Columbus Catholic boys basketball outlasts Neillsville in battle of Cloverbelt East leaders

NEILLSVILLE – The Marshfield Columbus Catholic and Neillsville boys basketball teams came into Tuesday’s Cloverbelt Conference East Division game tied atop the standings with unbeaten conference records, and both showed why they have been so dominant.

Columbus Catholic won a high-scoring duel, outlasting the Warriors 96-89, at Neillsville High School.

Columbus is now 12-1 overall and remains perfect at 8-0 in the Cloverbelt East. Neillsville drops to 9-3 and 7-1 in conference play.

Both teams return to action Friday with Columbus playing at Colby and Neillsville hosting Owen-Withee.
Columbus Catholic led 51-43 at halftime and held on despite Neillsville’s persistent outside shooting.

The Warriors made 17 of 43 3-pointers and took 85 shots overall. Braden Trunkel was 7-for-11 on 3-pointers, Hunter Hand added four long balls, and Isaac Weiers and Alex King both made three for Neillsville.

Ethan Meece was 10 of 12 from the field and scored a team-high 25 points for the Dons. Jarred Mandel added 23 points, Bryce Fuerlinger had 22 points and 17 rebounds, and Noah Taylor chipped in 19 points on 9 of 13 shooting in the win.

King finished with 26 points, Trunkel had 23 and Hand 21 for the Warriors.

Dons 96, Warriors 89
Columbus Catholic 51 45 – 96
Neillsville 43 46 – 89
COLUMBUS CATHOLIC (96):
Noah Taylor 9-13 0-0 19, Tom Nystrom 0-1 2-2 2, Bryce Fuerlinger 9-15 4-8 22, Eden Jacobsen 0-0 0-0 0, Ethan Meece 10-12 5-6 25, Kellen Heinzen 0-1 5-6 5, Jarred Mandel 8-21 2-6 23. FG: 36-62. FT: 18-28. 3-pointers: 6-15 (Mandel 5-12, Taylor 1-2, Nystrom 0-1). Rebounds: 39 (Fuerlinger 17). Record: 12-1, 8-0 Cloverbelt Conference East Division.
NEILLSVILLE (89): Hunter Hand 8-25 1-3 21, Isaac Weiers 4-10 0-0 11, Braden Trunkel 8-13 0-0 23, Lucas Moseley 1-1 0-0 2, Alex King 10-24 3-3 26, Monte Diestler 3-11 0-0 6, Xander Jansen 0-0 0-0 0, Josiah Katcher 0-1 0-0 0. FG: 34-85. FT: 4-6. 3-pointers: 17-43 (Trunkel 7-11, Hand 4-14, Weiers 3-5, King 3-10, Diestler 0-3). Rebounds: 30 (King 7, Diestler 7). Record: 9-3, 7-1 Cloverbelt Conference East Division.