On Friday, January 5th, 2024 the Winter Warriors traveled to Tony, Wisconsin to take on the Flambeau Falcons in a conference matchup. The Flambeau Falcons entered the contest with a 6-4 record averaging 65.9 points per game, and giving up just 48.1 points per game. The Winter Warriors entered the contest with a 5-6 record averaging 75.0 points per game, and giving up 57.3 points per game.
As the live stream commentary suggested, this matchup has a long history of heavy hitting rivalries that go back to the 80s and 90s with physical back and forth games. This was no different as the lead changed hands the whole game. In 2015-2016, the Warriors split home wins against the Flambeau Falcons. However, since, Winter is 2-13 against Flambeau in the last 7 years. The only wins were under Coach Hootie Hautamaki during those 7 years.
Winter applied the full court pressure from the tip-off, but Flambeau did a great job in handling the pressure. Winter forced just 13 turnovers against Flambeau. Winter put on 73 points, which is the most Flambeau has given up all season. Winter led by as much as 5, and Flambeau swung that deficit back into a late-game 6 point lead at 64-70 with 2 minutes left in the game.
Winter fought back with some great defensive stops, and big plays from Gunnar Greuel, Adam Bednorski, and Kingston Frey. On the defensive end, Malte Colliander finished the game with 9 blocked shots, sending back numerous shots at the rim, helping Winter lead the charge for a come-back win.
Winter won 73-72 on a last second shot from Freshman, Kingston Frey.
Gunnar Greuel led Winter with 25 points on 10-18 shooting, and going 5-8 from the charity stripe. Gunnar finished with 21 rebounds, and controlled the paint with 2 blocks and 2 steals. Adam Bednorski scored 24, connecting on 7-14 from the 3-point line, which is a new school record for most 3-point shots made in a game while wearing a Winter boys jersey. CJ Thompson finished with 14 points, going 6-13 from the field, while going 1-2 from the free throw line. Kingston Frey added 6 points off the bench, which also includes the game winning shot. Kingston added 5 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 block. Logan Hautamaki scored early with a fast break bucket against contact on a no-call finish, and dished out 2 assists. Cole Petit rounded out the scoring with a fast break hook finish, while adding 2 assists and 2 steals to his tally. Cole drew the matchup of giving Giles Groothousen a difficult night scoring.
The Warriors are missing All-Conference performer, Carter Petit due to an ankle injury sustained in the 70-82 loss to Webster. Petit contributes 12.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 3.2 steals in his Junior year. Petit has been the defensive leader for the Warriors since last season, drawing the assignment of covering the best scorers. The Warriors will be looking for the next man up to help pick up the slack while Petit recovers from his injury, and is back in action for the playoffs.
Giles Groothousen led all scorers with 28 points, followed by 11 points from Luke Lawton who was a deviant on the defensive end of the floor giving Winter fits.
Ladysmith Federal Savings, and Ludescher Auto Plus, local sponsors provided awards for Player of the Game, which went to Adam Bednorski, and All Out Hustle Award, which went to Gunnar Greuel.
Winter is back in action on Friday, January 12th as they host the Prairie Farm Panthers. The Panthers are 1-8 on the season averaging 49.1 points per game, and giving up 68 points per game. The Warriors move to 6-6 on the season, and 3-3 in the Lakeland East conference. The Warriors are averaging 74.5 points per game, which is good for 2nd in scoring for Division 5 teams, and giving up 58.5 points per game on the season. Winter moved into 1st place among Division 5 schools for assists per game (18.7 apg). Winter has a full week of practice to regroup, recover, and prepare for the 2nd half of the season.
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