Stratford boys basketball dominates Almond-Bancroft in battle of unbeatens

Stratford’s Vaughn Breit hits a short jumper during the Tigers’ win over Almond-Bancroft on Friday at the Sentry Classic at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. (Photo by Paul Lecker/

By Paul Lecker

STEVENS POINT – The undefeated Stratford boys basketball team knew it would be facing, arguably, its toughest opponent to this point in the season in unbeaten Almond-Bancroft.

The Tigers came prepared, patient and ready to feed their two big men underneath.

Stratford scored the game’s first five points, built a double-digit lead in the opening 5½ minutes, and never trailed, rolling to a 72-49 victory at the Sentry Classic on Friday afternoon at Quandt Fieldhouse on the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point campus.

Stratford’s Lance Heidmann drives the baseline during the first half of the Tigers’ win over Almond-Bancroft on Friday at the Sentry Classic at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. (Photo by Paul Lecker/

With the victory, Stratford remains unbeaten at 8-0, while sending Almond-Bancroft (8-1) to its first loss.

The duo of 6-foot-6 Ben Barten and 6-foot-5 Vaughn Breit were unstoppable for the Tigers, combining to make 23 of 27 shots from the field and scoring 50 of Stratford’s 72 points.

“We did want to get the ball inside because we thought they didn’t match up well with us,” Stratford coach Chad Schmidt said. “We had a hard time matching up with them on the perimeter, so we had to do some things to counter that. Obviously, the goal was to pound it inside and use our height advantage.”

Barten had 20 points in the first half as Stratford build a 43-27 lead.

The Tigers led 16-5 after a three-point play by Barten and a rebound and basket by Breit.

Almond-Bancroft cut the Tigers’ lead to six on two occasions, but Stratford was able to close out the half on a 7-2 run as Breit scored five points and Barten added another hoop with 18 seconds to go.

The Eagles threw a slew of trapping and full-court press defenses at Stratford early in the second half, and got to within nine after a 3-pointer from Cade Lamb with 12 minutes to go, but the Tigers regrouped, scored seven points in a row, and led by double digits the rest of the way.

“Not a whole lot of Vaughn’s shots were easy,” Schmidt said. “He made some really nice mid-range spin shots. He played fantastic. Ben did a great job of getting himself open and the guards did a good job getting it in to him. I was really happy with our team effort.”

Barten finished 13 of 15 from the field for his 29 points, and he also added a team-high 10 rebounds for the Tigers. Breit was 10 of 12 shooting, and ended up with 21 points and five rebounds.

Okley Wrensch hit three 3-pointers and added 10 points for the Tigers, who shot an even 60 percent from the floor, making 30 of 50 shots.

“There’s a lot of things we need to continue to improve on,” Schmidt said. “It’s nice to be 8-0. This was a good win for us and put a lot of things together. We have to make sure we are playing consistently and looking to get better and better every day.”

Stratford returns to action Thrusday, Jan. 3, at Athens for a Marawood Conference crossover game.

Tigers 72, Eagles 49
Stratford 43 29 – 72
Almond-Bancroft 27 22 – 49
Teddy Redman 0-2 0-0 0, Max Vanderhoof 2-4 0-0 6, Okley Wrensch 3-4 1-2 10, Chase Flink 0-0 2-2 2, Dawson Danen 0-1 0-0 0, Hunter Hannan 0-1 0-0 0, Chandler Schmidt 0-1 0-0 0, Branden Ackley 2-4 0-0 4, Sam Schoenfuss 0-0 0-0 0, Vaughn Breit 10-12 1-3 21, Lance Heidmann 0-5 0-0 0, Ben Barten 13-15 3-5 29, Brady Bruesewitz 0-1 0-0 0. FG: 30-50. FT: 7-12. 3-pointers: 5-13 (Wrensch 3-4, Vanderhoof 2-2, Redman 0-1, Danen 0-1, Ackley 0-1, Bruesewitz 0-1, Heidmann 0-3). Rebounds: 33 (Barten 10). Turnovers: 11. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: none. Record: 8-0.
ALMOND-BANCROFT (49): Jon Perrin 1-5 0-1 2, Zach Bunders 2-10 4-4 10, Cade Lamb 3-6 3-4 11, Edward Pena 0-1 0-0 0, Noah Kollock 7-13 3-3 19, Matt Lukas 0-2 1-2 1, Jake Stuebs 0-1 0-0 0, Jackson Beggs 1-4 0-0 2, Elijah Kollock 2-5 0-0 4, Gage Meddaugh 0-1 0-0 0. FG: 16-48. FT: 11-14. 3-pointers: 6-23 (Lamb 2-4, N. Kollock 2-6, Bunders 2-8, Lukas 0-1, Stuebs 0-1, Beggs 0-1, E. Kollock 0-1, Meddaugh 0-1). Rebounds: 26 (Lamb 6). Turnovers: 8. Fouls: 11. Fouled out: none. Record: 8-1.

News Desk
Author: News Desk

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