Rich Hill vs. Appleton City
The Rich Hill Tigers on Friday night travelled to Appleton City for the last regular season game of the 2019-2020 season. The Tigers were coming off a disappointing loss on Tuesday night against the Lakeland Vikings and were hoping to end the season on a winning note heading into districts on Monday night.
The JV Tigers started off the male portion of the evening with another ½ game contest. Rich Hill’s has struggled at times this season but were ready for the contest. The Tigers got off to a pretty good start in the first quarter with solid defense and the offense making a good showing and after the first quarter they led 13- 8. In the second quarter the defense let down a little and the offense seem to stall but with a good determination to end the season on a winning note the Tigers were able to hold off the Bulldogs and took the game 20-18.
The Tigers were led by Daylen Walton with 9, followed by Daniel Bridgewater and Blake Laning with 3 a piece, Adrien King and Noah Smarr added 2 each and Garren Stuecks with 1.
The Varsity Tigers got off to a very slow start in their game against a Bulldog team that had a tough season but had come to play. The Appleton City took to defensively pressing and the Tigers seem to have trouble being able to break it in the early going and found themselves down by five at the end of the first quarter by score of 8-13. The second quarter the Tigers didn’t seem to fair much better and as the quarter continued the Bulldogs confidence grew in both their offense and defense. The Tigers seem to be getting to the basket but cold shooting and a let down on the defensive end allowed Appleton City to extend their lead to double digits at the half. Going into the locker room at half time the Tigers found themselves on the short end of a 22-32 score. Adjustments were made at the half and the Tigers felt confident they could get back into the game. The third quarter didn’t start out as promising as Rich Hill would have like with the Bulldogs expanding their lead to as much as fifteen points. Every time the Tigers seemed to make headway the Bulldogs seem to break their momentum but about half through the quarter the Tigers finally got on track and were able to close the gap to 44-50 to start the fourth quarter. The final frame proved to be a both wild an exciting one. The Tigers kept chipping away at the lead and finally with about forty seconds left in the game Rich Hill hit a long trey to tie the score. Appleton City took the ball back down to their end but were unable to score leaving the Tigers with about thirty seconds left to set their last shot of the game. The Tigers patiently worked the clock down and got the last shot, that failed to hit the mark which sent the game into overtime, the first of the year for Rich Hill. The overtime didn’t start well for the Tigers as the Bulldogs hit four free throws within the first minute to take what seemed like a large lead. The Tigers settled down and again when to work to close the gap. An important trey found its mark which put the Tigers back to within one and then another bucket put them into the lead for good. The Bulldogs hit another three but with the Tigers able to get to the free throw line which put the game away with Rich Hill winning against Appleton City in a hard fought game 73—68. With the win the Tigers were able to finish their regular season with 11 wins and 14 losses and a WEMO Conference record of 5-4. The next game for the Tigers will be in the first round of the District 6 tournament played at Rich Hill on Monday night at 7:45 against the Ballard Bulldogs. At this point of the season it’s win and advance, lose and you go home.
Scoring for the Tigers against the Bulldogs is as follows, Sage Bolser 27, Clifton Bridgewater 21, Magal Chol 10, Lucas Harwood 7, Bryce Yohe 5 and Daylen Walton added 4