Hatchet hoopsters hit rough patch against Lakeland, Northland Pines, Prentice, Mosinee
For the Tomahawk Leader
TOMAHAWK – The Tomahawk Hatchet boys’ basketball team ended up on the losing end of five hard-fought games this month.
The Hatchet hoopsters visited Lakeland for their third conference matchup of the season on Thursday, Jan. 14, where they were defeated 51 to 77.
The T-Birds jumped out to a quick lead and were able to maintain it through the end of the game.
Head coach Jacob Jarvensivu noted Lakeland’s offense was very efficient, outscoring Tomahawk in the paint 48 to 24, as well as taking advantage of opportunities from beyond the three point line.
Drew Bolder had 15 points, Payton Bunce had 14, and Elijah Scheffler had nine.
“I thought that the boys played hard and had a good effort in this game,” Jarvensivu stated. “I thought that Lakeland had better energy from the start, and that was the story. We had a hard time with their size, and competing with teams that are bigger than us will be a focus for us going forward.”
Tomahawk hosted Northland Pines one Friday, Jan. 15 in the team’s second conference game in as many nights, and fell 41 to 64.
Jarvensivu said the Hatchets came out with great energy and a great defensive effort in the first half, holding the Eagles’ potent offense to 28 points in the first half. However, eventually Northland Pines’ pressure defense and deep bench took over in the second half, leading the Eagles to the win.
Drew Bolder had 15 points, and Payton Bunce had 10.
“I thought that the effort and energy out of our boys on the second night of a back-to-back was unbelievable,” Jarvensivu said. “The fight I saw out of the team was definitely something to build off. Obviously our defense was great in the first half. In the second half there were some breakdowns, but overall I was pleased and I think this was a step in the right direction for the squad.”
Tomahawk kicked off last week with a road game in Prentice on Monday, Jan. 18, where they were dealt a 37 to 54 loss.
The annual Hatchets vs. Buccaneers nonconference rivalry game was back and forth in the first half until Tomahawk went “ice cold from the field,” Jarvensivu noted.
Prentice took advantage of the Hatchets’ poor shooting, going on a 15 to 2 run over the course of about ten minutes. The Hatchets never recovered from the scoring drought and fell to the Marawood North Conference-leading Bucs.
Prentice shot 49% from the field, while Tomahawk shot 29%. Drew Bolder led the Hatchets with 14 points, and Elijah Scheffler had 7.
“I thought our boys fought really hard,” Jarvensivu stated. “We just got outplayed today. Sometimes this game is as simple as shot making, and we didn’t make many tonight. I thought we consistently got good looks, we only turned it over 15 times, but we just couldn’t make anything. Our defense kept us in the game and gave us a chance, but we just couldn’t get over the hump.”
The Hatchets were back on the court on Tuesday, Jan. 19, facing conference rivals Northland Pines in a road matchup. The Eagles were able to came away with a 66 to 50 win in the teams’ second game in four days.
The Hatchets went into halftime down 30 to 26 and started the second half with and 8 to 0 run started by Mason Phalin 3-pointer, taking a 4-point lead. The Eagles responded with a 13 to 0 run, and held the lead until the final whistle.
Payton Bunce led the Hatchets with 19 points and 14 rebounds. Drew Bolder added 12 points and four assists.
“Playing Northland Pines so soon after we just played them was a challenge, but I thought the boys played better this time than they did on Friday,” Jarvensivu noted. “I thought our seniors played the best game of this season, and I think we have made big improvements over the last few weeks. We still have a ways to go on the defensive end of the floor, but each day we’re getting better, and that’s all we can ask for.”
Tomahawk wrapped up last week with a home matchup against Mosinee on Friday, Jan. 22 and fell by a score of 27 to 66.
Mosinee took a 27 to 6 lead into the half and never looked back. Tomahawk shot 12% from the field in the first half, which allowed Mosinee to get out to that lead. Although the Hatchets’ shooting improved slightly in the second half, Mosinee was able to maintain their lead to earn the win.
Drew Bolder had nine points for the Hatchets, and Payton Bunce added seven.
“When you shoot such a poor percentage from the field it is really hard to win games,” Jarvensivu said. “I thought that our defense was good enough to keep us in the game early, but at some point, we needed to start making some shots and it just didn’t happen for us. I think that the boys are continuing to grow and get better and we hope to make some noise next week with three games on the schedule.”
The Hatchets were set to travel to Wittenberg-Birnamwood on Monday, Jan. 25 before visiting Rhinelander on Tuesday, Jan. 26. On Friday, Jan. 29, they’ll head to Medford for a game that starts at 7:15 p.m.