Subscribe for 33¢ / day

MIDDLETON — Max Fernholz demonstrated what a long-range threat the 6-foot-1 senior can be for the Stoughton boys basketball team when he sank seven 3-pointers in a victory over Watertown last week.

“He’s a really good shooter,” Stoughton senior guard Brady Schipper said.

“He’s probably one of the best shooters in the area.”

With that distinction comes attention. And Kettle Moraine coach Brad Bestor made sure the Lasers paid extremely close attention to Fernholz in a Middleton Holiday Tournament first-round game Wednesday night, primarily assigning 6-6 Michael Payant and 6-0 Logan Ohm to defend Fernholz.

Fernholz, who entered averaging 15.7 points per game, made three 3-pointers but was held to nine points as Kettle Moraine earned a 63-55 victory over Stoughton, ranked ninth in Division 2 in the WisSports.net state coaches’ poll.

Payant made five 3-pointers and had a game-high 18 points and Nate Jenkins added 14 points for Kettle Moraine (6-2), which advanced to the title game at 7:30 tonight. The Lasers will play Sussex Hamilton, which edged Middleton 70-68 in overtime.

Schipper had a team-high 13 points and sophomore guard Adam Hobson added 12 points for the Vikings (5-2), who will meet Middleton in the third-place game at 6 tonight.

Stoughton coach Nolan Weber said the game served as a learning experience for the Vikings, who are tied for the Badger South Conference lead with Monona Grove.

“I think we are finding out who we are in each game,” Weber said. “We want to be playing our best at the end of the year and make a run in postseason. Each game is a stepping stone to where we want to go. We let them dictate the game with physical play and pressure. We want to be the ones to dictate style.”

Fernholz said chemistry has been an important part to Stoughton’s solid start.

“We have a lot of seniors that have bonded together,” he said. “We have played together since third grade. That is key to how well we are playing.”

Fernholz said Kettle Moraine was well-prepared.

“I know that coach and he scouts very well,” said Fernholz, who was 3-for-14 from the field. “They had a 6-6 guy on me and they played tight ‘D’ on me. It was definitely an off-night for me. … That happens, sometimes.”

The Vikings aren’t playing at the fast tempo they used last season, largely due to senior Jordan DiBenedetto being sidelined with a knee injury sustained during football season. . But Schipper believes the Vikings, who rallied after trailing 31-20 at halftime and closed within 38-35 in the second half, are improving each game.

“We will have to get tougher,” Schipper said. “The second half we played tough and our defense got a lot better.”

Stoughton 20 35 — 55

Kettle Moraine 31 32 — 63

STOUGHTON — Schipper 5 3-4 13, A. McGee 3 0-0 8, Hobson 4 1-2 12, Fernholz 3 0-0 9, Conklin 1 0-0 2, C. McGee 1 0-0 3, McClain 3 2-2 8. Totals 20 6-8 55.

KETTLE MORAINE — Ohm 2 0-0 6, Dahmen 4 0-0 8, Abatto 2 4-4 10, Jenkins 6 1-3 14, Sloan 2 1-2 5, Payant 6 1-2 18, Kolb 1 0-2 2. Totals 23 7-13 63.

3-point goals — S 9 (Hobson 3, Fernholz 3, A. McGee 2, C. McGee 1); Km 10 (Payant 5, Abatto 2, Ohm 2, Jenkins 1). Total fouls — S 17, KM 10. Fouled out — A. McGee.

Sussex Hamilton 70, Middleton 68 (OT)

The Chargers (7-1) — ranked eighth in Division 1 — outscored Middleton 9-7 in overtime and held off the Cardinals (4-4), who rallied from a 36-24 halftime deficit.

Senior forward Brogan Brunker scored a game-high 27 points and junior guard Sam Close added 18 points for Middleton.

Patrick Baldwin Jr., a 6-8 freshman, led the Chargers with 20 points, while sophomore guard Carson Smith had 17 points and junior guard Tyler Ellingson added 11.

The Chargers scored the final four points in the second half and forced overtime. Sophomore guard J.T. Hoytink’s two free throws tied the game at 61 with 1 minute, 34 seconds left. The Chargers then scored the first four points in overtime.

Brunker made two free throws and pulled Middleton within 69-68 with 8.2 seconds left in overtime. Baldwin sank the second of two free throws, providing a two-point lead with 4.6 seconds left, before Middleton junior guard Sam Boyle’s 3-pointer missed as time expired.

The Cardinals, trailing 43-30 early in the second half, used a 19-4 run to take the lead. Close’s 3-pointer from the right wing gave Middleton a 49-47 lead with 8:22 left in regulation. A basket by senior Alan Roden and two free throws by Brunker gave Middleton a 61-57 lead with 2:17 left in the second half.

Sussex Hamilton 36 25 9 — 70

Middleton 24 37 7 — 68

SUSSEX HAMILTON — Bagley 1 0-0 3, Ellingson 4 0-0 11, Finnessy 2 0-1 4, C. Smith 6 3-5 17, Hoytink 0 4-4 4, Baldwin Jr. 8 2-4 20, Resch 1 2-2 5, Herbert 2 0-0 4, Lawrence 1 0-0 2. Totals 25 11-16 70.

MIDDLETON — Close 6 1-2 18, Ticknor 1 0-0 3, Roden 3 3-3 9, Michaels 3 0-0 6, Roquet 2 1-3 5, Klubertanz 0 0-1 0, Brunker 7 12-14 27. Totals 22 17-23 68.

3-point goals — SH 9 (Ellingson 3, C. Smith 2, Baldwin Jr. 2, Bagley 1, Resch 1); M 7 (Close 5, Ticknor 1, Brunker 1). Total fouls — SH 22, M 19. Fouled out — Bagley, Roden.

0
0
0
0
0

Jon Masson covers high school sports for the Wisconsin State Journal. He has covered a variety of sports — including the Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin men's and women's basketball and volleyball — since he first came to the State Journal in 1999.