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Luke (rt) and his good friend Larry Weishuhn are both in their mid seventies and still enjoying the great outdoors, maybe more now than ever! Photo by Luke Clayton
April 16, 2024


Category: Outdoor Life Author: Super User
Luke (rt) and his good friend Larry Weishuhn are both in their mid seventies and still enjoying the great outdoors, maybe more now than ever! Photo by Luke ClaytonThere was a time back when I was in my twenties and thirties that I thought I would be hanging…
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April 13, 2024

Close-to-home fun

Category: Outdoor Life Author: Super User
As an outdoors writer for the past 39 years, I’ve become accustomed to “gallavanting” around the country fishing, hunting and collecting material for my articles. Lately though, I’ve been sticking pretty close to home. Kenneth Shephard with a good “eater…

Final tip before turkey break

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IMG 4777Bryan Wyatt leaps for the blocked shot. Photo by Brian Besch

By Brian Besch
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Two of Polk County’s better basketball teams played a final game before the Thanksgiving holidays, with Big Sandy topping Onalaska 56-46 Tuesday in Dallardsville.

The game of Wildcats was closer than the final tally would indicate, and Onalaska got the better of the home team for much of the first half. The team by the lake took several five- and seven-point leads, only for Big Sandy to respond each time.
A run near the end of the first half put Big Sandy in front by two at the break.

“It is just bad execution,” Onalaska coach Nick Tyerman said following the contest. “I’ve got to do a better job in practice to make things habits. Obviously, I haven’t done a good enough job if we’re not doing it every single time on the floor. It really comes down to our defense. It is stuff that we drill. We are supposed to be rotating early to get more steals and anticipating. We are getting complacent and trying to take breaks and rests on defense, and we can’t do that. We have to be able to rotate and keep the intensity up all the time.”

The purple ‘Cats outscored Onalaska by four in each of the final two quarters. Roles reversed, as Big Sandy created several leads in the third and fourth quarters, only for Onalaska to rally until the final minutes.

Javen Criswell led Big Sandy and the game with 24 points, Nick Ortiz had 19, Shuday Beene-Williams had seven and Jamesley Flowers six. Lucas Jackson was the top Onalaska scorer with 16, Wyatt Reyes had 10, and Bryan Wyatt eight.

“There were a lot of silly turnovers, and we have to take care of the ball,” Tyerman said. “Sometimes that happens where kids get too comfortable, but they have to realize that nothing is easy in this game. We play a tough schedule for a reason. (Big Sandy) did a good job on defense, taking away a lot of stuff that we like to do. It made it tough for our shooters to get their shots off. That is stuff that we have to work on, and we have to be more comfortable shooting under pressure and just taking care of it that way.”

Tyerman said his Wildcats performed well at the beginning of a contest last week versus a ranked Orangefield team. A tough second quarter had the team behind, and more from which they could recover. They will receive a rematch next week, as both participate in the Big Sandy tournament. There was a better result Monday hosting Splendora. The team did not shoot well, but defensive intensity, Tyerman said, was the difference in obtaining a three-point victory over the larger school.

Big Sandy lost four of its top six players off last season’s group that went three rounds into the postseason. They have two starters and two more lettermen that have returned.

“It was everything that I expected it to be. It was a tough game that could have gone either way,” Big Sandy coach Kevin Foster said of the Onalaska contest. “We kind of made some plays down the stretch when we needed to and that is what those games come down to. We have been on the losing side of plenty of those ourselves. I was real proud of the kids and, obviously, we have a lot of new guys this year. We are trying to piece things together and have a lot of work to do still. We beat a good team today and it gives us a little confidence, knowing we are capable of doing that. I look for Onalaska to have a really great year, and Coach Tyerman has done a really good job with them. We struggled a lot early, because they were doing some things to us that took a while to adjust. We were able to take the lead going into the half and I thought that was big. It was a much closer game than what the scoreboard said.”

The Wildcats are 3-1 currently, with the lone loss to Class 4A Bridge City by five on Monday.

“(Monday), we were on the losing end of one of those close ones,” Foster said. “(Bridge City is) very big and very physical. We always schedule up and play up, and I was a little nervous about our schedule with the inexperience we have. We have East Chambers on the Tuesday that we come back (from Thanksgiving). Then, we have our tournament coming up. We’re not going to shy away; that is how we get better. I told the kids that we are not worried about what our record is going into district, we just want to be prepared.”

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