VerVelde sparks Dutchmen to regional title

by Steve Ottman Review Co respondent

SHEBOYGAN FALLS – Oostburg’s Josiah VerVelde scored 19 points and had 13 rebounds to lead the Flying Dutchmen past the Sheboygan Falls Falcons, 43-27, in a Division 3 boys basketball regional final here Monday night.
Oostburg (20-4), a No. 4 seed, advances to play No. 2-seeded Racine St. Catherine’s (21-3) in the sectional semifinals Thursday, March 8 at Milwaukee Marquette at 7 p.m.
The No. 1-seeded Falcons finished their season at 19-5.
The Dutchmen went on a 16-0 run between the third and fourth quarters to break open a defensive matchup that saw both teams score only 29 points total in the first half.
In an anticipated rematch of two of the area's top teams, 6- foot-9 VerVelde, a junior forward, proved to be a difference maker. He blocked and altered several shots.
VerVelde missed the first game between Falls and Oostburg in a game that the Falcons had won during the regular season.
“VerVelde gave us that inside presence that we didn’t have in that first game,” said Dutchman head coach Kevin Bruggink. “Our perimeter defense was a big factor.“ “Give credit to Falls, they’re the best defensive team we have played this season.” The Falcons trailed 16-13 at halftime and didn’t get many good shots in the first half but were still were within striking distance.
VerVelde opened the third quarter with a dunk to make it 18-13.
Falcon senior guard Bobby Musil drained a three-pointer and senior Zach Van Engen made a layup and Falls tied the game for the first time at 18-18 with 5:05 left in the third.
Then the Dutch took care of business with a 16-0 run – scoring the last 10 points of the third quarter and six straight to open the fourth as they built a 34-18 lead.
Oostburg never let up on defense – giving the Falcons little shot selection. Van Engen finally ended the scoring drought with a three to make it 34-21 with four minutes left in the game.
The Dutchman ran the clock down and Falls was unable to mount a comeback.
“They were a hard team to prepare for,” said Falcon head coach Eric Spielman.
“Our success has been that we can get to the rim and VerVelde’s presence changed that.” Oostburg’s defense didn’t allow us good shots and that was the reason we didn’t shoot well.” Falls shot only 8-for-38 (21 percent) from the field and were held to its lowest scoring output of the season.
Van Engen finished with 10 points and Musil added seven to lead the Falcons' in scoring.
“I was somewhat disappointed with our possessions,” stated Spielman. “This was difficult way for the season to end for our seniors.” Spielman noted that this team has a lot to be proud of.
“Musil, Van Engen, Cole Heili, Aaron Krueger, Ryan Krist and Joe Lorenz were excellent leaders. They will be missed.” “They [Falcons] broke the school win record with 19 wins this season,” Spielman remarked. “We were picked sixth in the [Eastern Wisconsin] conference and came within one game of winning it.”


Score by Quarters
Oostburg.......................10 6 12 15 – 43
SheboyganFalls.............7 6 5 9–27
Oostburg scoring: Alex Stecker 5, Tyler Hartmann 7, Brad Prinsen 12, Josiah VerVelde 19.
Sheboygan Falls scoring: Zach Van Engen 10, Bobby Musil 7, Ryan Halverson 3, Aaron Krueger 3, Cole Heili 4.
Three-point goals: Van Engen 2, Musil 1, Krueger 1.
Field goals: Sheboygan Falls 8-38, 21 %. Free throws: Oostburg 9-13, 69%; Sheboygan Falls 5-5, 100%.
Rebounds: Oostburg 30, Sheboygan Falls 20. Turnovers: Oostburg 7, Sheboygan Falls 7.

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