The Westby boys basketball team season ended on Feb. 27 when they lost 55-47 to the Mauston Golden Eagles in first round Regional action.
Mauston 55, Westby 47
The Norsemen made a late run, but it was too little too late to change the outcome. Players, coaches and fans knew the Norsemen would have to be firing on all cylinders if they were going to beat a very solid Mauston team.
Instead Mauston dominated the first several minutes doubling up on the Norsemen 22-11 at the eight minute mark in the first half and took a 15-point lead into the locker room, 29-14, thanks to a three point buzzer shot by Dakota Barnier.
Joe Armbruster and Sam Strangstalien had solid games for Westby putting up 10 points each, but Westby’s ace in the hole was sophomore Griffin Grass who drained three 3-pointers from long range in the second half to keep the Norsemen in the game.
The Norsemen were plagued by turnovers in the first half with 10, to Mauston’s three. They remedied that situation in the second half with only three turnovers, but never gained enough momentum offensively to overtake the Golden Eagles lead.
“We have been plagued by too many turnovers all season long, and it was the decisive factor again last night. The other issue is that a lot of our turnovers resulted in easy lay ups on the other end of the floor for our opponent. We played very well on the defensive end of the floor, but when turnovers lead to uncontested lay ups it is hard to overcome,” Westby Head Coach Bob Constalie said
Overall Westby only shot 45 percent (17 of 37), 39 percent from long range (7 of 20) and 46 percent from the free throw line (6 of 13). Also scoring for Westby: Ryan Daines 6, Mason Quellhorst 4, Alex Gluch 3, Hunter Ward 3, and Devin Nelson 2.
Constalie said he could not take anything away from Mauston, a well-rounded team with good coaching. The Golden Eagles had their own ace in the hole with Joe Bauer racking up 23 points, while teammates Cade Hall (9) and Kyran Fitzgerald (7).
Constalie said it is always hard to see a season end and to say goodbye to senior athletes when that final buzzer sounds. Playing their last game as Norsemen were Grant Dayton and Alec Meurer.
“I wish our two seniors well as they move forward in their lives.
He added that he hopes the underclassman are willing to put in the effort needed this summer to have a successful year next season. “The kids worked hard all season long, but were never able to put that effort into a consistent level of play,” Constalie said.
MAUSTON 55, WESTBY 47
Mauston 29 26 — 55
Westby 14 33 — 47