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Waupaca tops Little Chute

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Little Chute's Issac Vandeurzen falls on Waupaca's Shaun Anderson during a North Eastern Conference game Jan. 11 at Waupaca High School. Greg Seubert Photo

Comet offense shows signs of life

By Greg Seubert

After losing their two previous games by a combined 70 points, the Waupaca boys’ basketball team came into its Jan. 11 North Eastern Conference matchup with Little Chute looking for a way to put points on the scoreboard.

The Comets found a way, as four players scored in double figures in an 80-68 win over the Mustangs.

The win, Waupaca’s third of the season and first over the Mustang in nearly five years, came three days after the Comets fell to Fox Valley Lutheran 78-38 and a week after a 79-49 loss to Marinette.

Waupaca 80, Little Chute 68
The Comets trailed for much of the first half, but took a 26-25 lead into the locker room at halftime after Brandon Wanty’s three-pointer capped a 12-2 run.
Another three, this one from Justin Vaughn, gave Waupaca a 29-27 lead early in the second half and Waupaca never trailed again.
The Comets led by as many as 18 points before Little Chute used a 19-6 run to cut the deficit to 65-60.

Noah Mueller came into the game needing 12 points to break the Mustangs’ career scoring record. He broke the record with a three-pointer with 3:20 to go in the game that cut the Comets’ lead to 65-58.

“That’s a guy that’s been around for four years now,” coach Ethan Dayton said. “We were going to limit him and make every shot that he takes difficult. If he makes difficult shots, that’s fine. No easy ones for him because he’ll put those in.”

Waupaca’s final seven points came at the free-throw line and the Comets made 21 of 25 free throws in the game.

Vaughn and Hunter Marcom led the Comets with 20 points, while Wanty and Shaun Anderson added 16.

Connor Christopherson led the Mustangs with 15 and Mueller finished with 13.

The win was Waupaca’s first victory over Little Chute since a 63-59 win on Feb. 15, 2014, and snapped a streak of eight straight losses.

“There’s nothing but jubilation in that locker room because that’s the best game we’ve played all year by far,” Dayton said. “It was evident from the tip. That’s a statement win for us right there. It’s been so long since we’ve gotten Little Chute, a tough, tough program. They made a run like we knew they were going to do, but we held on and did just enough to get a ‘W’ over a solid club.

“That was phenomenal toughness by every single player,” he said. “All five starters and every guy that came off the bench was tough. It’s something that we preach every day. Sometimes, you have to see it in action before you understand how much of an impact it has on a game.”

FVL 78, Waupaca 38
The Foxes led 38-22 at halftime and outscored Waupaca 40-16 Jan. 8.

Vaughn scored 11 of his team-high 13 points in the first half, but no other Waupaca player scored more than five points.
Isaiah Ulman led the Foxes with 18 points.

Waupaca will play at Denmark Thursday, Jan. 17, and will head to Luxemburg-Casco Tuesday, Jan. 22. Tipoff for both games is set for 7 p.m.

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