It wasn’t the prettiest of performances, but at times Aquinas High School boys basketball coach Rick Schneider saw glimpses of what his team could do this season.
The Blugolds mixed in streaks of dominance with some shaky first-game jitters as they methodically dismantled Wisconsin Rapids 60-36 Tuesday night in their season opener at Reinhart Sports Complex.
University of Wisconsin recruit Bronson Koenig went 8-for-20 from the field, finishing with 25 points, 6 rebounds and 4 steals.
“We came out a little slow but for a lot of guys it was their first varsity game,” Koenig said. “We need to be more consistent, but we’ll be fine.”
Both teams struggled in the first quarter, but Aquinas began to pull away in the second when it forced six Red Raider turnovers and stretched its lead to 32-17 heading into the locker room.
“I think we need to remember that we’re still a young team and this was only our first game,” Schneider said.
“Our key is that guys are still figuring out their roles and figuring out each others’ roles.”
What the Blugolds did find out was that despite losing Michael Conway to injury before the season, Koenig won’t have to shoulder the load by himself.
Senior forward Quinn McCartney pulled down nine rebounds and sophomore guard Reggie Rabb finished with eight points.
“I definitely think the strength of our team, just with the guys we have, is we’re able to get up and down the floor,” Koenig said. “The biggest thing for us is making sure we get the rebound first, because we don’t have a lot of height and you can’t run without the ball.”
Cort Halbur kept Wisconsin Rapids (0-2) in the game for a while, as he led the Red Raiders with 18 points, all coming on six 3-pointers.
Rapids, however, lost the turnover battle 15-7.
“This was good for us,” Schneider said. “This set a foundation and gave us a good indicator on where we are, and gives us something to build on from here on out.”