Apaches outlast Dons, Red Raiders
By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – The Auburndale Apaches are off to a great start this season, under 12th year Head Coach Chad Weinfurter. The Apaches are coming off a huge conference win over Marathon Dec. 13, when Auburndale held off the Red Raiders 71-62 in a Marawood Conference-South Division showdown.
“I thought we persevered through some trying times,” Weinfurter said after the game. “I thought Marathon played a fantastic second half, particularly when they made that comeback. We did a little bit to help them out, but give them credit, too. I thought we were pretty good getting to loose balls and rebounds and things like that. We know we have to scrap a little bit because we’re not the biggest team.
“I was a little disappointed with some of the second chances they got and some of the loose balls. Hopefully it’s a learning experience for us in a close game. We haven’t had a close game yet, so this was nice. We knew they were going to be really good, as far as the physicality and the length. Now we know how to play in a close game at least. You try to prepare for everything, but you’ve only got so much time in a practice, and you can’t cover everything all the time.”
Cooper Weinfurter and Hunter Wright each scored 20 points for Auburndale. The two also went a combined 17-for-22 from the foul line – all but one coming in the second half down the stretch. Fletcher Raab and Cody Trowbridge each added 10 points, including a trio of three-point field goals from Raab.
The Apaches improved to 5-0 with the win, and 3-0 in conference competition. The home victory at Auburndale High School followed a non-conference road win at Columbus Catholic High School in Marshfield Dec. 9, when the Apaches knocked off the Dons 72-48.
“We did a lot of good things,” Weinfurter said of his team’s performance. “Columbus is still struggling a little bit with their transition from a real experienced, talented group to a less-experienced group, but Joe (Konieczny) is doing a nice job and they’re coming along fine. It’s good for us to see some zone. We saw some zone against Assumption.
“It’s hard to practice against really good zones, so I thought that was really good for us. I thought Hunter Wright was fantastic in the middle of the zone. He’s just got a natural way of getting to the rim, and I’ve got to credit Cooper with that suggestion. He’s the one who suggested putting Hunter at the high post and it’s really worked out well.”
Wright led Auburndale with 32 points against Columbus.
“He finishes so well around the rim,” Weinfurter added. “Most of our guards really do a nice job of finishing around the rim, and he’s either one or two on that list. When he gets to within five feet there’s a high chance it’s going down through the bottom of the net. We didn’t shoot real well from the outside, and we’re better shooters than that. I don’t know exactly what it was, and we’re a smaller team. We’re going to have to make some outside shots against better teams.”
Cooper Weinfurter added 18 points for the Apaches, who ended a four-game losing streak to Columbus. Raab had 10 and Trowbridge had nine.
Tom Nystrom led Columbus with 13. Cole Noreen added eight. Sam Wilczek and Wyatt Drexler each scored seven for the Dons.
Following a game at Phillips on Dec. 20, the Apaches will host the annual Auburndale tournament Dec. 27-28.