Pulaski boys basketball team cruises to nonconference win

Red Raiders run away with win on special night
Morgan Rode
Sports Editor

The Pulaski High School boys basketball team eased its way to an 81-63 nonconference win over Marinette on Feb. 10 in Pulaski.

It was already a special night in Pulaski as senior Derek Shaw was honored for recently going over the 1,000-point milestone in his high school career, while the 2013 state championship was recognized on its 10-year anniversary.

On the court, Pulaski ran away with the game, primarily thanks to turning Marinette mistakes into fastbreak points. When it wasn’t a half-court game, the Red Raiders racked up points fast and furiously, and Marinette never challenged the lead for about the final 23 minutes of play.

“It was big. I wanted to do it all for them (2013 state title team),” said Shaw of the team being able to pick up a win. “They had a great run when they were in this gym. I just wanted to do it all for them and prove to them that we can win too.”

“Special shoutout to Derek, he’s my brother, been my brother for 18 years. It was super awesome to see him achieve that milestone in his career, not many people do that,” said Pulaski’s Gatlin Robaidek. “The state team coming back is super awesome, that was super exciting. I think the atmosphere at first was a little nerves and then after we realized that we needed to pick it up and step it up and I think we really put on a show for them and it was something they can be proud of.”

Pulaski fell behind 9-2 in the early going, as Marinette hit three 3-pointers after an opening basket from Pulaski’s Ethan Schmidt. The Red Raiders responded with an 8-0 run, with Shaw scoring twice, and Brady Wotruba and Dylan Dorn each adding one field goal.

The teams traded points over the next few minutes before Pulaski grabbed control late in the half. The hosts ended the half on a 20-7 run in the final five-plus minutes.

Pulaski did a lot of the scoring early in possessions, taking advantage of Marinette turnovers or misses.

“We just tried to lock in on defense because we gave up a few shots early in the game that we didn’t want to give up,” said Shaw, adding that help defense led to some steals and easy looks on offense.

At the break, Shaw already had scored 16 points, making seven shots. Dorn, Schultz and Wotruba also made multiple shots in the first 18 minutes.

After an extended halftime, when the state championship team being honored, it took a few minutes for Pulaski to get back into rhythm. When they did though, the Red Raiders were able to extend the lead out to 22, and then coasted to victory after that.

Much like the first half, the faster the pace of play, the more positive things turned out for Pulaski. The Red Raiders scored 13 points over a 2 minute, 34 second span to break things open.

“I think that we really just brought it together as a team and decided that we needed to pick it up from the first half and we just went out there and dominated,” said Robaidek. “Defensively, we picked it up, talked a little more, gave a little more energy and that was pretty much ballgame.”

Shaw and Robaidek each tallied 10 second-half points, while Wotruba had nine. Shaw led the team with 26 total points, while Wotruba had 13 and Robaidek 12. Every player that played for the Red Raiders scored at least four points.

Marinette 23 40 — 63

Pulaski 37 44 — 81

Pulaski (81): Derek Shaw 3-3 26, Colin Schultz 0-0 7, Brady Wotruba 0-0 13, Gatlin Robaidek 2-2 12, Ethan Schmidt 0-0 6, Brock Steinbrecher 0-0 4, Dylan Dorn 1-2 9, Dixon Holewinski 2-2 4.

Marinette (63): Sam Sommerfeldt 0-0 13, Chase MacGregor 4-4 9, Dominic Smerchek 2-3 9, Max Jacobson 2-2 6, Cale Ducane 0-0 9, Luke Noel 1-2 4, Landon Corwin-Young 0-0 3, Javon Brown 3-4 10.