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Kaukauna, WI – The Kaukauna Galloping Ghosts (4-1) went on the road on Tuesday to take on Oshkosh West (4-2) and came out with an 88-79 victory.
Seniors Dylan Kurey and WVU commit Jordan McCabe looked to continue the offensive firepower from their last game against Appleton West, where the team scored 101 points, by scoring 25 and 21 points respectively against the Wildcats.
Kaukauna came out fast, scoring immediately off the opening tip and going on a 7-0 run in the first 1:20 of the game. After a hot start, both offenses slowed down, with the score at 25-20 with 7:45 left in the first half but both teams would pick up steam. Kurey went on a mini-run of his own, scoring 12 of his 19 first-half points in three minutes. After an 18-6 run, the Galloping Ghosts went up 43-26 with 4:12 left in the first half.
Oshkosh West would not let up went on a 16-4 run to end the half, led by Derek Kroll, who scored 24 of his game-high 28 points in the first half. The score at the intermission was 47-42.
The second half was a hard fought battle, with plenty of hard fouls from both teams and no-calls that got the crowd and the players fired up. Oshkosh West struggled to find a rhythm early in the second, and Kaukauna was back up double-digits at 57-47. The Kaukauna offense continued to click, as McCabe was able to showcase his strong handles and shooting, going 6-0 run on his own to put Kaukauna up 63-51.
Shortly after, Schalow took McCabe out of the game, and the Wildcats came back showing life. Oshkosh West managed to get it back within four with 11:15 left in the game, and then pulled within one at 63-62.
Both teams started to play fast, physical basketball, in the last 10 minutes of the game and the referees decided that were not going to call many fouls. Each team had back and forth drives to the lane, where their big men were getting hammered on, and the refs let them play it out. Oshkosh West finally tied it up 69-69 with 9:07 left.
Oshkosh West kept it close and was able to go shot for shot with Kaukauna's offense, and the Ghosts had a narrow three-point lead at 78-75 with five minutes left. Wildcat big man Luke Hassl was called for a few late fouls on attempted blocks, that put Kaukauna to the line. Late in the game, Hassl had dunk to put them within one, and then on the defensive side blocked a McCabe shot, causing the Wildcat fans to erupt. It looked like the momentum was going to swing in the Wildcats’ favor, still down two with two minutes left, but thanks to Kurey and McCabe, that did not happen.
The duo controlled the last two minutes and ended up giving Kaukauna a six-point lead with 50 seconds left, and Oshkosh West would not be able to make one last run.
Kaukauna will next face Appleton North on Friday for a 7:30 tipoff.