GALESVILLE — Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau High School boys basketball coach Jared McCutchen had a pretty easy time guiding his team past Sparta on Tuesday, and it was all because of sophomore guard Cody Schmitz.
“When things are going that well,” McCutchen said, “you just tell them to keep doing it.”
The plan was simple. Give the ball to Schmitz, who torched the Spartans for 61 points in an 82-67 nonconference victory.
Schmitz made seven 3-pointers, hit 20 free throws and 10 more shots inside the 3-point line to make the RedHawks winners in their first game of the season.
“He spread it out and made seven of nine or 10 on 3s and made 20 of 24 free throws,” McCutchen said of Schmitz, who averaged 17.8 points per game as a freshman. “He didn’t miss a lot, obviously.
“He hit a couple of in-rhythm 3s early, and after that he just wouldn’t miss.”
McCutchen said the RedHawks put the ball in Schmitz’s hands as often as possible and that many of the shots came after bringing the ball up the floor.
“He would take those shots where a coach says, ‘Hey, it’s too early!’” McCutchen said. “And then it goes in. After a while, we just let him go at it. He couldn’t do much wrong today.”
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The Spartans defended Schmitz with two players in the second half, but it didn’t do much to slow him down. He scored 28 second-half points after getting 33 in the first half.
“We had to figure out how to get him off some screens in the second half,” McCutchen said. “We tried to get it in his hand as soon as we could off the inbounds because he did a lot of great things with the basketball tonight.”
Will Mack added 11 points for G-E-T, while sophomore Thomas Laufenberg scored a team-high 17 points for the Spartans. Sparta’s Layden Bender added 11 and Jack Olivier 10.
Westby 54, North Crawford 37
SOLDIERS GROVE, Wis. — Sophomore Rhett Stenslien scored 16 points to help the Norsemen start the season with a victory.
Stenslien scored seven points in the first half and nine in the second for Westby, which also benefited from a 13-point performance from senior Cale Griffin.
Senior Grant McCauley also scored 10 for the Norsemen, who held a four-point halftime lead before holding the Trojans to a 16-point second half.
Viroqua 53, Mondovi 42
MONDOVI, Wis. — The Blackhawks started their season with a victory after senior Griffin Olson scored a team-high 19 points. Clayton Weston added 16, Kamden Oliver 12 and Ayden McDowell nine for Viroqua.
Brookwood 64, La Farge 47
ONTARIO — The Falcons outscored the Wildcats by 18 points in the second half to win their season opener.
Sophomore Wyatt Maurhoff had 19 points and eight rebounds to lead Brookwood, which also received 16 points from Austin Fry and 15 from Franklin Wildes.
Whitehall 58, Arcadia 33
WHITEHALL, Wis. — Richard Gomez scored a game-high 10 points for the Raiders.
Osseo-Fairchild 50, Central 41
OSSEO, Wis. — Junior Britteny Mislivecek’s 15 points led the RiverHawks, who were outscored by nine points in the second half.
Mislivecek, who averages 24 points per game, scored 11 of her points after halftime and was held to one field goal in the first half. Macy Cagle scored six of her nine points in the first half and made a pair of 3-pointers for Central (2-1).
The Thunder (2-0) were led by senior Brooke McCune’s 10 points and had seven other players score between four and eight.
Richland Center 57, Logan 43
RICHLAND CENTER, Wis. — The Rangers lost their first game of the season despite a 22-point performance from junior Jazzy Davis. Senior Ashley Janisch added nine points for Logan.
Menomonie 51, Onalaska 45
ONALASKA — The Hilltoppers fell to 0-2 with a loss to the Mustangs (2-2), who snapped a two-game losing streak.
Sophomore Sidney Fillbach had a team-high 12 points and 10 rebounds and sophomore Anna Skemp a team-high six assists for Onalaska, which trailed 18-13 at the half.
Westfield 62, Sparta 35
WESTFIELD, Wis. — The Spartans (2-2) had a two-game winning streak snapped by the Pioneers, who held a 20-point scoring advantage in the second half.
Sparta was led by freshman Evelyn Tripp’s 10 points and seven rebounds. Senior Emma Blackdeer matched Tripp’s seven boards and added six points for Sparta, which shot 29.2% (14 for 48) from the floor.
Eau Claire Memorial 62, Tomah 22
TOMAH — The Timberwolves (1-1) scored just nine points in the first half and were led by Katie Krause’s six points. Tessa Ross scored a game-high 12 to lead the Old Abes (2-0), who took a 27-9 lead into the second half.
Bangor 71, Melrose-Mindoro 64 (OT)
BANGOR — The Cardinals held the Mustangs to four points in overtime and had four double-figure scorers led by junior Nora Tucker’s 17 points.
Senior Madeline Janisch scored five of her seven points in overtime for Bangor, which led 31-26 at halftime before Melrose-Mindoro (0-3) came back to tie the score.
Junior Lilly Radcliffe scored a game-high 27 points and had 15 of them in the first half. She made a 3-pointer — her fourth of the game — in overtime for the Mustangs. Senior teammate Maddie Dobbs added nine points.
Junior Gabby Schroeder scored 15 points for Bangor, which also received 12 from Aliyah Langrehr, 11 from Taylor Jacobson and nine from Anna Fronk, who made three 3-pointers.
Aquinas co-op 6, West Salem 4
ONALASKA — Junior Evan Johnson had two goals and two assists for the Avalanche, who battled back from a 2-0 deficit to start the season with a win.
The Panthers scored twice in the first period and answered their opponent’s run when Noah LaFleuer scored with assists from Joseph Daley and Isaac Olson to tie the game at 4 near the end of the second period.
The Avalanche then won the game when Johnson scored short-handed with an assist from Brennan Dirks, and Christian McConaghy scored with assists from Johnson and Dirks in the third.
LaFleuer had two goals and an assist for West Salem, which also received one goal and one assist from Daley and two assists from Tyler Meyer.
Calvin Gilbertson and Dirks both had one goal and two assists for the Aquinas co-op, which also received one goal and one assist from Tanner Bass and one goal and one assist from McConaghy.
Ethan Breske made 16 saves on goal for the Avalanche, and Weston Gerke stopped 20 shots for the Panthers.
Sauk Prairie 7, Onalaska/La Crosse 5
PRAIRIE DU SAC, Wis. — Colin Comeau scored 16 seconds into the second period off an assist from Alec Browning to tie the game at 2-all, but the Hilltoppers then surrendered back-to-back goals en route to a season-opening loss.
Thomas Bryant scored an unassisted goal to pull Onalaska/La Crosse within 4-3 later in the second period, but the Eagles again responded with a pair of goals.
Bryant finished with two goals for the Hilltoppers, while Carter Hayes and Gavin Schuster also scored. Noah Gillette added two assists.
Black River Falls co-op 11, Medford 0
BLACK RIVER FALLS — Zowie Hunter scored five goals to help the Tigers earn their first win of the season.
Hunter had three goals in the opening period as the Black River Falls co-op (1-1) grabbed a 6-0 lead, and she added two more in the second period as the Tigers’ advantage grew to 11-0.
Lexie Hagen scored a pair of goals and added an assist, while Sierra Steele scored a goal and had four assists.
Leah Reetz, Avery Hagen and Skylar Pierce also scored for the Black River Falls co-op.