In every basketball game, there is a moment when a team goes on a run to change the outlook of the entire game. There are runs like that, and then there is the run that the Wrightstown Tigers boys’ basketball team went on in their non-conference season opener against Chilton on Monday night.
Holding a 34-22 lead at halftime, the Tigers of Coach Cory Haese saw the Chilton Tigers drain three pointers on their first possessions of the second half. With the lead cut to 34-28, Wrightstown went on an incredible 40-0 run in the second half, shutting Chilton down for nearly 12 minutes on their way to an easy 78-31 victory.
It didn’t start out well for Wrightstown (1-0 overall). Missing six of their first seven shots, the Tigers found themselves down early to Chilton, who scored first. Wrightstown got hot, however, draining a couple of threes to take a lead that they would never relinquish.
The slow start was not lost on coach Haese.
“We had 11 turnovers in the first half, and two in the second. Our shot selection in the second half was a little better,” Haese said. “We still jacked up a lot of threes, but the way they were defending us that is what they were giving us. We moved the ball a little bit better in the second half.”
One of the strengths of this year’s Wrightstown team will be the pressure defense they employ. It was definitely evident in the second half when they shut down Chilton for nearly half the stanza. Haese says the depth of his team will help in this defense strategy.
“Yeah, we feel we have enough depth to be able to pressure in the full court,” coach Haese said. “We have some length and a little bit of quickness, but we have to do a better job on the ball. We left our feet a little bit too much, especially in the first half.”
The Tigers were led by senior Zac Haese. The 6’4 guard poured in 28 points, including four basket and a foul opportunities, to lead all scorers. Stephen DeCramer added nine points. The younger Haese also noticed the slow start of his team.
“We had been working all week against pressure defense, but we didn’t hand the pressure as well as we could have,” Zac Haese said. “Once we got that together, we started to click.”
The three ball will be a vital part of the Tigers’ offense, and it showed during this victory. Eight players for Wrightstown drained at least one three in the game.
“If we are open in transition and it’s a good shot, we are going to take it,” the younger Haese said. “A lot of us are good shooters, so I think we can really put up big numbers with threes.”
Wrightstown opens its conference season on December 4th, taking on Fox Valley Lutheran at Wrightstown. Game time is 7:15pm.