Tigers match up well with unbeaten Markesan

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff


DEVIN GALLENBERGER of Howards Grove shoots a jump shot over an unidentified Oshkosh Lourdes defender and scores in Saturday’s regional basketball finals at HGHS. The Knights’ Henry Noone (20) watches. Gallenberger is the Tigers’ top scorer this season at about 20 points per game. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley DEVIN GALLENBERGER of Howards Grove shoots a jump shot over an unidentified Oshkosh Lourdes defender and scores in Saturday’s regional basketball finals at HGHS. The Knights’ Henry Noone (20) watches. Gallenberger is the Tigers’ top scorer this season at about 20 points per game. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley HOWARDS GROVE — In many ways, the Howards Grove Tigers and Markesan Hornets mirror each other.

These teams will square off in a Division 4 boys sectional basketball semifinal game Thursday, March 10 at Sheboygan North. The tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

Markesan, ranked No. 11 in the Associated Press D-4 poll, is 24-0 while HGHS comes in at 20-4. Markesan and HGHS are seeded Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in their sectional.

“I think we match up pretty well. We have a number of guys that are pretty adaptable that allows us to match up against most teams. Markesan isn’t real big but they’re extremely quick and athletic,” observed Tiger head coach Eric Worth.


DERRICK GRIMM, Howards Grove guard, tries to penetrate the Oshkosh Lourdes defense, including Evan Ganther (1), Henry Noone (20) and Sam Gelhar (11), in Saturday’s regional basketball finals at HGHS. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley DERRICK GRIMM, Howards Grove guard, tries to penetrate the Oshkosh Lourdes defense, including Evan Ganther (1), Henry Noone (20) and Sam Gelhar (11), in Saturday’s regional basketball finals at HGHS. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley The Hornets won their regional with a 65-46 victory over St. Mary Catholic (Neenah) and the Tigers defeated Oshkosh Lourdes Academy, 65-51, in a regional final.

HGHS beat St. Mary Catholic in Big East Conference regularvseason action. The Tigers won the BEC regular-season crown with a 13-0 record and the league tournament title in the BEC’s inaugural season. Markesan won the Trailways North Conference with a 16-0 mark.

“Markesan is a very good team. There’s a reason why they haven’t lost a game yet this year. They’re a very tough team that applies pressure on both sides of the ball. They’re on the attack all-game long.”

The Tigers are similar in that they too are a tough, gritty team other end of the floor,” said the coach.

“[Also] stick to our game plan and stay the course. Crazy things happen in games like this all the time. It will be really important to rally around one another and stay the course.”

Worth said the overall keys for deciding the outcome will be transition game, rebounding, finishing plays and embracing the opportunity. Scoring in transition has been a which is relentless on offense and defense. HGHS isn’t very big but makes up for that with very good quickness, strength and athleticism.

Worth pointed out the keys for his team to emerge victorious.

“Taking care of the ball is going to be huge. They love to pressure you and jump gaps to turn you over. They’re very good at turning those turnovers into points on the key reason for both teams’ success.

For the Tigers, their sturdy defense fuels their offense, with turnovers by the opposition and the Tigers’ solid defensive rebounding resulting in many scoring opportunities.

The Tigers’ attack is led by senior guard/forward Devin Gallenbeger who is averaging about 20 points per game. Gallenberger and junior guard Bryce Pedrin lead in three-pointers with 44 and 41, respectively. HGHS has a balanced offense with six players averaging at least six points per game.

Gallenberger and senior guard Devin Gallenberger are the team’s steal leaders with 2.0 averages per game. Grimm has 2.8 assists per contest. Gallenberger is the top rebounder with a 5.9 average.

The Hornets’ top-two scorers are sophomore guards Drew Bernhagen and Carson Clark at 17.4 and 16.3, respectively. Bernhagen has connected on 41 three-point goals.

Junior guard Jordan Jahnke is Markesan’s assist leader with a 2.8 average. Clark paces the team in steals at 2.4 per contest.

Worth expects the game to be physical and intense.

“I think both teams like to get out and go a little bit, so it could a fast-paced battle. It should be lots of fun, and exciting,” said the third-year Tiger coach.

“The high school playoff atmosphere is what you live for. I know everyone is excited for the opportunity.”

Worth explained his team’s mindset heading into the game:

“Leave it all out there. This could be the last time ever that this group will be able to compete together. For those eight seniors, they understand that this could be the last time they put that Tiger uniform on,” Worth said.

“We just need to compete the way we have competed all year. If we leave it all out there, we can handle the outcome either way.”

Worth explained why the team has had such a successful season.

“It’s a great group of guys that work their tails off on a daily basis. They’re a selfless group that isn’t worried about the credit,” he said.

“We’ve been all in this together from the start and I know they want to see this through. On any given night a new guy is ready to step up and pick up the slack for the next guy.”

Worth said he isn’t surprised with his team’s success even though the Tigers graduated all of their starters from last year’s squad which won the Central Lakeshore Conference and was a sectional finalist.

“I think the boys answered the call and have stepped up. They understood they had an opportunity and a lot of the guys made the most of that,” he said.

“They had great role models last year with the eight graduating seniors and I know they were chomping at the bit waiting for their opportunity.”

The winner of the HGHSvMarkesan game will advance to the sectional finals Saturday at Waukesha West at 1 p.m. against the Whitefish Bay Dominican-Milwaukee Destiny victor. The sectional champion will earn a state berth.

The Tigers lost to Dominican in last year’s sectional finals. The Knights went on to win their fourth straight state title.


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