St. Francis showed some determined resolution in its first boys basketball game of 2008.
And the Mariners were rewarded with their first win of the season, a 59-56 decision over host Cudahy on Jan. 4.
St. Francis had to survive a fourth-quarter scoring frenzy by Cudahy to finish the job. The Packers racked up 25 points in the period - just six fewer than they had scored in the previous three combined.
"We were up 57-50, then they cut it to 57-56," St. Francis coach John Kloppenburg said. "We hit two free throws, including one by Chris Hemmer with 16 seconds left, before they tried a 3-pointer at the buzzer that missed."
St. Francis opened an 11-8 edge after a quarter and extended its advantage to 25-19 entering halftime.
The Mariners continued to build upon their lead in the third period, outscoring the Packers, 16-12, before holding off Cudahy's push down the stretch.
St. Francis climbed to 1-5 in the Woodland Conference and 1-9 overall with the victory. Cudahy slipped to 1-5 and 2-7, respectively.
"I think our guys learned from our earlier games," Kloppenburg said. "They realize now that they need to execute at the end and finish games."
The Mariners' Dale Gilewski paced all scorers with 16 points, including a trio of 3-pointers. Teammate Chris Hemmer chipped in with 15, and Andy Schmidt added 11.
"Gilewski played the way he's capable of playing," Kloppenburg said. "Hemmer and Duke Byrd handled their pressure well, and our sophomore, Andy Schmidt, hit some key free throws down the stretch."
Nick Abbrederis scored 15 points, Scott Sekach 14 and Jake Wahl 13 for Cudahy.
The Mariners met Greenfield on Jan. 8. Their next game will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, at home against Brown Deer.
Cudahy played St. Thomas More on Jan. 8, and will hit the roat to take on Whitnall at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11, and Union Grove at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15.
St. Francis 59, Cudahy 56
St. Francis (11-14-16-18-59) Dale Gilewski 16, Chris Hemmer 15, Andy Schmidt 11, Caleb Hargreaves 8, Justin Taylor 4, Duke Byrd 3, Josh Gutschow 2. Field goals 24; free throws 8-11 (73%); 3-point goals 3, Gilewski 3.
Cudahy (8-11-12-25-56) Nick Abbrederis 15, Scott Sekach 14, Jake Wahl 13, Chris Vokes 7, Adam Lockwood 5, John Dishinger 2. Field goals 20; free throws 11-20 (55%); 3-poin tgoals 5, Sekach 3, Abbrederis, Vokes.
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