By Tim Boser
The Mound Westonka boys basketball team was able to get back to its winning ways and earned a split for the two games played last week.
On Jan. 30, the White Hawks hosted the Dragons from Litchfield. Both teams were challenged to score in the tightly contested first half of the game. The lead toggled back and forth throughout the half, with the Dragons up 19-17 at the break.
The second half was much the same as the first until the Dragons went up by seven at the midpoint of the second half and were able to hold off the White Hawks the rest of the way to win 52-45. The difference in the game came down to free throws. The Dragons made an amazing 17 of 18 free throws, while the White Hawks were only able to make 6 of 12.
Junior Nico Phommahaxay led the White Hawks in scoring with 12. Others included: senior Jack Kraay and sophomore Isaiah Dempsey (9 points each), senior Marshall Boser (7 points, 5 rebounds), sophomore Calvin MacKell and senior Evan Dahl (3 points each), and sophomore Jameson Sexton (2 points).
Head coach Andre Phillips summed up the contest: “We had many opportunities to win the game. Unfortunately, we had another tough shooting night and could not get enough transition scores to make up for it.”
On Feb. 2, the White Hawks traveled to Watertown-Mayer to play the Royals in a Friday night tilt. The game played out much differently than the final score would indicate. In the first half, the Royals got up by as many as eight points, only to give the lead back to the White Hawks by halftime, 31-28.
In the second half, the White Hawks’ shots began to fall, allowing them to build a 15-point lead at the midpoint of the second half, which they maintained through most of the half. But the Royals didn’t give up and mounted a furious comeback in the waning minutes of the game. In the end, the White Hawks were able to hold off the Royals and win 61-60 to break a five-game losing streak.
The White Hawks were led in scoring by Sexton with 14 points (7 rebounds, 3 assists). Other contributors: Kraay (12 points, 5 rebounds), Dahl (12 points, 3 assists), Dempsey (7 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists), Nico Phommahaxay (5 points), Boser (3 points, 5 rebounds), senior Julius Orenge (3 points), ninth-grader Santi Phommahaxay (2 points) and sophomore Connor Prok (2 points).
“We battled and earned the victory by playing well enough for the majority of the game,” said Phillips.
Upcoming games: Feb. 13 at home vs. New London-Spicer, Feb. 16 at Rockford and Feb. 20 at home vs. Glencoe-Silver Lake.