Greenfield boys basketball team wins thriller, doubles last year's victory total
Hawks have 10 wins on season; host Racine Park in WIAA action Tuesday
Solid evidence of the strides the Greenfield boys basketball team is making this season came on Feb. 5 with a thrilling 64-63 comeback victory over Cedarburg.
The Hustlin' Hawks were outscored 18-7 in the first quarter yet maintained their confidence and battled back, taking the lead in the third period with the help of 12 points from Kyle Schahczinski, then winning in the final seconds on a basket by Sonnie Wilbert.
The victory boosted Greenfield to 10-10 on the season, doubling the total from each of the past two seasons.
"I think we've really made progress as a program," head coach Jack Miller said. "I'm proud of these guys."
Even though the Hawks lost an 86-60 decision to Woodland Conference East Division champion Brown Deer on Friday night, they still clinched at least a .500 record in the conference, coming into this week at 9-8.
Greenfield is building on success from the latter part of last season. The Hawks started the 2011-12 campaign with 13 straight losses, then won five of their final 11 games to finish 5-19.
This season, they were basically alternating wins and losses until the past few weeks. However, they entered this week with four triumphs in six games.
Against Cedarburg, they trailed by double digits until late in the second period, when they closed with a 9-2 run to come within 29-23 at the half.
Schahczinski caught fire in the third quarter, starting with a 3-pointer and a basket that tied the game at 32-32. He added back-to-back baskets to put Greenfield up 36-33, then Keagan Blanks went 4-of-4 at the free throw line to give the Hawks a 43-38 advantage after three periods.
Blanks' perfect trips to the line continued a game-long theme for the Hawks, who hit 14-of-14 on the night.
Schahczinski started the fourth period with his fourth 3-point shot of the night and Blanks netted another to give the Hawks a 49-40 lead.
Cedarburg, though, rallied with nine straight points, capped by a 3-pointer from leading scorer Matt Johnson, to tie things at 49-49.
The game went back and forth from there.
The Hawks went up 58-54 on another basket from Schahczinski off his own steal, but Cedarburg's Jonathan Stiever answered with a basket.
Josh Czerwinski hit four free throws for a 62-58 Greenfield lead with 39.9 seconds left, then Johnson connected on a 3-pointer and followed with a big defensive play.
The Bulldogs pressed in the backcourt and forced Greenfield's Ricky Santiago into a bad pass, which Johnson picked off and converted into a layup to give Cedarburg the lead at 63-62 with 25.5 seconds left. He was fouled but missed the free throw.
After a timeout, Santiago brought the ball upcourt, drove into the lane and spotted a wide-open Wilbert under the basket. He fired the pass and Wilbert scored to make it 64-63 with five seconds remaining. Cedarburg then missed two shots before the buzzer.
"We kind of almost let one slip away at the end," Miller said. "We didn't handle the pressure well. Give our kids credit, though, especially Ricky, who made a bad pass, but came right back with a nice pass to overcome that."
Schahczinski finished with 20 points for the Hawks, including 17 in the second half.
"He played the game of his career," Miller said. "He is constantly the hardest worker on the floor. Defensively, he usually takes the toughest player. He does the dirty work of diving on the ground and boxing out. That just epitomizes him as a person and as a basketball player."
Czerwinski tallied 14 points and Santiago 10 for the Hawks, who open WIAA Division 1 playoff action at 7 p.m. Feb. 19 at home against Racine Park.
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