Williams Bay boys top contender in league
WILLIAMS BAY -- It's too early to talk about the postseason and a bit premature to compare this year's squad to Troy Nottestad's best boys basketball teams at Williams Bay.
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However, the 2013-'14 Bulldogs team is well on its way to joining that conversation, having started 11-2 overall and 8-1 in Trailways South action heading into this past Friday's game at Horicon.
Nottestad's first of 12 teams, led by Mike Bohn, won 24 games in a row before falling to powerhouse and eventual state champion Randolph in the WIAA Division 4 sectional final to end the 2002-'03 campaign.
Williams Bay already has reached double digits in victories for the ninth time under his tutelage and is chasing its fifth piece of the league crown.
Adam Lechelt was leading the Bulldogs at 16.9 points per game and fellow senior Sergey Klyukuin was averaging 12.2, while juniors John Higgins (12.4) and Brad Quinn (8.4) also have been key contributors.
Nottestad said he is happy how the Bulldogs have performed, but plenty of work remains with non-league matchups against Elkhorn and Milwaukee School of Science and Trailways encounters with Hustisford and Deerfield left.
“We play hard and the guys have good chemistry on and off the court,” Nottestad said. “We don't have any giants, but we have a couple of 6-3 kids, so we have decent size that allows us to have good balance inside and outside. We've been scoring a lot of points, especially at home, but we need to pick that up on the road.
“We've got five guys with a lot of varsity experience and three newcomers, but our five guys off the bench come to work at practice,” Nottestad added. “We have an unselfish bunch. They all help make everybody better.”
Lechelt is the leader and a two-time Trailways honorable mention pick, while Klyukuin and Higgins are major forces.
“Adam is a shooter and ball handler who can hit from out to 26 or 27 feet,” Nottestad said. “He is a four-year starter and our leader. Sergey is quiet and leads by example, but he gives effort and does everything you ask of him. John is best in the post, but he can get out and run so we don't have to slow down. He takes care of the post, but he must stay out of foul trouble.”
Lechelt said the team has made progress and wants to build on its early success.
“The first game we won over Fall River (35-33) on a buzzer beater, and that gave us a lot of confidence and we've kept winning,” Lechelt said. “Sergey and I are the main shooters, but we have a lot of talent. And we play up-tempo and press defensively and cause turnovers and try to tire teams out later in games.
“Now it's a matter of working on and getting better at the little things,” Lechelt added. “We've got five returning starters, and the other guys have settled into their roles. They come in and we don't lose anything. I like our team because we can score inside and outside. We need to have less turnovers and rebound better, and we'll be a great team.”
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