Valders denies Falls in regional finals

Top- seeded Vikings avenge EWC regular season loss to Falls
by Steve Ottman
Falls News Correspondent

BEN BEHLING (4) of Sheboygan Falls launches a shot, during a WIAA Division 3 regional final boys basketball playoff contest at Valders Saturday, March 3. - Photo by Keith Bassuener BEN BEHLING (4) of Sheboygan Falls launches a shot, during a WIAA Division 3 regional final boys basketball playoff contest at Valders Saturday, March 3. - Photo by Keith Bassuener VALDERS - During the second half of the 2017-18 season, the Sheboygan Falls High School boys basketball team never backed down from any challenge and turned a losing season into a winning season.

That all came to an end with a 54-47 loss to the No. 1 seeded Valders in a WIAA Division 3 regional final playoff game Saturday, March 3.

The No. 4 seeded Falcons finished their season with a 14- 10 overall record.

While the pain of the loss will linger for a while, Falls head coach Jake Frohling said that there was a lot of growth on a team that only had two seniors.

“First of all, I give credit to Valders,” said Frohling. “They executed well. We kept them to 54 points, but we didn’t execute on offense in the second half. Our roster is in fine shape with most of the team returning next season.”

The Falcons upset Valders during the regular season, but the Vikings would not be denied this time with a sectional playoff bid on the line.

Valders’ Kyle Tuma scored seven points during a 12-7 start to the first half.

The Falcons rallied with back-to-back with 3-pointers from JT Petrie and Connor Spielvogel to take a 13-13 lead.

Tuma hit his second 3-pointer of the game and four points from Jake Beimborn helped the Vikings retake a 20- 15 lead.

Spielvogel then drilled another triple to cut the lead to cut the lead to 20-18.

Valders finished the first half on a 9-4 run with two field goals from Tuma and a 3-point shot from Treyner Sundsmo to take a 29-22 lead into halftime.

The Vikings opened the second half with back-to-back 3-pointers from Sundsmo and Tuma to extend the lead 35-22.

This resilient Falcons team didn’t give up, cutting the big lead to 36-31, even though their leader Petrie had gone down with an injury.

Petrie scored on a lay-up that started a 9-1 run. Jon Bassuener then nailed a big 3-point shot and Justin Tenpas scored inside.

Once again, Tuma stroked another 3-point shot and pushed the Vikings’ lead back to 41-31 with 7:53 remaining.

Petrie returned to spark one more Falcons’ rally. Brayden Much converted a lay-up. Spielvogel hit a fall-away 3-pointer and then Petrie’s basket cut the lead to 43-38 with 5:39 left.

Sundsmo answered again with a 3-pointer to make it 46- 38.

Petrie was still in pain as he hit two free throws, but later he missed the front end of two bonus shots, which would have cut into the lead.

With the score at 46-40, Valders finished with an 8-2 run on the strength of four points from Connor Faucett.

Tuma finished the game with 23 points to lead all scorers. Faucett collected 10 points.

Petrie led the Falcons in scoring with 16 points, while Spielvogel added nine points.

Next season, Falls will miss two seniors, Petrie and Much, who worked together with a talented young group of Falcons to turn a 1-6 start into a 14-10 finish.

“It’s not by what we lost by tonight, it’s how we finished strong and played our hardest,” said senior captain Brayden Much. “We made it farther than people thought.”

“I had a great career here and I’m proud of what this team has accomplished after a poor start,” said senior captain JT Petrie. “I’m happy for how far these guys have come together and I’m excited for the younger guys coming up.”

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