Jake Martin is hard to miss out on the court.
That doesn’t make him any easier to stop.
The 7-foot Whitewater High senior scored a game-high 26 points as the No. 4-seeded Whippets took down No. 5-seeded Jefferson, 58-51, in a WIAA Division 2 regional quarterfinal Tuesday at Whitewater.
“He’s big,” Jefferson head coach Jim Altermatt said. “We knew Jake was going to get a lot of good touches tonight. We just tried to slow him down as much as we could. I thought we did a decent job.”
Whitewater will play at top-seeded Lake Mills in a regional semifinal Friday night.
Martin proved to be a matchup nightmare for a Jefferson team that rosters its tallest player at 6-foot-3. The Whippets center scored 13 points in each half as the Eagles struggled to find an answer to his post-ups.
“If he finishes a few more close ones he probably has 30,” Whitewater head coach Dan Gnatzig said. “They were bringing pressure and scrapping around him.”
Martin and Whitewater (8-11) grabbed early control, scoring 15 of the first 20 points.
But Jefferson regrouped to tie it, 19-19, with 5:38 left before halftime.
“We continued to attack,” Altermatt said. “It’s hard to do when you know you’re running into a 7-footer, but we couldn’t just settle for 3s.”
Jefferson grabbed its first lead of the game less than a minute later as Braden McGraw connected on a 3-pointer to make it 22-20. On the other end, the 5-foot-11 McGraw blocked Martin to preserve the Eagle advantage.
Martin and junior Jon Aron both made two-point shots the final 2:11 of the half to give Whitewater a 24-22 lead heading into the locker room.
Out of the break, it was all Whitewater as the Whippets scored 14 of the first 18 points of the second half.
However, the Eagles were able to make things interesting in the final half minute.
A McGraw 3-pointer with 36 seconds left cut the deficit down to 57-51. Senior Haygen Miller had a couple clean looks at 3-pointers after the steal, but wasn’t able to convert.
Whitewater will take on top-seeded Lake Mills Friday at 7 p.m.
WHITEWATER 58, JEFFERSON 51Jefferson 22 29—51
Whitewater 24 34—58
JEFFERSON (fg ft-fta pts) — Miller 2 9-10 15, McGraw 5 4-4 17, Neitzel 2 0-0 6, Marin 1 2-2 4, Phillips 2 0-0 4, Hoffman 1 0-0 3, Devine 1 0-0 2. Totals 14 15-16 51.
WHITEWATER — Martin 12 2-4 26, Grosinske 2 0-0 5, Zimdars 3 1-2 8, Aron 0 4-4 4, C. Brown 2 2-3 6, S. Brown 0 2-4 2, Nickels 2 3-5 7. Totals 21 14-22 58.
3-point goals: J 8 (McGraw 3, Miller 2, Neitzel 2, Hoffman), W 3 (Grosinske, Zimdars, C. Brown). Total fouls: J 22, W 13. Fouled out: Zimdars.