Hatchet hoopsters split holiday tournament, fall to Antigo
For the Tomahawk Leader
ALMOND – The Tomahawk Hatchet boys’ basketball team recently participated in a tournament and took on conference opponents Antigo.
Tomahawk traveled to Almond Bancroft High School for their annual Holiday Tournament on Tuesday, Dec. 27 and Wednesday, Dec. 28.
Game one saw the Hatchets face the Montello Hilltoppers. The first half was a back and forth contest that had many lead changes, but towards the end of the half, the Hatchets started to find a groove and took a 26-19 lead into halftime.
After some halftime adjustments, the Hatchets’ defense increased their aggressiveness, forcing many Montello turnovers, which led to easy baskets. This propelled the Hatchets to a 72-37 victory.
Tyler Jablonski nearly had a triple-double, recording 15 points, 10 rebounds and eight steals. Gavyn Palmer had 16 points, Jaxson Werner chipped in 13 and Joey Reiter contributed 11.
Coach Jacob Jarvensivu called the game “a really good team win.”
“Scoring being balanced the way that it was is why this team can be successful,” he stated. “We are still cleaning some things up on both ends of the floor. This was a really big step forward for our team.”
After winning game one, the Hatchets headed into the championship to face the undefeated Fall River Pirates, who came into the week ranked 2nd in the state for Division 5.
Fall River started off fast and pressured the Hatchets in the first half, causing a lot of turnovers. The Hatchets continued to make the most out of the limited opportunities because of the turnovers and kept the game close, entering halftime down 26-17.
The second half saw Fall River start out hot, stretching the lead to 16 points. The Hatchets responded and cut that deficit down to two points with eight minutes left in the game. However, Fall River ultimately proved to just have too much depth, as the Hatchets, still limited by several injuries, began to fatigue as the game went on. Fall River ended up stretching their lead back out and finished with a 66-45 victory.
Gavyn Palmer led the Hatchets with 19 points.
After the game, Jarvensivu noted that the Hatchets’ 34 turnovers were “too many to win against a good team like Fall River.”
“Their pressure really gave us a hard time, especially as our six players began to fatigue, and they kept rotating 12 bodies into the game,” Jarvensivu said. “I was really proud of our effort, and quite frankly, except for our turnovers, this was our best game of the year. I wouldn´t be surprised to see Fall River at State, and we definitely gave them a scare during the second half.”
Tomahawk hosted the Antigo Red Robins in a conference showdown on Friday, Jan. 6.
The Red Robins went into the game winless on the year, and the Hatchets entered with a 2-6 record.
The first half saw a competitive contest, with both teams trading runs. The Hatchets had a hard time keeping Antigo off the glass, which led to a lot of second chance baskets, and Antigo took a 30 to 16 lead into halftime.
Whenever Tomahawk would make a run in the second half and get it to single digits, Antigo would respond with a run of their own, and the Hatchets ultimately fell by a score of 65 to 48.
The leading scorers for the Hatchets were Gavyn Palmer with 21 points and Tyler Jablonski with 13.
“I thought we played a really competitive game,” Jarvensivu stated. “We really struggled on the glass, getting out-rebounded by almost double. The boys continued to fight throughout, and I think we have some good learning moments that we will get better from.”
This week’s action
The Hatchets are slated to host Elcho on Tuesday, Jan. 10.
On Friday, Jan. 13, the Tomahawk hoopsters will travel to Rhinelander to take on the Hodags in a game that gets underway at 7:15 p.m.