Frank Koehnke leads the area with 19.2 points per game. (John Fisher/SLN)

 

By Mike Ramczyk

sports@southernlakesnewspapers.com

And Dana Ehrmann

Sports Correspondent

The entire slate of Tuesday’s area sports was wiped out due to a massive snowstorm that dropped 8 inches on Burlington, but last week the Demons showed promise in finding an identity without leading scorer Nick Klug.

It looks like Burlington will lean on its defense and balanced scoring attack in the season’s final month, as a loss from Westosha Central means the Demons (8-5, 5-2) are only one game out of first place in the Southern Lakes Conference with Union Grove (6-1) and Central (5-1) ahead of them.

Burlington still must play at Union Grove and at home against the Falcons, the two-time defending champs.

Burlington coach Steve Berezowitz said the road hasn’t been easy without Klug, who averaged nearly 17 points per game and ran the offense, but the Demons are improving.

“We always have winning the SLC as one of our goals,” Berezowitz said. “We will just keep trying to get better week by week and see where we are at the end. We are starting to find out who we are without Nick, but it is still a work in progress.”

“If we are going to be successful, balance will be what you see from us. We have adjusted some things on both ends of the floor to play to our new strengths, and I like the progress we are making.”

On Saturday at home, when Ron Kahl was honored at halftime for his 55 years of service to BHS with the dedication of “Kahl Court,” the Demons rallied in the second half against nonconference foe Kenosha Tremper but were edged, 68-67.

Burlington was up by one point with less than a minute to play, but two turnovers in the final 25 seconds were disastrous.

“I kick myself on the last turnover because we had a timeout left but I thought we had two guys open and chose not to take it,” Berezowitz said. “We were able to grind the entire second half to keep it close. The guys played really hard against a good nonconference opponent.”

Tremper (5-7) got 17 points each from Blake Hoffman and Tristan Jass to lead the way.

Burlington featured five players in double figures, led by 13 from Trey Krause including four triples.

The Demons utilized their height to pound the boards, with Dylan Runkel (11 points, 10 rebounds) and Brock Halbach (10 points, 11 rebounds) registering double-doubles.

Nick Webley added 12 points, and Sean Safar scored 11.

For Berezowitz, it was special to honor Kahl, who spoke at halftime alongside his family.

“Having the opportunity to teach with Mr. Kahl was very special as he had a great impact on me in many ways,” Berezowitz said. “Ron regularly shares advice, his beliefs, and often his teaching strategies. However, what he never did was judge. Ron is a giver in every sense of the word, and our school district and Burlington community is lucky to have a man like him. He is simply the best.”

On Jan. 18, Burlington shut down visiting Elkhorn, 51-26, and moved a game ahead of the Elks in the conference standings.

After leading, 16-15, at halftime, the Demons smothered Elkhorn defensively in the second half, only allowing nine points.

Grant Tully led another balanced scoring attack with 11 points.

Safar scored nine points, and Webley added eight.

Six Demons scored five or more points.

“We played extremely well defensively the entire night,” Berezowitz said. “Holding a team to 26, especially when they have scored well against some very good teams, is a testament to how much we are improving. We really handled their pressure well in the second half, and we found ways to make stops.”

While Tuesday’s nonconference game at Mukwonago was cancelled, Burlington returns to action at home Friday against Lake Geneva Badger (1-13, 1-6 SLC).

 

Burlington girls 53, Elkhorn 45 (OT)

On Jan. 18 at Elkhorn, senior guard Jessa Burling had another brilliant all-around performance for the Lady Demons.

Burling recorded an impressive triple-double with 26 points, 19 rebounds and 14 steals in a game that was tied, 45-45, at the end of regulation.

The Demons, behind a 3-pointer and four free throws from Caitlin Matson, outscored the Elks, 8-0, in the extra period.

Burlington improved to 10-6 overall and 6-2 in the Southern Lakes Conference, and it has won three of four games.

Matson finished with nine points.

“Tonight the girls showed a lot of grit,” Burlington coach Mary Parker said. “It was not pretty at some points, but our effort and hustle in the end helped us to get the win. Give Elkhorn credit they battled, and had a great game plan going into the game. Our defense was our best offense tonight. We got most of our points in transition off of a steal or quick outlet.”

Burlington hosts Badger Friday.

 

Toppers lose two

The Catholic Central boys basketball team played back-to-back Friday and Saturday at home last week, but the Toppers couldn’t come away with a win.

On Saturday, the Toppers fell to nonconference foe Oakfield, 63-49.

Frank Koehnke led the way with 15 points, and Brandon Pum and Bennett Wright each added nine points, but the team shot 37 percent inside the arc and only 2-for-10 outside it.

David Doerflinger led the team with five rebounds, and Wright added six assists.

Doerflinger added eight points.

Catholic Central shot 64 percent (9-14) from the foul line.

The Toppers (2-10, 1-7 Metro Classic) host powerhouse Dominican Saturday.

The night before, the Toppers rallied from a 19-point halftime deficit to push Shoreland Lutheran to the limit, but came up just short in a 49-48 loss.

Koehnke scored 21 points and grabbed 15 rebounds.

Chas Miles added 11 points.

Tyler Rieck added six rebounds.

The Toppers made their living at the charity stripe, connecting on 20 of 27 free throws. Koehnke hit 9 of 12.

Catholic Central was cold from the floor, shooting 30 percent from 2-point and only 16 percent from 3-point range.

 

Koker drops 40 on Lady Toppers

The girls Catholic Central basketball team had a big problem on Saturday, Jan. 20 at Shoreland Lutheran.

Her name was Chelby Koker.

Actually, she was a problem for Catholic Central back on Friday, Dec. 1 as well. In that contest, she scored 32 points.

This time around, Koker dropped 40 points, and her teammates only scored seven more in a 47-40 victory.

“We couldn’t stop Chelby Koker.,” said Catholic Central head coach Joe Spierenburg. “And when she missed, we gave up offensive boards.”

Still, Catholic Central was able to cut a 10-point deficit down to two points before a couple of foul-outs closed the door on the comeback.

Junior Emma Klein scored 19 to lead the Lady Toppers.

Coach Spierenburg appreciated what his reserves were able to contribute.

“Katie Goethal played big minutes for us off the bench. She came in and played great defense and helped change the game in the second half.”

 

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