Toppers win first two MCC games

Bennett Wright slithers his way to a potential game-winning layup last Friday at home in a win over Shoreland Lutheran. (Mike Ramczyk/SLN)


By Mike Ramczyk

Much like his older brother Bailey, Bennett Wright embraces the big moment.

The junior point guard demonstrated that in spades Friday night in the Catholic Central boys basketball Metro Classic Conference opener at home.

After knocking down a clutch 3-pointer to get the Toppers within one point, time was ticking down.

Catholic Central tried a corner triple, but the long shot caromed to the opposite end of the court.

Chas Miles corralled the rebound and found Bennett Robson, who hit a slashing Wright for a layup attempt.

Wright drew the foul, and he stepped to the line with 3.4 seconds left.

After missing the first and getting a reassuring high-five from his teammate, Wright swished the second.

A halfcourt heave from Shoreland Lutheran was way off the mark, and the Toppers escaped with a 64-63 victory.

The boys followed it up with a 65-58 home win Tuesday against Racine Lutheran.

Miles led the way with 16 points, Wright added 12 and Robson had 11.

On Friday, Brandon Pum paced the club with 19 points, while Wright added 15 and Miles added 11.

“Our league is tough top to bottom,” said Catholic Central head coach Kyle Scott. “There’s been two pro’s to come out of our league in the last four year. I’d like to hear any other league to can state that.”

“Tonight (Friday) I challenged the guys on defense, and they responded. It’s a make or miss game, and we finally made some.”

Scott said Wright made a couple huge plays down the stretch and is progressing well.

Overall, he says the guys want to win, they played all summer long, and the hard work is paying off.

Catholic Central looks to continue winning Friday against Milwaukee Thomas More.

“We will lean on these guys and their experience. The hits keep coming, and the adversity keeps coming. Even though we only have nine guys, we’re deeper than we’ve been in a long time. We have seven or eight guys that can play. There’s not a drop off with these guys.”

Scott said junior Paul Nevin broke his thumb in practice last week and is in a cast.


Racine Case 78, Burlington 69

The Demons outscored the Eagles, 38-31, in the second half Tuesday night in Racine, but it wasn’t enough.

Burlington dropped to 2-2 overall.

Senior guard Trey Krause was on fire, bucketing 26 points on five triples and converting 9 of 10 free throws.

He added four rebounds.

Trent Turzenski, a 6-foot-6 senior center, added 16 points and 12 rebounds for Burlington.

Sophomore guard Joey Berezowitz added 12 points, including two 3-pointers.

Sophomore Ethan Safar and junior Dylan Runkel each added nine.

Runkel pulled down nine rebounds.

Burlington hit nine 3’s and was an impressive 25-for-30 from the charity stripe.

The Demons host Union Grove Friday night.


Burlington 83, Milwaukee Ronald Reagan 63

It was an unhappy homecoming for 1997 Burlington High School graduate Luke Benish.

The former Demon basketball player is now the head coach for Ronald Reagan, a college prep school near Mitchell International Airport with a new basketball program.

Only in its fifth season, and fourth as a varsity team, the Huskies simply couldn’t match the run-and-gun style of the Demons, who jumped out to a 49-28 halftime lead thanks to a game-altering 23-2 run.

Contributions came from all over the court, as five Demons scored in double figures.

Turzenski led the way with 17 and seven rebounds, and he flushed down a two-handed stuff on a fast break to get the fans out of their seats, thanks to a gorgeous full-court look from Krause, who added 10 points.

Runkel had 13 points and seven boards, and Berezowitz added 13.

Safar tallied 12.

Burlington hit 17-for-27 from the line.

The Demons were able to get out and run during their key late first-half surge, and Turzenski and Runkel, along with Tanner Swantz, protected the rims with a series of blocked shots.

The teams played evenly in the second half.