When the Waunakee boys’ basketball team gets rolling, they’re a hard bunch to slow down.
Baraboo learned that lesson all too well on Tuesday night as they got blown out at the Waunakee High School Fieldhouse.
It took a while for the Warriors to truly get rolling; though they never trailed, the Thunderbirds were able to stick around for much of the first half. 10 minutes after the opening tip, the two teams were tied at 15.
“We just kept stressing constant pressure to try to wear them down,” Waunakee’s Head Coach Dana MacKenzie said of the team’s strategy. “We wanted to rotate a bunch of guys, keep the pressure on everybody and see who’s as deep as we are right now.”
Playing with a rotation of 11 guys, the Warriors finally caught fire with six minutes to go until halftime. Sparked by a Caden Hough three, Waunakee closed the half on a 21-0 run to bring a swift end to any hopes Baraboo may have had of an upset.
Up 36-15 at the half, the Warriors maintained a steady lead throughout the early portions of the second half. The Thunderbirds closed the deficit to as little as 19 points – 48-29 – with 11:51 left to play.
Waunakee’s depth took over from there. 10 different Warriors scored in the final 11 minutes of the game as Waunakee closed on a 23-8 run to put Baraboo away for good.
“We’re playing a lot of guys and a lot of bodies; we’ve become really unselfish, and we share the ball…” added MacKenzie. “What’s best about it is the 10, 11 that we play consistently trust each other. Nobody’s hanging heads when they come out; they just go out, do their job as hard as they can until they’re tired, and they trust the next guy to come in. It’s fun right now; we’re playing well at a good time of year.”
Andrew Keller led all scorers on the night with 15 points, followed by Casey Fischer with 12 and Hough with 10. Caden Nelson tacked on nine points, while Jaxson Zibell added seven. Aidan Driscoll chipped in six points, and Jack Dotzler scored five. Kaden Kruschek, Oleg Novinski and Connor Keenan scored two points apiece, and Drew Regnier rounded out the scoring with one point.
Waunakee, now 14-4 (9-1 Badger North) will hit the road for their next contest on Friday, when they play at Portage. Tip time at Portage High School is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.