Klug, Geiger among league scoring leaders
By Mike Ramczyk
KENOSHA – The Honda Classic at Carthage College may have resulted in a 1-1 record for the Burlington boys varsity basketball team, but Tuesday’s impressive victory may have provided a glimpse at the promising ceiling for the young Demons.
Playing a traditionally strong program, Kenosha Bradford, a Division 1 nonconference foe, Burlington overcame a five-point halftime deficit and 38 points from college hoops hopeful DeMonte Nelson in an 82-74 victory.
Senior guard Luke Geiger poured in a season-high 28 points thanks to four triples and a perfect 12-for-12 from the line, and junior point guard Nick Klug added 23 points and seven rebounds.
“I was able to penetrate and get to the foul line a bunch of times,” Geiger said Thursday. “It was one of those games where everything just clicked, not just for me but for all of the other teammates. We played with a lot of energy and heart on Tuesday, which is something we need to do every game.”
On Wednesday night, however, Burlington ran out of gas in a 65-46 defeat to Racine St. Catherine’s.
On Tuesday, Burlington sunk a season-high 32 free throws on 37 attempts (86 percent) and enjoyed a 48-35 second half in which it contained the talented Nelson, who’s garnered interest from several major D-1 college programs.
“We defended better in the second half,” said Burlington coach Steve Berezowitz. “We also did a better job offensively of not settling. We took care of the ball better and got good looks or free throws. It was a nice win for us.”
Playing without the inside presence of junior Brock Halbach (6-foot-6) and Dale Damon, Burlington held Nelson to tough shots in the final half thanks to solid defense from Grant Tully and Harrison George.
Liam Safar added 12 points and five rebounds for Burlington (3-4 overall).
The Demons shot 62 percent from the floor as a team, and it stemmed from patient basketball. Burlington was able to work the ball around and play for good shots, which often led to the charity stripe.
Bradford (3-4) committed 27 fouls to only 16 for Burlington.
“When you can score 32 from the free-throw line, your offense looks pretty good,” Berezowitz said. “In the second half, we were much more efficient with our possessions.”
Sean Safar added eight points, and Drew Pesick pitched in four points and four rebounds.
“Sean, Liam and Drew played some great basketball for us,” Berezowitz added.
Burlington travels to Janesville Craig at 2:45 p.m. Friday before returning to conference play at Elkhorn Tuesday, Jan. 3.
Klug leads the Southern Lakes Conference with 22.5 points per game, while Geiger is fifth at 19.7.