Late scoring drought, defensive breakdowns sting GHS boys in loss to Nicolet
The road through the North Shore Conference continues to be a tough trek for the Grafton boysâ€™ basketball team.
Although the Black Hawks have shown improvement this season, they stumbled again on the way to a pair of defeats last week.
On Friday, Grafton saw a fourth-quarter drought take its toll in a 66-48 home loss to Nicolet.
The Hawks held a 29-28 lead at halftime and trailed by only 48-44 entering the final period. However, Nicolet pulled away by outscoring them, 18-4, the rest of the way.
â€śIf we could play a 24 or 25-minute game, we would be great,â€ť said Grafton coach Bob Maronde, whose team was handed its fourth straight loss and fell to 3-9 in NSC play and 5-13 overall.
â€śWe play very well for stretches, and then we lose it. Weâ€™re totally focused and then all of a sudden the game gets out of control.â€ť
Against an athletic, opportunistic Nicolet squad, the Hawks had little room for error. The Knights, who improved to 8-4 in the conference, pulled away by cashing in on Grafton miscues.
Eugene Bonner led the assault with a game-high 29 points, including a trio of three-point baskets. Tyler Miller added 11 points.
Although Grafton had nine players score, center Beau Benzschawelâ€™s 11 points made him the only one to reach double figures.
The Hawks had their lowest-scoring output since a 45-37 loss to Seymour on Dec. 27.
â€śThe biggest problem is that weâ€™re trying to make up for defensive breakdowns on offense, and the game should be played the other way around,â€ť Maronde said. â€śIt all starts on the defensive end.
â€śItâ€™s still not too late for us to get it together, but we have to find a way to stay focused for four quarters.â€ť
Homestead 68, Grafton 55
The Hawks played hard but were unable to stay with the second-place Highlanders in an NSC road loss Jan. 29.
Homestead held a 19-18 lead after one quarter and steadily pulled away. The margin grew to 32-26 by halftime and to 52-41 entering the fourth period.
Scotty Tyler led Grafton with 14 points, and Caleb Keshemberg added 12.
Homestead had three players score in double figures, paced by Jarrod Waltonâ€™s 22 points. Luke Worthington and Jake Laihinen added 14 and 12 points,
This week, Grafton faced Milwaukee Tenor in a nonconference game Tuesday and will travel to Whitefish Bay for a 7:30 p.m. NSC contest Friday. On Feb. 12, the Hawks will play a 7:30 p.m. nonconference game at Wauwatosa West.
Image Information: GUARD ALEX TEICH slipped past a defender as he went up for a shot in Fridayâ€™s game against Nicolet. Photo by Sam Arendt