By BURT ANGELI
NIAGARA, Wis. - Niagara's full-court pressure locked up Florence in a non-conference boys basketball game Monday.
Burt Angeli/The Daily News Photo
Niagara’s Joey Swanson (5) finds an opening among Florence’s Austin Herman (33), Kyle Trudell (41) and Louie Garcia (21) in Tuesday’s non-conference basketball rivalry.
The Badgers registered 21 steals and 24 Bobcat first-half turnovers in a 51-30 decision.
"Our full-court pressure was stifling," Niagara Coach Jim Hoogland said. "We just smothered them with turnover after turnover.
"That was some of the best full-court defense I've seen in a long time. I was real happy with that."
Florence held a 6-4 lead midway through the first quarter before Niagara went 10-0 the rest of the stanza.
The Badgers continued to roll in the second quarter, chalking up a 12-2 run.
"They came out ready to kick our butts tonight," Florence Coach Tom Beck said. "They wanted it a whole lot more than we did. That was evident right from the get-go. You have to give those guys a lot of credit."
Zach Zychowski, with 11 points in the first half, led the Badgers with 13 points. Jordan Zawada and Joey Swanson each chipped in 10 and Zach Walker had eight with 11 rebounds.
The second half was more of a defensive struggle by both teams.
"On the offensive side, we couldn't take care of the basketball and we shot poorly," Hoogland said. "We have a lot of confidence on that defensive side.
"Part of the problem is when you've played that frenzied defense the kids don't know how to shift gears. They have to understand when you play that fast defensively they have to slow down offensively."
The Badgers owned a 36-18 advantage after three periods.
Louie Garcia's eight points topped Florence in the spirited rivalry.
Niagara (4-3) hosts another regional foe in Wausaukee on Thursday. Florence (1-4) visits Forest Park on Monday.
Freddy Noeske's 21 points triggered Florence's junior varsity past Niagara 61-23. Lucas Gareau chipped in 16 points and Michael Sword had 12 for the Bobcats.
Florence 6 2 10 12 - 30
Niagara 10 16 10 15 - 51
FLORENCE: Schuirman 4, Ouradnik 3, Garcia 8, Valine 3, Herman 4, Trudell 2, Bomberg 6. FT: 3-8. F: 16.
NIAGARA: Liebergen 3, Swanson 10, Zychowski 13, Walker 8, Anderson 5, Oratch 2, Zawada 10. FT: 7-14. F: 13.
3-point FG: Swanson, Zychowski. FG shooting: Niagara 21-58, Florence 12-40. Rebounding: Niagara 31 (Walker 11, Zawada 6), Florence 26.