Mukwonago holds off Beloit Memorial's fourth-quarter rally to advance to sectional
Defensive-minded Indians limit Knights to 12 first-half points
Mukwonago’s boys basketball team held off a rally by Beloit Memorial to win Saturday’s regional final, 57-47.
“We withstood their run,” Indians coach Jim Haasser said. “We dug in and did what we had to do to win. It was all about defense.”
With both teams tense to start the game, the Indians took an 8-4 lead into the second period.
The Knights didn’t get their first points until 3:08 remained in the period, an indication of Haasser’s stress on defensive intensity.
Nathan Tanguay began what proved to be Mukwonago’s offensive spark with a free throw and a long three pointer.
The Indians dominated the second quarter using an 8–0 burst on two Tanguay three’s and an outstanding dish to Aaron Nixon for an easy lay-in.
Beloit’s timeout with 5:25 left in the half didn’t stop the surge as Mukwonago rolled in 12 unanswered points before the Knights got a three from Brian Fisher.
Tanguay scored eight points and had two assists in the period. Dominic Cizauskas added five. Mukwonago’s tough defense held Memorial to eight points in the quarter as the Indians took a 29-12 lead into halftime.
Beloit outscored Mukwonago 11-9 in a physical third period. But the Indians, more accustomed to the bumps and grinds of stingy defense, remained patient and maintained a 38-23 lead after three.
The Knights allowed just two fourth-quarter field goals as they kept hope alive for the upset by countering with 10 field goals.
Forced to foul, Memorial, however, fell victim to Mukwonago’s fine free-throw shooting as Nixon, Nick Blohm, Cizauskas and Tanguay combined to nail 15 of 19 free throws.
Beloit’s 24-point fourth-quarter effort fell short and the Indians claimed the regional plaque.
Tanguay led the Indians with 20 points, while Cizauskas (19) and Nixon (10) also scored in double figures.
The victory advances the Indians to a sectional semifinal at Burlington where they face Janesville Craig at 7 p.m. Thursday.
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