Splitting the double team

Poynette’s Vinny Ciano tries to get away from a pair of Wisconsin Dells defenders.

The Poynette boys basketball team got an up-close and personal look at one of the best teams in Division 3 last Friday. The Pumas hosted eighth-ranked Wisconsin Dells.

The Pumas struggled offensively against the Chief’s stifling defense in a 64-42 non-conference loss.

“They are a good team,” Poynette coach Cody Odegaard said. “Their defense was definitely a different monster than we see on most nights. We worked on it the last couple of days, but they are good at what they do.”

Poynette has dropped its last two games to fall to .500, 4-4, for the season.

“We have made a lot of progress,” Odegaard said. “We have a group of guys who are team oriented and they want to get better. We are going to continue to get better.”

The Pumas had trouble with Wisconsin Dells’ half-court defense, especially in the first half. Poynette scored just 14 points in the first half.

The Chiefs held a comfortable 30-14 lead at halftime.

Bryson Funmaker led Wisconsin Dells in the first half with 13 points, while Brett Hirst had seven.

Colby Savich (one), Nik Feller (seven) and Buster Paust (six) were the only Pumas to score in the first half.

Wisconsin Dells’ defense did not let up in the second half. The defensive pressure helped the Chiefs to a number of easy baskets early in the second half.

The Chiefs opened the second half with a 22-9 run to go up 52-23.

Poynette got no closer than 21 points, 56-35, in the second half.

“I thought our defense was fairly good,” Odegaard said. “They scored on 12 of their first 15 possessions. But after that, we did a good job against them.”

Wisconsin Dells outscored the Pumas 34-28 in the second half, despite six three-pointers by Poynette.

“It was a learning game for us,” Odegaard said. “We just have to come out and learn from our mistakes and move on. We can’t make the same mistakes twice.”

Funmaker and Hirst both finished the game with 15 points, while Riley Eck scored 12 points in the second half.

Feller led the Pumas with nine points, while Noah Stark and Paust both finished with six.

Jaden Burt (three), Kelby Petersen (three), Blake Caldwell (one), Tyler Milewski (two), Vinny Ciano (three), Savich (one), Danny Weisensel (three) and Parker Walstad (five) also scored for Poynette.

The Pumas will be on the road for the next two games. They will play in New Glarus at 7:30 p.m. this Friday and in Portage at 7:15 p.m. on Jan. 13.

Poynette kicks off Capitol North Conference play on Jan. 16. They will host Lodi at 7:30 p.m.

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