The Hamilton boys basketball team bounced back from a 1-point loss the day before to beat Beloit Memorial on Dec. 29 at the JustAgame Holiday Tournament in Wisconsin Dells, 61-51. HHS held a 1-point lead at the half but outscored Beloit in the second half, 26-17.
'They were a scary team,' HHS coach Andy Cerroni said. 'They caused some problems for us with their athleticism. For us to bounce back like we did, I felt it showed a lot of character on our kids' part.'
Memorial came out in a zone defense, which is something the Chargers haven't seen often this year.
'That was something we didn't anticipate them doing, but they did,' Cerroni said. 'I thought we really attacked it well and we had some patience. We made them get out of it in a hurry. Jacob Hartung was outstanding from a standpoint of shooting the ball. They couldn't cover him. To our kids' credit, we found him open in the zone.'
Hartung led HHS with 26 points. EJ LeDonne had 8 points, three assists, two rebounds and two steals.
'I thought EJ LeDonne played his best game of the year,' Cerroni said. 'He was just keyed in on both ends of the floor defensively and offensively. He really played the middle of the zone really well and made some great decisions. He did a great job.'
Travis Janus scored 9 points, pulled down five rebounds, had four assists and two steals. Luke Semb was second on the team with 13 points.
Hamilton only turned the ball over nine times.
'I thought we did a really nice job taking care of the basketball,' Cerroni said.
Hamilton hosts Greater Metro Conference foe Brookfield East at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Reserves pick up wins
The varsity reserve squad won the last two games after beginning the season 0-2. On Dec. 31, Hamilton beat Grafton, 47-38. Ben Nolde, a 6-0 junior, scored a team-high 16 points. Sophomore Connor Allen had 10 points, and sophomore Ryan Filo contributed seven rebounds and 5 points.
Brad Purko scored 6 and Jake Kessenich had 7.
On Dec. 30, HHS beat Wilmot, 60-32. Other members of the team are Eric Semb, Dylan Gissal, Mikey Bruch, Alec Kastory and Jack Liedtke.
Frosh stay perfect
The Hamilton freshmen are 10-0 this season after victories over Lake Geneva Badger, Milwaukee King, Waukesha South and Arrowhead in the last few weeks. HHS averages 65.4 points per game and gives up just 39.9 a contest. On the freshman B level, Hamilton is 4-0.
Against King on Dec. 23, Hamilton trailed early to start the game, 13-3, but led at the half, 36-21. Chris Barnes and Connor Smith played strong defense in the 59-44 win.
Zac Bagley had a team high 19 points and has taken a leadership role on the team. Zach Herbert scored 18 points in the game and has been consistent for the Chargers.
In the Arrowhead game, which Hamilton won, 71-62, Bagley scored 31.
'He didn't force anything,' coach Dan Heckman said. 'He let the game come to him and was awesome. Just a tough performance, and he is playing with a ton of confidence.'
Herbert scored 17 in the game.