Malovrh sparks Columbus Catholic in WIAA Division 5 boys basketball sectional semifinal victory over Assumption

Posted on 08 March 2018 by paul

This story is sponsored by: WDLB-AM 1450 and WOSQ-FM 92.3 radio

By Mark Massoglia

WISCONSIN RAPIDS – Thanks to a combination of 11-straight points by Nick Malvorh and Ethan Meece, the Marshfield Columbus Catholic boys basketball team took the lead for good early in the second half of a WIAA Division 5 sectional semifinal game.

The scoring spurt happened in the first 2 minutes, 30 seconds of the second half to put the Dons up by nine points en route to a 63-53 win over Assumption on Thursday at Lincoln High School.

Columbus Catholic (24-2) takes on Green Bay N.E.W Lutheran (14-12), a 78-67 winner over Phelps, at 1 p.m. Saturday at Antigo High School’s Sheldon Fieldhouse. Columbus Catholic will be trying for its second-straight sectional title and subsequent trip to the WIAA state tournament.

Malvorh paced the Dons with 23 points, making seven of 10 from 3-point range. His first basket of the game was a two-pointer. Meece, scored 10 of his 13 points in the second half. He made one 3-pointer in the first half.

“The team just got me the ball,” Malovrh said. “They made it happen and I was there to put the ball in, thankfully. The team did a great job getting me open.”

Added Columbus coach Joe Konieczny, “Nick has been there all year for us and we went on a nice run there in the second half making four 3s. Our guys did a good job finding him tonight.”

Columbus Catholic went 9-for-17 from 3-point range, while Assumption managed four, two from Jacob Sullivan, who led the Royals with 16 points and a pair from Tyler Schmidt. He finished with 13. Joe Grundhoffer also finished with 13.

Even down nine points early in the second half, the Royals kept battling. Assumption closed the gap to 36-34 with 10:13 to play, but couldn’t overcome the early deficit.

“No matter what the lead was, 8, 10, 7, they just didn’t quit,” Konieczny said. “The Sullivan kid just didn’t quit, neither did Grundhoffer, and Schmidt didn’t quit.

“Assumption is as relentless and well coached team as you’re going to face. We have so much respect for coach (Gary) Weisenbeck and his kids. They’re a classy operation and we’re grateful we were able to win tonight.”

Down the stretch, Columbus Catholic was able to hit enough free throws to keep Assumption at bay.

Noah Hansen scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half, including 4-for-4 from the free throw line.

Not only did the win take the Dons one step closer to a second straight trip to state and third overall, the win avenged 68-43 loss to the Royals during the Cranberry Classic back in November.

“It’s always a battle when we face Assumption and we wanted to get one back,” Malovrh said. “Jared (Mandel) and I were the only ones scoring back then, but Bryce (Fuerlinger), Ethan and Noah (Hansen) all started to step up their game and do what they do best and we work off each other.”

Dons 63, Royals 53
Columbus Catholic 23 40 – 63
Assumption 24 29 – 53
Nick Malvorh 23, Bryce Fuerlinger 7, Ethan Meece 10, Noah Hansen 12, Noah Taylor 11. 3-pointers: 9 (Malovrh 7, Fuerlinger 1, Meece 1). Record: 24-2.
ASSUMPTION (59): Tyler Schmidt 13, Ethan Peters 4, Jacob Sullivan 16, Joe Grundhoffer 13, Lucas Jungwirth 2. 3-pointers: 4 (Sullivan 2, Schmidt 2). Record: 20-6.

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