|2/3/2023 1:12:00 PM|
Walker, Dodgers take care of business at RC
For much of the season so far senior guard LaCarder Walker has had no trouble getting to the free throw line.
The problem has been though, what happens when he gets there.
Going into Monday's make-up game with Richland Center Walker has gotten to the line over 90 times but has only been successful 41% of the time.
But that changed at Richland Center and his success came at the right time when the Dodgers were undoing the effects of a less than desirable first half.
Walker, known for his slash and drives found himself on the floor often, as usual. But this time when he was awarded his free tries he made eight of 12 and led the Dodgers to an anything but easy 64-49 win over the Hornets with 22 points.
Walker had help in the scoring department as junior Reilly Berg added 17 points, his highest total of the season, and put in some big shots at key times.
The Hornets were in can't miss mode the first half and were led by Andrew Puls with 13 points and Leif Fingerson with 10 as they took a 36-23 lead at intermission.
But then a few things happened which were in Dodgeville's favor.
First was the defense Matthew Pittz played on Puls the second half when the Hornets' leading scorer was limited to only a three pointer. When Pittz took a seat for a brief rest Ben Haakenson took over the defensive duties.
Second was Walker's slash and drive and get to the line play. He totaled 18 points the second half, five more than the entire Hornets team totaled in the last 18 minutes. He was eight for 12 from the line.
Then there was Berg who gave the Dodgers a 45-44 lead when he scored on a driving layup. The Dodgers never trailed after that.
Brady Jabs also helped pad the lead when he was fouled on a three point try and made all three attempts.
Charlie Keith was also fouled and made two gift shots with 40 seconds left that pushed the lead to 62-49.
Walker then put on the exclamation point when he stole a pass and converted with 29 seconds left.
Perhaps the glowing aspects of the win was the team making up for Richland Center's game plan of taking away Matthew Pittz's three point shot and bumping into Chandler Bachelor in the lane with others scoring.
The fact the Dodgers went into defensive mode when needed the second half was also key.
The two teams will meet again later this week for their regularly scheduled encounter.
"It was the tale of two halves tonight, said Dodgeville coach Matt McGraw. "Our first half consisted of us getting out-worked and not executing very well that got us down 36-23."
"The second half was much different," McGraw said. "We outscored them 41-13 and points came from a bunch of different ways. Dribble attacks and transition baskets were a big part of the second half. Reilly Berg had a very solid game hitting three 3's and attacking the hoop for some finishes. They defianatly keyed on Matthew and Chandler and other guys stepped up. We went on a 21 point run to go from a concerning situation to a secure lead. It all came from better second half intensity. Another key stat was that we kept Puls to three second half points. Matthew guarded him most of the half and Ben did a nice job on him as well. We shot pretty well from the line to be able to extend the lead. 12 of 15 in the second half with Brady hitting three, Charlie two and LaCarder seven."
SCORE BY HALVES
Dodgeville 23 41 64
Richland Center 36 13 49
DODGEVILLE 64: (fg-ft-tp) M. Pittz 3-0-7, Walker 7-8-22, Keith 1-2-4, Berg 7-0-17, Jabs 0-3-3, N Pittz 0-0-0, Haakenson 2-0-5, Batchelor 3-0-6. Totals 23-13/18-64. Fouls-11
RICHLAND CENTER 49: Carlson 3-3-10, Le. Fingerson 4-3-13, Puls 6-0-16, Weiss 1-0-2, Li. Fingerson 1-0-2, Bosworth 1-4-6, Anthony 0-0-0. Totals 16-10/15-49. Fouls-15
3 point goals:
D-M. Pittz 1, Berg 3, Haakenson 1
RC-Puls 4, Le. Fingerson 2, Carlson 1
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