Union Grove’s Hayden Domagalski drives away from a Delavan-Darien defender toward the hoop during a Southern Lakes Conference contest on Monday (Jason Arndt/Southern Lakes Conference).

By Jason Arndt
Staff Writer

The Union Grove boys basketball team overcame a sluggish start and a 16-point deficit to defeat visiting Delavan-Darien in Southern Lakes Conference play on Monday.

The Broncos, who entered halftime trailing 33-24, saw their deficit widen to 53-37 with 9:55 left in regulation before they clamped down and went on a 21-5 run sparked by a basket from senior Collin Long.

Union Grove junior Kaden Pfeffer pulled the contest even at 58-58 apiece on a 3-pointer with 4:41 in the contest.

From there, the Broncos produced another run, this time outscoring the Comets 15-7, which helped Union Grove seal a 73-65 victory.

“We tried to create some energy, we tried to create some turnovers, got some layups and all of a sudden the threes started falling in,” said Broncos coach David Pettit.

Senior guard Noah Hilarides, intentionally fouled, played a role in the final stretch by converting 7 of 8 free throws.

Union Grove, which improved to 7-7 and 5-4 in conference play, has won three consecutive contests dating back to Jan. 28 victory at Waterford.

Long, who made 11 of 20 shots, finished with a game-high 24 points and collected eight rebounds.

The contest’s leading scorer said he believes the recent win streak shows his team is starting to come together.

“We didn’t know who we were at the beginning of the season,” he said. “Now, we are finding our identity and knowing our roles. We are coming along really well.”

Pettit agreed with Long, adding the players are starting to believe in each other.

“It feels good, we have been playing well,” he said. “We are 5-2 since Christmas and I think we are moving in the right direction. We got different guys stepping up every night and I think we are starting to believe in each other a little bit.”

Hilarides and Pfeffer were two players who stepped up on Monday.

While Hilarides finished with 16 points, including 10 from the free throw line, he accounted for a team-leading four steals.

Pfeffer, who went 3-for-7 from the perimeter, tallied 11 points along with five rebounds.

The Broncos collectively shot 41 percent from field goal range and went 19-for-25 at the free throw line for 76 percent.

Defensively, 6-foot-5 senior Sam Rampulla snagged a team-best eight rebounds. He added six points.

Erik Cesarz led Delavan-Darien with 18 points while Luke Freitag pitched in another 14 points.

Delavan-Darien dropped to 2-13 overall and 1-8 in conference play following Monday’s loss to Union Grove.

The Broncos hosted Wilmot (6-9, 4-5 SLC) on Thursday and play nonconference opponent Kenosha Indian Trail (8-8, 5-5 Southeast) 7 p.m. Saturday in Union Grove.

After another nonconference game against Shorewood 7 p.m. Monday, the Broncos return to conference play on Feb. 14, when they head to Delavan-Darien.

Union Grove 74, Badger 59
The Broncos knocked in 14 3-pointers, including five from junior Hayden Domagalski, to beat visiting Lake Geneva Badger 74-59 on Friday, Jan. 31.

Union Grove, which carried 34-23 halftime advantage, outscored the Badgers 40-36 in the second half.

Domagalski, who finished with a team-leading 15 points, made all of his shots from behind the perimeter.

Sophomore Tyson Skalecki, meanwhile, went 4-for-4 from the arc and tallied 12 points.

Other Bronco contributors were Hilarides (14 points, 10 assists), Long (12 points, six rebounds) and Rampulla (11 rebounds).

Ty McGreevy scored a game-high 20 points for Lake Geneva (2-13, 1-8 SLC).