Atlanta boys beat Posen in overtime



News Sports Editor

POSEN-The Atlanta boys basketball team found the best solution to make amends for an overtime loss.

A thrilling overtime win.

Garrett Badgero scored 34 points and the Huskies topped Posen 68-64 in overtime on Tuesday at Posen High School in a North Star League contest on Tuesday.

Taylor Juergens hit a shot with two seconds left in regulation to force overtime and Badgero scored eight points in the extra period as the Huskies (4-11, 4-8 NSL) outscored the Vikings 10-6.

The win made up for a disappointing 73-72 overtime loss for the Huskies on Monday against Johannesburg-Lewiston.

“This is a big win for us. We’re trying to get a winning streak going heading into districts and this is one for the whole team,” Badgero said. “It shows that we can overcome when we lose, so we just wanted to come out here and try and get a win.”

Posen (6-8, 4-7 NSL) led 51-42 with 5:47 left in regulation, but Atlanta clawed back and narrowed the gap to four with 3:38 left before Lucas Litwinski drilled a wide-open triple to put Posen up 54-47.

With his team running out of time, Badgero went to work, scoring nine points in the last three minutes of the fourth quarter including a 6-of-9 clip from the free-throw line.

“There’s no question in my mind that Atlanta played their hearts out; they played hard. Posen played their hearts out and we played hard. No excuses, you just have to play a little harder to beat a team like Atlanta,” Posen coach Steve Hentkowski said. “We’ve got to know where Badgero is. He’s their main threat and he was on fire tonight.

Badgero led off overtime with a trey and Posen’s Brandon Dietz answered back with a bucket, but from there the game belonged to Atlanta. Badgero was 4-of-8 from the line in overtime and Posen battled foul trouble. Litwinski hit a three-pointer with 37 seconds left to cut Atlanta’s lead to one, 65-64, but he fouled out immediately after and Nick Hincka soon followed.

Both teams struggled to stay out of foul trouble down the stretch in a game that saw more than 40 fouls called and a few Atlanta players foul out as well.

Hincka and Martin Mulka led Posen with 15 points each.

The first half saw inconsistent play from both teams, though the Vikings erased a seven-point deficit in the first quarter to take a 14-12 lead at the end of the period.

Posen held a 30-25 halftime lead.

Despite missing several floaters to open the second half, Atlanta started the period on an 8-0 run to take a 33-30 lead which was punctuated by a triple from Badgero.

At the end of the first quarter, Atlanta coach Ryan Marlatt told his team that someone needed to take charge.

Enter Badgero, who scored 32 points from the second quarter onward.

“I’m the only senior on the team, so they (my teammates) listen to me, so I just try and get work done,” Badgero said.

Out of a 35-all tie with 2:58 left in the third quarter, Posen built a 40-35 lead, but Atlanta battled back and by the end of the period, the Vikings led by only two, 42-40.

Hincka led Posen’s charge early in the fourth quarter helping the Vikings take a 48-40 lead in the first minute and eventually a 51-42 lead.

Slowly but surely the Huskies clawed back to contend for the lead and a Badgero triple with nine seconds left cut the Vikings’ lead to one, 57-56. After a free throw from Mulka, Juergens found himself open on the left and hit the tying shot.

Juergens added 11 points for the Huskies and Jake Chambers chipped in with eight.

Posen’s JV team topped Atlanta 36-29. Evan Schuch led Posen with 14 points and Matt Wisniewski added 12. Joey Gross led Atlanta with 16 points.

ATLANTA (68): Chambers 3 2-4 8; Barrett 3 3-6 10; Badgero 9 12-19 24; Juergens 4 2-2 11; Dobbyn 2 3-4 11.

POSEN (64): Mulka 3 8-11 15; Dietz 3 3-6 9; Zaborney 1 0-1 2; Sharpe 1 5-6 8; Hincka 4 7-9 15; Beach 2 0-1 4; Litwinski 3 0-0 9; Kwiecien 1 0-0 2.