Comets drop tournament opener
By Greg Seubert
It wasn’t Hunter Marcom’s best game, but it’s one he’ll never forget.
The Waupaca junior scored a team-high 28 points, but the Comets still ended up on the short end of a 75-66 score to Wausau East March 3 in a WIAA Division 2 boys’ basketball regional quarterfinal on the Lumberjacks’ home court.
Marcom’s total included his 1,000th point, which came on his first basket of the second half.
“It’s something I think I’ve always been working toward,” he said. “As the season went along and I got closer to 1,000, I was thinking about it more. It was a really good moment with my parents, friends and family after the game.
“I wasn’t worrying about if it was going to happen in that game,” he added. “I knew it would come either this year or next year.”
It looked at first like the 11th-seeded Comets were on their way to an upset win over the sixth-seeded Lumberjacks.
Marcom’s 20 points in the first half helped Waupaca take a 38-28 lead into the locker room at the break.
“I had one half earlier this year that was similar to that, but that was by far the best this year,” he said. “At halftime, my coaches were telling me I was four points away. I didn’t realize that. When I made the shot to reach 1,000, that was a pretty special moment.”
Marcom opened the second half with a pair of free throws. His 1,000th point came on a basket that gave the Comets a 42-28 lead.
Waupaca’s lead didn’t last much longer, as the Lumberjacks used a 16-0 run to take a 46-44 lead.
The Comets eventually regained the lead and took a 50-47 lead on a pair of free throws from Marcom, but he later fouled out with the Lumberjacks leading 57-54. Waupaca tied the game one more time on Alex Klemp’s three-point play that made it 57-57, but the Lumberjacks outscored the Comets 18-9 the rest of the way.
Klemp added 18 points in his final game for Waupaca, while East’s Gabe Krueger led all scorers with 40.
Waupaca wrapped up its season with a 4-19 record, but coaches still named Marcom to the North Eastern Conference’s all-conference first team.
“I’m really honored to get that award with the record we had,” he said. “I’m looking forward to next year and trying to maybe get some more wins. It was tough going up against some of those better teams, but we know how we have to play to beat them. This year, we didn’t get there in a lot of those games, but it’s exciting to look to next year and be hopeful for those games.”