New faces will pick up scoring slack

“Mean Wolverine” was out in full force during Tuesday’s season-opening win over Catholic Central. The Wolverines didn’t have enough firepower in a 92-62 loss. (Rick Benavides/SLN)

 

By Chris Bennett

Sports Correspondent

At best, last season must be considered an off year for the Waterford Union High School boys basketball team.

The Wolverines struggled to a 7-17 record, and went 5-9 and finished sixth in the eight-team Southern Lakes Conference.

Waterford endured separate losing streaks of seven and five games, but closed the season by winning three of four games. One of those victories included a 59-41 road playoff win Feb. 28 at Jefferson in a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal.

The Wolverines’ season ended March 3 with a 73-62 loss to Westosha Central in a regional final at Paddock Lake.

Waterford opens the season with five players coach Paul Charapata said can score – Matt Borchardt, Will Busch, Mike Schimelfenyg, Richie LePine and Paul Schmidt. Sam Engel and Kirk Kaldor join that group as the Wolverines’ returning letter-winners.

Charapata said Borchardt is the Wolverines’ leading returning scorer at 9.9 points per game. Busch averaged 8.2 points and Schimelfenyg 6.2 points last season.

Waterford’s leading scorer from last season, Matt Korman, averaged 17.5 points per game, and is since graduated.

“We believe we will be able to score points,” Charapata said. “Solid defense will be the key to sustaining success. With higher levels of commitment, effort and toughness, our defense should improve.”

Perhaps some new faces will provide a spark on the defensive end, and offensively as well.

Senior center Zach Stiewe is out for basketball after an outstanding football tenure along the Wolverines’ offensive line. Junior guard Willie Ketterhagen and sophomore guard Hunter Karpinski and sophomore forward/center Ian Graham are also expected to contribute.

Westosha Central is the defending SLC champion. Traditional power Burlington is also expected to be tough, as are Wilmot and Union Grove.

Waterford opens its SLC season Dec. 8 at Wilmot.

 

Waterford boys 65, Catholic Central 54

The visiting Toppers came out strong in the season opener for both teams Tuesday night, but Matt Borchardt and Mike Schimelfenyg were too much in the second half as the Wolverines enjoyed a comfortable victory.

Borchardt led the Wolverines with 19 points, 12 in the second half, and he knocked down three of the team’s eight 3-pointers.

Schimelfenyg added 13, 10 of which came in the second half.

Catholic Central senior Frank Koehnke led all scorers with 21 points, and Brandon Pum added 12.

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