EagleHerald/Brian Bell
Oconto’s Zach Sherman puts up a shot as Crivitz’ Dawson Andrist attempts to block him Monday in Crivitz.
EagleHerald/Brian Bell

Oconto’s Zach Sherman puts up a shot as Crivitz’ Dawson Andrist attempts to block him Monday in Crivitz.

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CRIVITZ — The Crivitz boys basketball team was able to hold-off a late run from Oconto on Monday to get a 60-53 win on opening night.

A 3-pointer from Crivitz’s Alec Grandaw gave the Wolverines their biggest lead of the game at 51-40 with just over six minutes to play. Oconto’s Caleb Moe answered on the other end with a basket and the Blue Devils started to mount a comeback. 

Crivitz missed the front end of a 1-and-1 bonus free throw attempt and Josh Woller knocked down a pull up a jumper on the other end to cut the lead to 51-44.

After a Wolverines’ timeout, Moe powered inside for another bucket, but Dawson Andrist was fouled on the other end and made both free throws to keep the lead at seven with under three minutes to play. Moe scored 11 second-half points to help get his team back into the game with under 2 minutes to play. 

WIth 1:29 remaining and Crivitz leading 55-49, Oconto’s Zach Sherman spun to the hoop and was fouled by Andrist for a chance at a 3-point play. Andrist picked up his fifth foul. He finished with 11 points.

Oconto got the rebound off of the missed free throw attempt and Sherman cleaned-up another offensive rebound with a putback to get within two at 55-53, but the Blue Devils were forced to foul and Crivitz made enough free throws to pull out the win.

“We’re a young team, we lost seven seniors from last year’s team,” Oconto coach Jon Bostedt said. “I saw a lot of bright spots out here in some of our younger players. Some things we have to work on, at this level you have to know who you’re guarding when you substitute in for someone and we need to be better at the free line.

“Offensively we did some good things and defensively we did well. We’re going to keep working hard in practice and come back out and be ready for Saturday (against Peshtigo).”

Crivitz couldn’t get things going on offense and struggled with the size of Sherman down low early on as Oconto took a 16-11 after Woller knocked down his second three of the game.

“Our shot selection in the first half wasn’t the best,” Crivitz coach Jeff Baumann said. “We shot a lot of three’s and didn’t get the ball inside and they had control early on. Our rebounding has to improve and our shot selection has to improve. Sherman is a big boy and he’s very physical. We have to have help and get our feet set and take some charges because we’re not very big.”

Crivitz hung around and tied the game at 20 after Wagner converted a three-point play and moments later Jaden Werner gave Crivitz a 23-20 lead with a triple from the wing. 

The Wolverines took a 27-25 lead into halftime when Eli Lawrence was fouled with 1.6 seconds left and made two free throws.

“The good was not as prevalent as I wanted it to be,” Baumann said. “The effort was there and we can clean a lot of it up. It was just the first game so there’s a lot of time to improve. We’re young just like Oconto is and it’s going to take a few games for the young guys to sort out what they can and can’t do at the varsity level.

“I thought Jaden controlled the tempo well for us and we needed that. Everyone stepped up at times and we just have to be tougher and rebound a little better.”

Werner knocked down three 3-pointers and went 9-for-9 from the free throw line to score a game-high 22 points for the Wolverines; Kougar Wagner had nine and Chandler Kaldenberg had eight.

Sherman led Oconto with his 19 points; Woller had 10 and Hayden Honish had seven.

Crivitz travels to Laona-Wabeno on Thursday while Oconto goes to Peshtigo on Saturday.