Frank Koehnke gets fouled in recent action. Despite a down season, the Toppers crushed Eastbrook Academy Saturday. The boys have been putting in extra time in the gym of late in an attempt to improve. (John Fisher/SLN)



By Mike Ramczyk

After playing three games in four nights, Catholic Central boys basketball head coach Kyle Scott gave his guys the weekend off.

But even though the Toppers picked up their third win of the season Feb. 1, they aren’t nearly satisfied.

Tired and weary from two road games in three nights, the young Toppers weren’t focusing on rest.

“After the game Friday night, my phone is blowing up with the kids wanting to get shots up on Saturday morning,” Scott said. “It says that they are committed to working hard, even in the midst of a tough season. They haven’t hung their heads at all and know their hard work will pay off sooner or later.”

Sandwiched between an 82-37 blowout loss Jan. 30 at Prairie and a 67-49 defeat at home against Thomas More was an impressive road victory at Kenosha St. Joe’s.

Frank Koehnke bounced back from a season-low two-point performance two nights earlier to score 23 points on 8-of-19 shooting, including 7-for-10 from the foul line, nine rebounds and four assists to spark a 56-45 victory.

Chas Miles added 13 points, and the Toppers totaled eight steals.

The boys hit 50 percent from the field and were clutch at the line, connecting on 19 of 25 free throws.

“We have really stressed our defensive principals in practice,” Scott said. “Finally, we followed them for an entire game, and it paid off.”

Against Thomas More, Koehnke led the charge with 19 points and 12 rebounds, but he was limited to 5-for-19 shooting.

Miles and Bennett Wright each added 12 points.

“Thomas More shot the lights out,” Scott said. “We did a nice job on their best player, but to their credit, other kids stepped up.”

Thomas More hit seven 3-pointers for the game.

Prairie represents another level of competition altogether.

The No. 5 team in the state in Division 4 features the son of former NBA All-Star and Racine native Caron Butler, JC, who is committed to Division 1 UC-Irvine.

Scott said Prairie has at least three kids that will play college basketball.

Prairie had four players in double figures, led by JC Butler’s 24, and cruised to an 82-37 victory after leading 50-16 at halftime.

“Prairie is just really, really good all-around,” Scott said. “They have played together since grade school, and it is paying off for them this year.”