The Oconomowoc boys basketball team led by 14 at the half on Jan. 6 against Slinger and went on to win, 51-34. It was Oconomowoc's fourth win overall and second in the Wisconsin Little Ten Conference.
Zach Clayton led the Raccoons with 19 points and converted all five of his free throw attempts. Nate Helwig hit two 3-point shots on his way to a 14-point night for OHS.
"We had a really good game from start to finish," Oconomowoc coach Kurt Melton said. "I thought we did pretty good. It could have been a little better in the second half, but we were in control for the entirety."
Melton was impressed with the team's play on defense.
"Defense, we were really good," Melton said. "Guys like Jake Rams, (Dominic) Briggs and Nate Platter and all those kids, they did a really good job defensively. There were five possessions straight where (Slinger) wasn't able to get it over half court. Our best offense really was our defense on Friday night."
As a team, Oconomowoc went 9 of 11 from the free throw line (82 percent). The OHS defense forced 16 turnovers in the first half alone.
The win was a nice way to rebound from a difficult Beaver Dam loss on Jan. 3. Oconomowoc held a 16-point halftime lead and lost the game by 5.
"I'm really impressed with these kids," Melton said. "They do have a short memory, but they also are pretty tough kids. They come back and they work every day. While I was a little bit worried about how they would react to it, early on at the next practice, I kind of realized it's really OK. It's a tough loss, but we're going to be OK. We're going to keep getting better for it. I think back to where we are, and there's a bad half against Beaver Dam and two bad possessions against Oostburg, and if those don't occur and we see those through, we're on a four-game winning streak here. I think overall, maybe the wins and losses aren't there, but we're playing better basketball."
Girls lose at Wisco
On Jan. 5, the Oconomowoc girls basketball team lost on the road to Wisconsin Lutheran, 54-45. Olivia Sobczak led Oconomowoc with 14 points and made 6 of 8 free-throw attempts. Graci Nacker was second on OHS with 10 points. Caitlin McArthey contributed 7 points.
Nacker, Danielle Valley and Haley Fulton all made threes in the game. Oconomowoc, which trailed by 16 at halftime, outscored Wisco in the second half, 30-23.
"We had some troubles in the first half rebounding," OHS coach Bob Shea said. "That was actually an issue all night. We dug ourselves a hole. We did come out right away in the second half. We cut it to 7 at 35-28 and had a couple possessions, but it just kind of hung around 8 to 12 the rest of the game."
The Raccoons are 5-6 overall and 3-2 in the WLT.