FLORENCE, Wis. — Junior Derek Ransanici led a balanced scoring attack with a team-high 13 points, as Hurley powered past shorthanded Florence 75-42 Monday night in non-conference boys basketball action at Florence High School.
Tony Cummings added 12 points, while Eli Talsma and Braxton Sbraggia each chipped in 11 points for the Northstars. Hurley had all but one of its players get into the scoring column.
The first six to seven minutes of the game were see-saw, back and forth. Florence, which was missing several players for various reasons, ranging from COVID quarantining to injury or illness, stuck with the Northstars until their outside shots began to fall.
“We started cold tonight, but then we started getting the ball up the floor quicker, and got some good initial looks at the basket and made some shots,” said Hurley head coach Mike Swartz. “That got us going, we were beating their 2-3 zone up the floor before they could set up, which got us out to a nice lead.”
Swartz noted that as their shots started falling, the Northstars also rotated the ball around their half court offense well, which also got some inside looks at the basket.
At 6-foot-5, Sbraggia, a junior, was able to use his size to his advantage near the basket.
“This is Braxton’s third year on the varsity, he’s a nice player for us and has really good hands,” Swartz said.
Sophomore Evan Johnson, who canned 20 points for the Bobcats to lead all scorers, forced Swartz to change the Northstars defense up.
“We had to try to keep No. 1 for them out of the paint, he’s a pretty good player, especially when he was driving to the basket,” Swartz said.
The Bobcats (0-1) had freshman William Kelley chip in 10 points on the evening. Playing with only seven players suited up for the game, with three of them being freshmen certainly posed its challenges against an experienced and larger in size and numbers Hurley team.
“We saw the difference tonight between a veteran team and a rookie team, “ said Florence head coach Bryan Bomberg. “There was a couple of times where we got caught standing still on offense and defense, where they didn’t stand around at all.”
Bomberg emphasized how proud he was of his players on the night, despite the outcome of the game.
“We were mostly freshman and sophomores who had never played together on a varsity level and they were starting and playing against a team like Hurley. The boys stuck with it tonight, and kept playing. Playing a team like this, will make us better in the long run,” he said.
The Bobcats remain home and host Northern Lakes Conference foe Goodman-Pembine on Thursday night. There was no JV contest against the Northstars Monday night.
Hurley 38 37 — 75
HURLEY: Walowinski 8, DiGiorgio 9, Eder 4, Manzanares 2, Talsma 11, Croci 5, Ransanici 13, Cummings 12, Sbraggia 11; FT: 11-16; F: 12; 3-point FG: Walowinski 2, DiGiorgio 2, Talsma, Ransanici 2, Croci; Fouled Out: None
Florence 14 28 — 42