Pum, Robson each hit 5 treys

Brandon Pum pushes the ball up court Tuesday night against Martin Luther. See how the Toppers fared in Thursday’s Burlington Standard Press. (Rick Benavides/SLN)

 

By Mike Ramczyk

sports@southernlakesnewspapers.com

The rare Saturday matinee basketball game was worth every bit of the $5 spectators were asked to pay at Catholic Central High School.

Toppers head coach Kyle Scott claims his team is always looking to shoot the ball from beyond the 3-point arc, and on Jan. 26 against Metro Classic Conference foe Milwaukee Thomas More, the triples seemed everlasting.

Brandon Pum and Bennett Robson both connected on five 3-pointers, and the sharpshooting Toppers swished 13 long-range shots as a team in a 63-39 rout.

The victory secures Catholic Central’s spot alone in fourth place in the MCC, behind state-ranked Greendale Martin Luther, Racine St. Cat’s and Whitefish Bay Dominican.

The Toppers are now 8-7 overall and 6-4 in the MCC.

Catholic Central did everything a team is taught on offense – move the ball, find the open, wait for an open shot.

But sometimes, when you’re hot, you’re hot.

Pum led all scorers with 21 points, draining five of seven 3-point attempts, while Wright hit 5-for-5 for 15 points.

As a team, the Toppers scorched the nets to the tune of 13-22 from long range.

Complementing the distance game was the foul-line efficiency (10-12).

Pum and Bennett Robson (4-6) each hit four free throws, and Robson added 10 points.

Wright added five rebounds and four assists, while Chas Miles dished four assists.

Senior David Doerflinger, Miles and sophomore Neal McCourt each added a triple.

The Toppers opened up a 32-22 halftime lead with a comfortable 31-17 second half.

Catholic Central shot 50 percent (20-40) from the floor.

The Toppers travel to Racine St. Cat’s Friday night.

 

Girls grind out win

In a close battle, the Toppers girls edged Thomas More Jan. 25, 44-40, thanks to a 25-21 second half.

In the final minutes, the Toppers came up with a few stops, and Julia Klein hit a clutch free throw with about 20 seconds left to make it a two-possession game.

“It was a great win on the road,” head coach Joe Spierenburg said. “I’m really impressed with our defensive effort throughout the game. When you only give up 40 points, you should have a great shot at winning games.”

“Throughout the game, we were able to be patient on offense and get really good open looks.”

The Toppers lit up the nets with 9 3-pointers, led by six from Emma Klein, who led the way with 22 points.

Liz Klein added seven points, and Izzy Phillips and Ellie Nevin each added four.

“When you only score 44 points, to get supplemental scoring from multiple players is critical,” Spierenburg said.

“We gutted one out at Thomas More. I’m really proud of the girls’ attitude, effort and passion.”

Catholic Central now sits at 11-5 overall and 5-5 in the MCC, one game behind the Prairie School for fourth place.

“Honestly, my goal at the beginning of the season was 10 wins,” Spierenburg said. “Hopefully, we can make it 14.”

“I am extremely impressed with the attitude and spirit of this team. It is a great group of girls that work really well together. I sat down with each of my players individually and asked them what was going well this season. The unanimous response was we work together well and put the team first.”

Emma Klein is up to 17.5 points per game, good for fifth in the MCC.

Winners of five of six games, the Toppers have six games left before beginning the WIAA Division 5 playoffs in late February.

Spierenburg is excited about his team’s prospects in the postseason.

“We have great senior leadership with a great supporting cast of underclassmen,” he said. “We can shoot the ball from outside, and we can attack the rim. Defensively, we can count on one another to get a stop when we really need to. We are by no means perfect and without error, but we have the right pieces to be successful each night.”

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