LaFord leads C-N past Maroons
By Stephen Oman
MENOMINEE — The Carney-Nadeau boys’ basketball team was nearly flawless in its regular-season finale, a 77-49 win over Menominee Tuesday.
The Wolves made 16 3-pointers, 14 in the first three quarters.
“I think a lot of it was good ball movement,” Carney-Nadeau coach Jake Polfus said. “They got it to the open guy and didn’t hesitate.
“I’m starting to like the bigger court because there’s more space to cut, and we didn’t look as jammed up.”
Carney-Nadeau led 17-14 after the first quarter, but the Wolves stretched their lead to 43-24 at the half.
“Give credit to Carney, they’re good shooters, but we make a lot of people look like good shooters because we just flat out don’t guard anybody,” Menominee coach Sam Larson said. “I thought in the first half, they got a lot of the 3s off offensive rebounds. Brett LaFord had a heck of a game rebounding the basketball for them, and we never got a body on him.”
LaFord had a huge game for Carney-Nadeau. He finished with a game-high 24 points and was one of three Wolves to make at least four 3-pointers.
“That’s the Brett we’ve been waiting for offensively,” Polfus said. “Defensively, he always brings it, and hopefully this is a big builder going into the tournament.
“(LaFord and Preston Lauscher) were crashing the boards hard. That’s something that we really want to stress. In our district, we’re not the smallest team for once. Hopefully we can do that again next Wednesday.”
The Wolves led the Maroons 64-40 after three quarters.
“When we get in a halfcourt set and work it through we look decent at times and get some good shots,” Larson said. “Tyler Kuester was the benefactor of that tonight.”
Kuester led Menominee with 19 points.
Carney-Nadeau’s run-and-jump press bothered the Maroons in the first three quarters.
“They’re getting better at going on their own and not waiting for me to yell it out,” Polfus said.
Those traps led to turnovers and easy baskets for the Wolves.
“We didn’t handle the run-and-jump very well people we didn’t have guys flashing to the basketball,” Larson said.
Carney-Nadeau had four double-digit scorers led by LaFord. Preston Lauscher had 16 points, Max Baumler had 14 and Beau Koffman added 12.
Kyle Anderson scored eight points for the Maroons, and Seth Hornick chipped in six.
Menominee hosts Stephenson in its final regular-season game Tuesday.
Carney-Nadeau hosts North Dickinson in the district opener next Wednesday. That district also includes Stephenson, North Central and Bark River-Harris.
“It’s going to be a fun district. We’re really excited, we’re at home for the whole thing,” Polfus said. “I think the kids are ready for March, ready for the big games.”
“Right now I think we’re playing some of our best basketball.”
Menominee won the junior varsity game, 59-30.
Carney-Nadeau 17 26 21 13 — 77
Menominee 14 10 16 9 — 49
Carney-Nadeau — Koffman 12, Lauscher 16, LaFord 24, Kleiman 6, Kirschner 2, Janofski 3, Baumler 14; FT: 3-7.
Menominee — Monroe 6, Drifka 3, Kuester 19, Anderson 8, Hornick 6, Harris 3, Polaski 2, Russell 2; FT: 5-7.