Cyclones skim the surface with multiple wins
By Kari Toland and Alyssa Koch
photo by Tommy Yang
Freshman Jon Braeger shoots a basket at
the game against UW-Marinette Nov. 19.
Despite the loss of four starting players, The Cyclones basketball team had a promising start to their season.
The Cyclones hosted UW-Sheboygan at home on Nov. 11. The team pulled a quick lead when freshman Trevor Krizenesky assisted freshman Jon Braeger with two lay-ups.
The game was back and forth for the first half, but the Cyclones managed to pull a 36-31 lead before the buzzer.
Following half-time, the team turned a few steals into a double-digit lead for UW-Fox. That lead held strong for the rest of the game with a win for the Cyclones 76-61.
The team had a big win against UW-Richland at home Nov. 8. The Roadrunners held an early 11-4 lead, but the Cyclones quickly turned the game around. Braeger made two three-point goals and Krizenesky made one.
The half ended at 30-25. The team shot and made eight out of 13 three-point goals in the second half. On the defensive, the Cyclones forced the Roadrunners to a 35.5% shot rate and 0/4 three-point shots. Krizenesky and Braeger each made 18 points. Freshman Matt Lehner helped out with 17 points and eight rebounds, wagering a final score of 76-49.
"We create a team-family atmosphere and focus on playing together. We play hard defensively, and do little things like take charges and dive after loose balls. We share the ball on offense and develop multiple scorers," Coach Lee Rabas said.
The team fought hard for a win in overtime against UW-Waukesha on Nov. 14. For a second year in a row, the Cyclones defeated the Cougars in overtime for a 83-78 win. Krizenesky and sophomore Trevor Smith made four free-throws in the last six seconds of the game.
For three straight seasons up to their 2012-2013 opener, the Cyclones maintained a 70-10 record. Last season the Cyclones won the WCC-East conference championship for a second time in a row. They lost defending their WCC Tournament championship title in the 2011-2012 semifinals to UW-Richland.
"We're watching a lot of film and trying to learn from our mistakes as well as reinforcing the things we are doing well. [The team is] trying to maximize our practice time together," Rabas said.
UW-Fox went up against UW-Marinette on Nov. 19. They began the game with a few three-point shots. Krizenesky, Braeger and freshman Jordan Kaufman each making one three pointer. Kaufman also had a steal that led to an assist to Braeger with two minutes left in the first half. The Cyclones ended the first half at 39-29.
In the second half, the Buccaneers made their way back to the top. The Cyclones led 62-59 with 10 minutes left in the game. The last minutes of the game were a struggle for the men to pull ahead and beat UW-Marinette. The Cyclones finally lost 80-77 when the opposing team hit a last minute three pointer.
"We know we were the better team, they just shot lights out and got lucky. We'll get them next time," Kaufman said.
Cyclones fans saw hard work from the men this season.
"I think they played hard, but lost some defensive intensity in the second half. The Marinette guard made some great shots and the boys were a bit unlucky on the last shot," fan and Kaufman's father Jim said.
In the face of their loss against UW-Marinette, the Cyclones came back for a huge win against UW-Washington. The Cyclones traveled to West Bend and came home with a 71-43 win. UW-Fox started the first half with a lead of 43-17. Seven players scored in the first half alone, including Braeger and Lehner, who each made nine points. The team also scored all eight of their free-throws. In the second half, UW-Washington handed 23 turn-overs to Cyclones to help UW-Fox win the game.
For a detailed schedule of 2012-13 games for the Cyclones, visit http://www.uwfox.uwc.edu/athletics/basketball_men/index.html