Nagging injury turns out more serious, Burlington must change offense

Nick Klug looks for the open man last month at Lake Geneva Badger, the night he broke Tony Romo’s all-time scoring record at BHS. A nagging injury turned into a broken right foot, and it caused the senior’s season to end. (Rick Benavides/SLN)


By Mike Ramczyk

BURLINGTON – According to Burlington head varsity basketball coach Steve Berezowitz, senior point guard Nick Klug will miss the remaining two months of the season due to injury.

Klug, a Division 2 Winona State University commit, averaged 19 points in the team’s first four games, leading the Demons to a 3-1 record and breaking Tony Romo’s all-time scoring mark at Burlington High School.

But during a Dec. 19 game at Waterford, Klug suffered a severe sprained left ankle and needed crutches to leave the court.

He missed the team’s next four games, with Burlington going 2-2, and was cheering on his teammates Friday night during the Demons’ 72-53 victory at home against Wilmot. Two weeks after the ankle injury, Klug was manuevering on a scooter and wore a protective boot.

Berezowitz said Klug found out Thursday from a specialist with the Milwaukee Bucks that his right foot was broken and further usage could result in a career-ending predicament.

Berezowitz and members of Klug’s family said Klug received multiple expert opinions on his right foot, which has nagged the 6-foot-1 senior since football season. They believe it was an injury suffered during football, and the right foot wasn’t healing and still causing pain though Klug was playing on it, so he got X-rays.

Klug sought Berezowitz’s help to break the news to the team Thursday.

“I feel bad for Nick,” Berezowitz said. “He is devastated. The team is devastated.”

Klug was the team’s leading scorer with 16.8 points per game and was the team’s primary ball-handler. He also contributed 3 assists and 3 triples per contest.

The two-time all-conference and first team All-Area performer won’t be easy to replace.

Berezowitz said the squad will explore as many options as needed offensively without Klug. Berezowitz added he’s confident Klug will play basketball again, and several sources said he should be ready to go by summer.

Berezowitz said the stress fracture is in a precarious spot, one where any further damage would be catastrophic.


Demons go big to pummel Panthers

Burlington relied on a guard-by-committee approach to set up the offense Friday night, and the team’s size advantage was on display.

With Wilmot not featuring a player taller than 6-foot-3, the Demons beat up the Panthers down low with 51 rebounds.

Brock Halbach, a 6-foot-7 senior center, led the way with 18 points and 10 rebounds, and added an earth-shattering dunk during a pivotal 23-11 stretch to end the game.

At times Halbach toyed with Wilmot’s smaller defenders, simply reaching over them for offensive rebounds and easy buckets.

Along with Halbach, Drew Pesick grabbed 12 rebounds and Dylan Runkel and Trent Turzenski, both 6-foot-6, chipped in eight boards each.

Burlington enjoyed a commanding lead most of the second half, until Wilmot’s top player, Latrell Glass, got going with 5 minutes to play.

He droved for a swift layup and knocked down three free throws to pull Wilmot within seven points at 49-42.

That’s when Burlington got big, clogging up the middle with its bigs and receiving energy from 6-foot-3 junior Nick Webley, who scored six straight points to push the lead back to double digits.

Glass led all scorers with 23, but the normally sharpshooting Panthers were cold Friday, connecting on only two triples.

Burlington improved to 6-3 overall and 4-1 in the Southern Lakes Conference.

The Demons travel to two-time defending SLC champion Westosha Central Tuesday night, their first major SLC test without Klug.