Columbus Catholic boys basketball pulls away late to beat Loyal, stay unbeaten
Fuerlinger pours in 30 points for Dons
By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD — The Marshfield Columbus Catholic boys basketball team was on the verge of losing its first game of the season when it turned up its defensive pressure an extra notch.
Trailing by four with 4½ minutes to go, Columbus held Loyal to just one made basket the rest of the way to pull out a 70-65 victory over the Greyhounds in a Cloverbelt Conference East Division battle Monday night at Columbus Catholic High School.
Columbus opens up a 2½ game lead for first in the conference with the victory, improving to 13-0 overall and 9-0 in the Cloverbelt East. Loyal is now 9-3 and 6-2 in the conference, tied with Owen-Withee for second place behind the Dons.
Loyal led for much of the game and pulled out to a 61-57 lead after a basket by Cameron Brussow at the 4:33 mark.
Tyler Fuerlinger responded with six points in a row to put the Dons up 63-61 with 2:56 to go, their first lead in nearly 10 minutes.
Elliot Genteman tied it for Loyal, but that would be the last basket for the Greyhounds.
Hunter Schultz made two free throws and a driving lay-in, and after two free throws from Brussow, Fuerlinger scored again to put the Dons up 69-65 with a minute left. Schultz finished the scoring with a free throw with 12 seconds remaining.
Loyal missed its final four field goal attempts and turned the ball over five times as Columbus finished the game on a 13-4 run.
“We played tight when the shots didn’t fall early, and we played a really good opponent,” Columbus coach Joe Konicezny said. “Loyal was a preseason top-10 and picked to win our conference for a reason. I think their coaching staff does a heck of a job, and they have three really good players. We knew it was going to be a battle coming in. We had a really hard time with Brussow, but we hit just enough shots late, got a few steals late, and Tyler Fuerlinger started taking the ball to the basket, which was huge for us.”
Brussow finished with 32 points and 14 rebounds for Loyal.
Fuerlinger (30), Schultz (23), and Nick Malovrh (17) combined to score all of the Dons’ points.
Brussow scored six points in an 8-0 run for Greyhounds to give them a 30-19 lead, their biggest advantage of the game.
Columbus closed to within 34-29 by halftime and tied it at 43-43 after a basket by Fuerlinger with 13:19 left in the second half.
The Dons held a brief lead at 46-45 on a 3-pointer by Malovrh before Loyal ripped off six-straight points to pull back ahead.
Columbus was able to stay in the game despite making just 4 of 28 3-point attempts and eventually pulled ahead for good with a trapping full-court defense that forced 24 turnovers, including 17 in the second half.
“The last three or four games, we didn’t miss much from three,” Konieczny said. “Tonight we kind of got in that mode where we were going to shoot 3s all night, and it cost us early. We settled for a lot of open 3s. Once we started to take the ball to basket and feed off our defense and get baskets in transition, we were able to turn it around. We’re going to see them again in a couple of weeks, and it will be just like this: down to the wire.”
Columbus hosts Spencer on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. The game will be broadcast on WOSQ-FM 92.3 and wdlbwosq.com.
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)
Dons 70, Greyhounds 65
Loyal 34 31 – 65
Columbus Catholic 29 41 – 70
LOYAL (65): Luke Bogdonovich 1-5 0-0 2, Riley Geiger 4-7 0-2 11, Jordan Radue 4-6 0-0 8, Quinn Brussow 0-2 0-0 0, Elliot Genteman 6-7 0-0 12, Cameron Brussow 14-28 3-4 32. FG: 29-65. FT: 3-6. 3-pointers: 4-10 (Geiger 3-4, C. Brussow 1-3, Bogdonovich 0-3). Rebounds: 38 (C. Brussow 14). Turnovers: 24. Fouls: 10. Fouled out: none. Record: 9-3, 6-2 Cloverbelt Conference East Division.
COLUMBUS CATHOLIC (70): Jarred Mandel 0-2 0-1 0, Charles Payant 0-2 0-0 0, Ryan Dieringer 0-2 0-0 0, Nick Malovrh 6-17 3-4 17, Hunter Schultz 9-20 3-4 23, Ethan Meece 0-0 0-0 0, Tyler Fuerlinger 14-22 2-3 30, Noah Hansen 0-0 0-0 0. FG: 29-55. FT: 8-12. 3-pointers: 4-28 (Schultz 2-9, Malovrh 2-10, Fuerlinger 0-5, Dieringer 0-2, Payant 0-1, Mandel 0-1). Rebounds: 24 (Malovrh 7). Turnovers: 11. Fouls: 8. Fouled out: none. Record: 13-0, 9-0 Cloverbelt Conference East Division.