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HHS not in upsetting mood

Chargers turn away Menomonee Falls in regional

Feb. 23, 2013

Twice during the regular season, Hamilton arch-rival Menomonee Falls came close to an upset. But Hamilton wasn't in the upsetting mood in the WIAA Division 1 playoffs.

The Chargers successfully turned away Menomonee Falls, 70-54 giving Hamilton a three-game sweep on the Indians (7-16).

In the infant stages of Friday's meeting, the Chargers were up 5-4, but scored the next 15 points to take a 20-4 lead after eight minutes of play. During the rally, field goals from Austin Kendziorski, Mark Gryszkiewicz, Brett Buehler and Brady Ellingson brought the large Hamilton contingency to their feet.

Menomonee Falls began the second quarter with a 15-foot jump shot by Juwan McCloud, but a field goal by Aaron Konop off a rebound gave the Chargers a 25-8 advantage.

Jason Precia had a rebound-basket for the Indians, cutting Hamilton's lead to 10 points at 27-17, but Hamilton walked into the locker room at halftime up by 13 points 34-21.

The Indians got the lead under double digits 38-30 on back-to-back 3-pointers from McCloud midway through the third quarter, but a 3-pointer from Ellingson silenced the Menomonee Falls faithful with 4:50 to play in the period.

Ellingson scored right under the basket with 1:20 remaining in the third quarter. That field goal put Hamilton in front 53-36.

With 5:25 to play in the game, the Chargers enjoyed their biggest lead 64-39 thanks to a pair of on-target passes from Drew Patterson to Jake Knueppel.

"Juwan made two in a row, and if he gets that third one to go down, it's a 5-point game, but they come down and answered after that miss," said Menomonee Falls coach Dan Leffel said. "That was kind of the straw that broke the camel's back at that point, but I really loved the way my kids kept on fighting. That's the thing I'm going to remember about this group."

The Indians played without Brandon Ramey, the team's leading scorer, for unspecified reasons.

"When you take your leading scorer out, it really makes it tough. Someone else has to step up and score and its tough enough already against a talented team like Hamilton," Leffel said.

The Chargers got 20 points from Ellingson. Tony Gumina had 11 points, Gryszkiewicz finished with 9 points and five assists and Knueppel finished the game with 8 points and seven rebounds.

"Menomonee Falls just never goes away," Hamilton head coach Andy Cerroni said. "I think our press helped us tonight. They got it down to 8 but then had a little push in the third quarter. We struggled somewhat with foul trouble, but we were able to overcome it."

The Indians got 14 points from McCloud. Precia had 13 points, and Jerry Murphy finished with 12 points and eight rebounds.

"I think this week was our best week of practice," Knueppel said. "We shot the ball well and our defense was much better then the last time we played the Falls. This atmosphere was awesome tonight. I can't say enough about how much fun it is to play in front of a big home crowd like this. Especially when it's against your rival."

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