-ft-tp) — C. Nelson 10-3-25, Ogden 2-0-4, Hepp 3-0-7, Huston 1-0-2, Nett 1-1-4, Robinson 1-0-3, M. Nelson 5-0-11, Thome 4-2-10, Ellis-Krehl 2-0-6, Schroeckenthaler 7-0-14 Totals 36 6-15 86
Watertown (fg-ft-tp) — Lapp 0-3-3, Stas 1-2-4, Oiler 2-2-6, Haase 2-3-7, Foltz 0-2-2, Tietz 4-3-14, Lauersdorf 1-0-3, Smith 3-1-9, Jeseritz 2-1-6, Fagerland 2-2-6, Jahnke 0-1-1 Totals 17 20-27 61
Three-point goals — MG (C. Nelson 2, Hepp, Nett, Robinson, M. Nelson, Ellis-Krehl 2), W (Tietz 3, Lauersdorf, Smith 2, Jeseritz)
Total fouls — MG 24, W 15