Tigers in near upset of state-ranked Lutheran

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff

ETHAN BRINKMAN of Howards Grove tries to dribble past Sheboygan Lutheran’s Jeff Hess (middle) during Thursday night’s CLC basketball game. Lutheran’s Phil Leibham (23) and Tyler Zastrow help defend. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley ETHAN BRINKMAN of Howards Grove tries to dribble past Sheboygan Lutheran’s Jeff Hess (middle) during Thursday night’s CLC basketball game. Lutheran’s Phil Leibham (23) and Tyler Zastrow help defend. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley SHEBOYGAN – The Howards Grove Tigers gave state-ranked and Central Lakeshore Conference leader Sheboygan Lutheran all it could handle before falling short, 58-53, in an intense, exciting boys basketball game Thursday night in a packed Lutheran gym.

The Tigers had a chance at tying the game at 56-56 after Luke Stanczyk got a steal with 17 seconds left. Howards called a timeout to plan strategy. Senior guard Austin Edge took a pass and attempted an open three-point shot with five seconds left but it missed.

Lutheran’s Tyler Zastrow pulled down the rebound and was fouled with 2.7 seconds remaining. Zastrow sank both free throws which gave his team a 58-53 lead and clinched the win.

The Crusaders, ranked No. 4 in the Associated Press Division 5 poll last week, upped their CLC record to 10-0 (13-2 overall). The Tigers slipped to 6-5 in league play (9-7 overall).

The Tigers battled Lutheran the whole game. Every time it looked like the Crusaders were going to pull away, Howards responded. The Tigers came back after trailing twice by five points and once by six in the first half.

Howards had a 5-0 spurt at the end of the half, capped off by Edge’s three-point play, to tie the game, 28-28, at halftime.

Howards fell behind 54-48 after Jeff Hess hit a layup with 2:20 left in the game. Ethan Brinkman’s three-point goal sliced the deficit to 54-51 at the 1:05 mark.

Tyler Zastrow’s driving layup gave Lutheran a 56-51 edge with 50 seconds left after he forced a jump ball on the Tigers’ previous possession which gave the Crusaders the ball. Brinkman’s bucket off a drive made it 56-53 with 28 seconds remaining.

A big turning point in the contest came at the end of the third period. Andrew Reinemann nailed a trey with two seconds left in the third quarter which put Howards up 43-38. Lutheran quickly inbounded the ball to Jacob Jurss who swished a three-point bomb at the buzzer from about midcourt. The basket cut the Tigers’ lead to 43-41 and giving Lutheran the momentum going into the fourth period.

Lutheran reeled off seven straight points to start the final quarter as it seized a 48-43 advantage. Hasenstein’s triple climaxed the run. The Crusaders, who outscored Howards 17-10 in the fourth period, led the rest of the game after the 7-0 spurt.

Brinkman, a junior guard, sparked the Tigers’ attack with 21 points and Edge tallied 15. Luke Stanczyk had a team-high four assists and seven rebounds.

Zastrow poured in 26 points, including a team-high 10 in the fourth quarter, to lead Lutheran. Zastrow was 8-for-8 at the foul line in the final period.

“It was a great game from both teams. I was very proud of the way my guys competed from start to finish,” said Tiger head coch Eric Worth.

“I thought we did a good job of limiting them in transition and we did a job handling their pressure early on.

“Foul trouble hurt us a little bit throughout but the guys kept competing and working their tails off. I thought we did a pretty good job of controlling the tempo throughout,” said Worth.

“Lutheran is a very good team and they just made a couple more plays than us down the stretch.”

A key statistic was free-throw



Score by Quarters

Howards Grove.......17 11 15 10 53
Sheb. Lutheran.......17 11 13 17 58

Howards Grove scoring: Austin Edge 15, Alex Strege 4, Trent Beninghaus 4, Andrew Reinemann 9, Ethan Brinkman 21. Three-point goals: Edge 2, Reinemann 1, Brinkman 3.

Sheboygan Lutheran scoring: Jacob Ames 2, Jacob Jurss 13, Ryan Scheele 2, Nathan Hasenstein 3, Jeff Hess 10, Phil Leibham 2, Tyler Zastrow 26. Three-point goals: Jurss 3, Hasenstein 1, Zastrow 2.

Field goals: Howards Grove 19- 39, 49%; Sheboygan Lutheran 19-35, 54%. Free throws: Howards Grove 9-12, 75%; Sheboygan Lutheran 14- 17, 82%.

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