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Goodman-Pembine boys wins regional BB championship

The Goodman-Pembine boys basketball team breaks before winning its first regional title as a co-op program Saturday over Florence, 78-69, in the WIAA Division 5 regional championship game at Florence County Schools in Florence, Wis.

FLORENCE, Wis. – Goodman-Pembine outlasted host and No. 1 seed Florence, 78-69, to capture its first WIAA Division 5 regional championship as a co-op team.

Behind a double-double of game-highs 28 points and 13 rebounds from senior center Lamarr Lewis, junior sharp-shooter Boone Larison added 22 points for the Patriots, draining three of the team’s 10 treys in the contest.

Both teams came out with tremendous energy after having both played the previous night in regional semifinals.

Sophomore point guard Evan Johnson led the Bobcats with 18 points, while teammates Patrick Millan and Dominic DeMuri each scored 15 points. Millan also grabbed 11 rebounds, recording another double-double. Freshman William Kelley netted 13 points.

G-P came out firing, canning seven triples in the half, with most being early in the contest.

The Bobcats had strong looks at the basket in the paint. However, the Patriots were able to get back in the final few minutes of the contest in the early stages of the game.

“We took the lead early on and were able to get it back from playing fundamental basketball and hard work,” Patriots head coach Joe Nutt said. “We had the best practices we had all season as of late. The boys are focused 100 percent at the task at hand, and they played hard the last two nights.”

G-P got out to a 21-12 lead, causing Florence head coach Bryan Bomberg to call a timeout. Florence went on a 5-3 scoring run, prompting Nutt to call a timeout a few minutes later.

But the Patriots took control of the lead again as the half got closer to the end, taking a 32-22 advantage at the 4:20 mark. In the remaining four plus minutes of the half, the Patriots extended their lead to 42-31 at the intermission.

The keys to the Patriots owning an 11-point halftime advantage were outside shooting accuracy of Lewis, Larison, Ryan Erickson and point guard Jacob Kessel. Also, Lewis dominated the paint from a scoring and rebounding stand point.

The second half started with a Bobcats turnover on the opening possession, with Larison converting the turnover into points. At that point, the Bobcats charged back into the game, making up 10 of the 13-point margin they were behind by on four consecutive possessions in less than two minutes.

Freshman Logan Schuls netted all eight of his points in the game inside the first eight minutes of the half. All of a sudden, the Patriots only led by one point, 47-46.

At that point, it was the visiting team that began to struggle offensively as the Bobcats began converting offensively, both in half-court sets and also while pushing the tempo in transition. At the 10:40 mark, Johnson sank the back end of two free throws to give the Bobcats their first lead of the game at 50-49.

Within exactly one minute of play, the Bobcats extended their lead to 54-49. After Nutt called a timeout, the Patriots went back to what was working in the first half, smart and patient half-court sets and crashing the boards on both ends of the floor.

“When they (Florence) went back to a zone, it left the middle open. So I stuck Lamarr (Lewis) and Landon (Kalkofen) in the middle and work for some easy buckets or kick the ball out to the guards for some 3-pointers.”

The Patriots slowly crept back into the basketball game, going on a 16-5 scoring run over the next 7:42 to take a 65-59 lead. In the second half alone, G-P was 9-14 from the charity stripe.

“I have to tip my hat to them (G-P), they struggled at the end of the regular season and they found a way to turn things around at the right time,” Bomberg said. “I congratulate them and we wish them luck.”

These teams played one another twice in the regular season, both as members of the Northern Lakes Conference. The first matchup of the season Dec. 10 was won by G-P, 69-62.

Landon Kalkofen grabbed nine rebounds, Larison added two steals, four assists and three blocks to his stat line.

“I am very proud of this group of guys. I have been with them since they were in seventh grade, it’s been a long time,” Nutt stated.

The Bobcats end the season 15-6, with a second-place finish in the NLC standings. With the loss, Bomberg and the team say goodbye to three seniors: Braden Boettcher, who injured his knee with a couple weeks to go and spent the remainder of the season on crutches; and starters Blake McLain and reserve Tyler Niehaus.

“We’ve got a good core of younger players coming back, and after losing tonight, I am confident that they will remember this and put the work in in the offseason they need to,” Bomberg said.

Goodman-Pembine, which improves to 15-5 on the season, advances to the WIAA Division 5 Sectional No. 2 semifinal round, with the game to be played at 7 p.m. Thursday. The Pembine Panthers last won a regional championship in 2001 and the Goodman-Armstrong Creek Falcons last won in 2000. The site of the game and the Patriots opponent will be determined on Sunday.

Check back at The Daily News on Sunday evening for further information on Goodman-Pembine’s next game.

Box Score

Good-Pembine 42 36 – 78

Florence 31 38 – 69

G-P: Kessel 6, McVay 8, Erickson 8, Kalkofen 6, Larison 22, Lewis 28; FT: 12-20; F: 15; Fouled Out: Lewis; 3-point FG: Lewis 2, Larison 3, Erickson 2, McVay, Kessel 2.

FLORENCE: Schuls 8, Millan 15, DeMuri 15, Kelley 13, Johnson 18; FT: 8-12; F: 19; Fouled Out: Millan; 3-point FG: Johnson 2, Kelley 3, Schuls 2; Rebounds: 28, Millan 11.

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