By Craig Marx, Editor
With the losses of first team all-Great Northern Conference player Matt Arndt and second team selectee Drew Schwarz from this past season, Antigo boys basketball has major shoes to fill in the coming year. Coming off of an 82-19 win over Laona-Wabeno this past week, however, Coach Jesse Shaw and his young men are ready for the 2017-18 season that is now upon them.
“We lost two senior guards from this past season – Matt Arndt (19 PPG) and Drew Schwarz (18 PPG) who combined for 37 points per game last season,” Coach Shaw said. “Finding ways to score the basketball will be one of our concerns heading into the season. We have seven returning letter winners in starters coming back – Brady Tatro, AJ Kirsch, and Hunter Bolson. Sebastian Noskowiak, Nevin Cornelius and Zach Morris were also a part of the varsity squad last season. New comers to this year’s team are – Brennen Anderson, Zach Blahnik, Milo Wittmann, Logan Doering, Noah Orgeman, Tanner Resch and Zach King.”
Medford took control of the conference last season, going 10-2 (20-5 overall) in the league with Rhinelander finishing up in the two spot (8-4, 14-9) and Antigo ending up in a three-way tie with both Lakeland and Mosinee in the GNC (7-5 in conference, with Antigo finishing 15-8).
The Robins advanced to the second round of the WIAA Playoffs after defeating New London 82-51, losing in the subsequent level onward to conference foe Medford 72-63.
Coming into this season, preseason conference predictions put the Robins as tied for fifth place in the GNC with Rhinelander, Lakeland, Mosinee and Medford picked to finish in the one through five spots of the top of the order. Northland Pines is slotted for the seventh spot.
Within the GNC, Bolson finished second in overall FG percentage at 58.1%, just behind Osy Ekwueme of Medford – the conference Player of the Year – at 59.7%.
“Our program philosophy is to learn life lessons and strive to win games. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know these boys the last two weeks of practice and I know we will represent our community, school and basketball program with integrity and character,” Coach Shaw said.
Some of the more notable matchups this season for the Robins include Wausau West at home (Thursday, December 7); the home and away series with Rhinelander during the course of the year (Friday, January 12 [home] and Friday, February 16 [away]) and a late non-conference tilt with Wittenberg-Birnamwood on Monday, February 19.
2017-18 AHS Boys Basketball Schedule (remaining)
- Tuesday, December 5 – at Iola-Scandinavia – Iola-Scandinavia High School
- Thursday, December 7 – vs. Wausau West – Antigo High School
- Friday, December 8 – at Tomahawk – Tomahawk High School
- Friday, December 22 – vs. Crandon – Antigo High School
- Tuesday, January 2 – vs. Medford – Antigo High School
- Friday, January 5 – at Mosinee – Mosinee High School
- Friday, January 12 – at Rhinelander – Rhinelander High School
- Monday, January 15 – vs. Lakeland – Antigo High School
- Tuesday, January 16 – at DC Everest – DC Everest High School
- Friday, January 19 – vs. Northland Pines – Antigo High School
- Thursday, January 25 – vs. Tomahawk – Antigo High School
- Tuesday, January 30 – at Medford – Medford Area High School
- Friday, February 2 – at Pacelli – Pacelli High School
- Monday, February 5 – vs. Wausau East – Antigo High School
- Thursday, February 8 – vs. Mosinee – Antigo High School
- Tuesday, February 13 – at Lakeland – Lakeland Union High School
- Friday, February 16 – vs. Rhinelander – Antigo High School
- Monday, February 19 – at Wittenberg-Birnamwood – Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School
- Thursday, February 22 – at Northland Pines – Northland Pines High School