Men’s basketball opens with four-game slide

Troy Bruzewski, Sports Editor

A pair of season-opening tournaments weren’t kind to the Madison College men’s basketball team.

The WolfPack started their 2012-2013 season with four losses, between the Sanford Hospital Classic in Minnesota and the Milwaukee Area Technical College Classic.

On Nov. 3, Madison College struggled in the first half against Minnesota West Community and Technical College and was unable to overcome a sizeable deficit, in a 112-85 loss.

Minnesota held Madison to 35 points in the first half, while scoring 62 and taking a 27-point lead into halftime. The Blue Jays started out hot from behind the 3-point line, hitting 8 of their first 11 attempts. They also converted on 21 of their 24 free throws in the game.

Dominic Fumbanks provided a highlight for the WolfPack, scoring a game-high 22 points, but Madison College was unable to match Minnesota’s depth. The Blue Jays rotated 14 players in the game, while the WolfPack had nine.

Madison matched Minnesota’s second-half scoring, with 50 points, though was unable to overcome the large first-half deficit. Lucas Baier and Alex Wuensch also reached double-digits for the WolfPack. Baier finished with 18 points and Wuensch had 16.

The WolfPack was much more competitive in their following game, but were unable to get the season’s first win. They faced Riverland Community College and dropped a 65-54 decision.

After a five-day rest, Madison again tried for that first win on Nov. 9, against Anoka-Ramsey College in the opening round of the Milwaukee Area Technical College Classic. That first victory was within reach, but a late comeback by the Golden Rams gave them a 77-75 win over Madison.

The WolfPack led 66-57 with under four minutes remaining in the second half. But ARCC went on a 9-0 run to tie the game. After trading scores, the Golden Rams scored on consecutive possessions and took a 74-70 lead with a minute remaining.

After splitting a pair of free throws, ARCC fouled on a WolfPack 3-point attempt, again tying the game, this time at 75-75. With seven seconds remaining, ARCC was able to inbound the ball and drive the length of the court for a game-winning layup as time expired.

In their second game of the Milwaukee tournament on Nov. 10, the WolfPack fell behind early and could never catch up. Gogebic Community College too a commanding 47-26 lead at halftime on its way to a 93-66 victory over Madison College.

Wuensch and Jason Miller both scored 20 points for the WolfPack and Fumbanks added 13, but it wasn’t enough against Gogebic’s strong inside game.

The WolfPack first home game is Nov. 14 against Sauk Valley, followed by a home game on Nov. 16 against Olive-Harvey.