Cizauskas posts double-double as Mukwonago wins
Mukwonago's top-seeded boys basketball team, using its accustomed physical intensity, strength on the boards and excellent defense, played the role of favorite to a T and pulled steadily away to a 66-40 victory over Janesville Parker in the opening round of the playoffs Friday.
Step two in WIAA playoff action will be taken on the home court against Beloit Memorial at 7 p.m. Saturday.
"I love having the advantage underneath," said Indians senior forward Nathan Tanguay with a smile. "I can't wait to play tomorrow - to be physical. It was tough tonight because the officials called it tight and we had to lay off a little."
After a bit of a shaky start that still had Mukwonago leading 15-12, the Indians held Parker to just 8 second quarter points to lead 31-20 at intermission.
Dominic Cizauskas netted 14 of his game high 16 points in the first half and finished with 13 rebounds. The second period proved sloppy for both teams, but the Indians dominance on the boards enabled them to pull away to the 9 point lead. J.J. Scott led Janesville Parker with 9 of his team high 14 points in the opening half.
Parker made a brief run to open the second half, scoring 5 quick points over the first 1:30 to close within 31-25, but a 3-pointer by Tanguay and another by Aaron Nixon ended the threat of rally. Ahead 48-30 as the third quarter ended, Mukwonago held Parker scoreless for nearly three minutes at the onset of the final period to put the game away. Hitting 8 of 12 free throws and 5 of 10 field goals, Mukwonago put the cap on a solid night's work.
"Was there ever a flow to this game?" Mukwonago head coach Jim Haasser asked. "They didn't go away in the first half. They do surprising little things that if you fall asleep, they can hurt you. We didn't get things going and the guys started to press a little - it's good to get the first one out of the way."
Aaron Nixon added 13 points, and Tanguay 11. For Parker, Tanner Smith and David Palan each had 6 in support of Scott's 14.
"Scott's a guy that our scouts didn't consider a 3-point shooter," said Haasser. "Tonight he drops in two and keeps them close in the early going. We see a better opponent in Beloit Memorial tomorrow. The guys know it and they will be ready. We had some breakdowns and we'll work them out."
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