The Spartans lost a close game to Delano 63 to 58 in a tough conference match up, but were able to get some revenge against Holy Family with a nice defensive win 51 to 45. The Spartans were glad to have Sam Sustacek back in the lineup after being out a few weeks with a foot injury.
The Spartans were down early, but they started applying defensive pressure to get back in the Feb. 5 game. The score was tied near the end of the first half, but Delano was able to hit two key three-point shots to take a 31 to 25 lead into the locker room.
Orono made the game interesting in the second half and even took a one-point lead with five minutes to play. Delano was able to answer with another three-point shot and never trailed the rest of the game. The Spartans are realizing that they can play with anyone in their conference or section and have a good chance of winning their section if they can get healthy and play some good basketball down the stretch.
“I thought we played a great defensive game against the top team in the section,” Coach Barry Wohler said. “We have had a number of close games this year where we have had an opportunity to win and have come up a little short. The kids are working hard and believe that we will start finishing games off and gain some momentum going into sections.”
Cole Hennings led the team in scoring with 18 points. Matt Heussner, Justin Hammer and Chandler Jacoby each contributed seven points. Hammer had a great rebounding night and led the team with seven boards. Jacoby, a junior, also had four assists and four rebounds in only his second varsity game of the season. Ben Turnham also had a good game with six points, three assists and five rebounds. Chandler Perry added six points and three rebounds. Sam Sustacek was back in action with three points and two assists.
Tommy Gander Ostrom added four points and three rebounds. Andy Ten Eyck led the team in steals with three and added two assists.
Orono controlled the Feb. 8 game from the start and never let Holy Family get into an offensive flow, which led to Holy Family only shooting 30 percent from the field. Orono worked hard on the defensive end to keep the taller Holy Family Players off the offensive glass that they were able to do so well the first time these two teams played. Offensively, the Spartans had strong post play and the passing out of the post was a huge boost to the offense. Gander Ostrom, who finished with 11 points, got his buckets on great basket cuts that finished with great feeds from his teammates.
“I thought we played another great defensive game holding a very good Holy family team to 15 first half points and 45 points overall,” Wohler said. “We found a way to finish this game off, which is exciting. We have three games this week and hope to carry that momentum into those games.”
Joining Gander Ostrom in double digits was Chandler Perry with 13 points and Hennings with 10 points. Turnham had another great game and filled up every stat category and finished with nine points and seven rebounds. Matt Heussner and Noah Grothe added three points and one point respectively while Justin Hammer and Ten Eyck combined for four points and nine rebounds.