Boys play well in two winsThis is how Wildcat boys head basketball coach Greg Gaulke wants to see his team playing with two weeks left in the regular season.
By: Bob Burrows, River Falls Journal
This is how Wildcat boys head basketball coach Greg Gaulke wants to see his team playing with two weeks left in the regular season.
The Cats, behind a relentless trapping defense, routed Menomonie 57-29 in a Big Rivers Conference game last Tuesday on the road and defeated Red Wing, Minn., 51-40, in a nonconference game Friday at home to run their winning streak to four straight and improve to 6-4 in the BRC, 12-4 overall.
The Cats hosted Durand (4-12) Tuesday night and travel to Rice Lake (5-6, 1-7) Thursday. They conclude the regular season next week at New Richmond (12-4) Monday and home against Eau Claire North (6-4, 10-7) Friday. The first round of the WIAA regional playoffs are set to begin Tuesday, March 3.
Gaulke said he likes what he’s seen from his team lately.
“The boys are playing some good basketball. That growing process that starts back in November is developing now, just in time for tourney time. As a coach, you always think you’ve got a little bit more in you. But right now, we’re executing and doing the things that win you ballgames in February.”
At Menomonie last Tuesday, Zach Pavlichek finished with 14 points, Eric Gilbertson had 11 and Lance Westberg finished with 10 as ten different Wildcats scored points in a 57-29 win over the Indians (0-10, 0-15). River Falls led 17-5 after one quarter and 33-11 at the half.
Friday at home against Red Wing (8-11), Sean Gilbert had 18 points and Westberg added 10 in a 51-40 win over the Wingers. Pavlichek and Marty Herum contributed eight points each.
“The Minnesota style of play is physical and my boys responded,” Gaulke said. “There was some incredible pounding and contact for rebounds. It was like Big East basketball — good stuff.”
Gaulke said the Wildcats’ trapping defense helped the Cats pull away.
“In the second half I thought our traps were much better,” he said. “When Sean Gilbert is looking for the ball at the top of that trap, he’s one tough guy.”
Gaulke said he wants his team to continue its strong play into the playoffs.
“We’re not going backwards now,” he said.