WAUNAKEE – Injuries prevented seniors Mitch Listau and Nate Carter from playing in the Waunakee boys basketball team’s Badger North Conference loss to Mount Horeb last month.
The 6-foot-5 Listau and the 6-6 Carter made their presence felt in the rematch Tuesday night.
The left-handed Listau sank five 3-pointers in the first half when he scored 17 of his game-high 27 points, propelling host Waunakee to a 16-point halftime lead en route to an 83-67 victory.
“We were really ready to get back into it, especially with the conference now being close,” said Listau, a Belmont commit. “We really wanted to get this one, especially being at home and everyone being back and healthy, which is good to have. I think we really stepped up and played really well.”
Waunakee (17-2 overall, 10-1 Badger North) won its ninth consecutive game since that 49-40 defeat to Mount Horeb on Jan. 4, when Warriors coach Dana MacKenzie said the Vikings “flat-out beat us.” The conference leading Warriors, ranked fifth in Division 1 in The Associated Press poll, opened a two-game lead over the second-place Vikings (15-4, 8-3), with three league games remaining.
Senior Travis Klassy sank four 3-pointers and had 22 points for the Vikings, who saw their six-game winning streak snapped.
Listau drained consecutive 3-pointers, turning a one-point lead into a 23-16 first-half advantage. The Warriors closed the first half on a 14-4 run, sinking four 3-pointers. They wound up hitting nine 3-pointers in the first half and led 41-25 at halftime.
“I try not to force too much,” Listau said. “They were within the offense and I was getting open looks, and they are shots I like to take. They were in rhythm and good timing. I got the shot going early. Then in the second half that opened up things for others.”
In addition to Listau, four other Waunakee players scored in double figures: senior Dylan Haack (15 points), senior Mason Steffen (14), Carter (12) and junior Josh Cash (10). Haack sank four 3-pointers for the Warriors , who made 13 overall.
“I think we were 9-for-13 from the 3 in the first half and they were all pretty good looks within the offense, which makes the shots a little easier,” MacKenzie said. “We stressed touching the post in the second half. I thought Nate did a good job down there, along with the other post players. So, offensively, I was pretty happy.”
Carter scored eight of his points in the second half and provided effective interior defense.
Junior Jason Larson -- Mount Horeb’s leading scorer (13.2 points per game), who had 22 points in the first meeting with Waunakee -- was held scoreless.
“I definitely think we are catching our stride,” Listau said.
DeForest 65, Portage 50
Junior forward Austin Westra tallied 24 points and senior Jarrett Klein scored all 13 of his points in the first half as the host Norskies (13-7, 7-5) defeated the Warriors (6-12, 5-6).
Senior Craig Steele notched 14 points and sophomore Brett Walker added 11 points for Portage.
Beaver Dam 60, Sauk Prairie 57
Senior Connor Cullen tallied 17 points and junior Cade Ferron scored 11 points as the host Golden Beavers (13-6, 6-5) defeated the Eagles (11-8, 5-6).
Junior Spencer Breunig and senior Elijah Jorgenson notched 11 points apiece for Sauk Prairie.
Reedsburg 71, Baraboo 39
Tyson Tully scored 26 points and Ben Fuhrmann added 11 points as the visiting Beavers (10-10, 4-8) defeated the Thunderbirds (4-15, 0-11).
Badger South Conference
Monona Grove 57, Oregon 41
Senior Jake Schroeckenthaler poured in 28 points to carry the fifth-ranked Silver Eagles (19-1, 11-1) over the host Panthers (8-11, 5-6).
After leading by just one point at the break, Monona Grove outscored Oregon 30-15 in the second half.
Stoughton 72, Fort Atkinson 52
Senior Brady Schipper scored 27 points as the visiting Vikings (13-7, 11-1) defeated the Blackhawks (3-16, 2-9).
Stoughton outscored Fort Atkinson by 19 in the second half.
Jesse Kutz had 13 points and Josh Bilau 12 for the Blackhawks.
Madison Edgewood 62, Monroe 57
Junior Michael Meriggioli scored 23 points as the host Crusaders (7-13, 4-8) took a 10-point halftime lead and held on to top the Cheesemakers (12-8, 7-5).
Junior Kade King totaled 12 points to lead Monroe.
Watertown 43, Milton 37
Sophomore Kory Stas scored 12 points and the host Goslings (8-11, 6-5) outscored the Red Hawks (0-19, 0-11) 25-8 in the second half to erase an 11-point halftime deficit in the victory.
Junior Jared Brown totaled 22 points for Milton. Senior Ben Smith added 10 for Watertown.