POTOSI, Wis. — The Shullsburg Miners knew coming in to Tuesday night’s game that they would need to keep the ball out of Potosi 6-foot-6-inch senior forward Nick Edge’s hands.
The Miners (7-6, 5-1) used a combination of zone and man-to-man defense to keep the Chieftains out of any kind of rhythm offensively as they moved into second place in the Six Rivers Conference with a 56-45 win.
Edge finished the game with nine points, behind Austin Uppena’s team-high 14.
“We knew that we needed to limit Edge’s touches for us to be successful, and I thought the guys did a great job of that, especially in the first half,” Shullsburg coach Luke Tyson said. “We did a great job at the beginning of the game on both ends of the court, but we allowed Potosi to get back in it right before half.”
Shullsburg led 19-11 following a free throw from Chandler Kelly, but the Chieftains (5-6, 3-2) pulled back to within one at 22-21 on a pair of free throws from Ben Udelhofen with 4:40 remaining. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Kelly gave the Miners a 28-21 lead, and Shullsburg would hold on to a 30-24 lead at the break.
Kelly finished the game with a team-high 17 points for the Miners, while Brendan Kudronowicz added 16, with 13 of those coming in the second half. Brandon Hoppman also added 14 points for Shullsburg.
“It’s nice that we have different guys who are able to score that many points on any given night,” Kudronowicz said. “We got into some foul trouble there early on after Brandon had the hot hand, so we had to have other guys step up.”
The Chieftains were able to pull to within three on a Gunnar Stappert 3-pointer early in the second half, but that would be as close as they would get as Kudronowicz’s hot hand kept the Miners ahead.
“We kind of needed to regroup in the locker room and get back to how we were playing at the beginning of the game,” Tyson said. “Our guys brought good energy and we had lots of different guys scoring points, and that is always good to see.”
The Miners will take on River Ridge Friday with hopes of handing the Wolves their first conference loss.
“Ridge has been on a roll here lately, so we know it’s going to be a battle,” Tyson said. “Our defense fuels our offense, so our main focus is going to be continuing to play solid defense.”