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Second half slump

February 25, 2020 by Brett LaBore

The Lakeland boys’ basketball team had a tough challenge in hosting Mosinee on Friday, Feb. 21. Mosinee came in second in league play.

Mosinee won the game 70-46.

“That’s a good team to host, a team that’s qualified,” coach Rich Fortier said. “A good crowd on the backend half of the doubleheader.”

Lakeland came out shooting right away. Jacob Borak and Collin Quade hit back-to-back 3-pointers to start the game. Quade also scored on an inbounds’ play.

Michael Ouimette scored his first points in the post, assisted by Quade. The Thunderbirds were leading 10-6.

“I thought we were good defensively first of all (in the first half),” coach Fortier said. “I thought we rebounded defensively really well.”

Quade came back to hit another 3-pointer at the top of the key, followed by a Nolan St. Germaine jumper. Quade led the team with 15 points. 

Ouimette was bullish in the post, fighting his way for two points and two free throws. He also made an impact on the defensive end. He ended up blocking at least seven shots on the night and had 12 points.

Just before the end of the half, Mosinee picked up some momentum and ended the half on a 12-5 run. They led 26-24 at halftime.

Mosinee came out shooting and driving. They quickly were up 35-26 in under three minutes. Ouimette continued to impact the game with a fast break score, as well as an alley-oop pass to Quade, who finished for two points.

Mosinee increased their lead to 47-30, thanks to Luke Spink’s creativity. He either drove the ball to the rack or kicked out to 3-point shooters such as Michal Dul. Spink scored 25 points and made 6/8 free throws. 

“Luke Spink took the game up on his shoulder and said ‘I’m going to win this game,’” coach Fortier said.

One of the fun parts of the game came from the Lakeland freshmen. Brayden Wiczek and Will Fortier scored nine straight points for the Thunderbirds.

Wiczek scored a basket and got fouled. Then, Will Fortier hit a 3-pointer before Wiczek scored and went back to the line. He made both 3-point plays.

“Both played well offensively, both attempted to rebound the ball and took shots,” coach Fortier said. “I thought they acquitted themselves well on Friday night.”

In the post, Ouimette scored two points, then Alex Fortier assisted him for a basket. Matt Holmes hit a 3-pointer at the top of the key late. 

But Mosinee already had a 20-point lead. Mosinee doubled the Thunderbirds up — outscoring them 44-22 in the second half. 

Up next, the Thunderbirds played Monday at Wausau East, their final non-conference game. Coverage of that will be in the Feb. 28 edition of The Times

Then they play at Medford on Thursday, Feb. 27 starting at 7:15 p.m.

Brett LaBore may be reached at [email protected] or [email protected].


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