By Dan Truttschel – Sports Correspondent

The results of the Division 2 seeding meeting last week were less than desirable in Westosha Central coach Dave Sjong’s eyes.

And that left the Falcons with just one thing to do if they wanted to prove their coach right – just win, which is exactly what Central did in a pair of regional games last week.

Central kept its season alive Saturday night with a stunning 65-40 win over second-seeded Fort Atkinson. The victory improved the seventh-seeded Falcons to 11-13 overall and sent them to a regional final Monday night at Oregon.

Results were unavailable by press time. A win over Oregon would send the Falcons to a sectional semifinal later this week at Burlington.

The win Saturday, which came on the heels of a 69-52 win in the regional opener, definitely was a big one for the program, Sjong said.

“To win two playoff games for us is huge,” he said. “I don’t know when the last time is that we won two. To get to the regional final is pretty exciting for all of us.”

Central jumped out to a fast start and held a 17-9 first-quarter lead, which was the key, Sjong said.

“We came out and dictated the pace,” he said. “We got the rebounds and got the ball up the floor. I think our team speed surprised these guys from the Badger South (Conference).”

Fort tried to get back into the game in the second quarter and cut the deficit to seven points, but the Falcons took control right after halftime.

Central outscored the Blackhawks 39-21 the last two quarters to cruise to the next round.

Early in the second half, the Falcons committed several turnovers, but Fort wasn’t able to completely capitalize, Sjong said. The game eventually became a four-point affair at 26-22 before Central put together a 9-0 scoring run.

“The run was all ignited by rebounding really hard,” Sjong said. “We had guys fighting for rebounds.”

Sjong added that a key play during the run came after a loose ball picked up by Jason Castona, who flipped it to Dalton Sjong, who then launched a long baseball pass to Mike Michelau for a layup.

Michelau had a huge game offensively with 30 points on the strength of three 3-pointers. Michelau, who also had an early dunk, made a half-court shot at the end of the first quarter.

“They used a box and one on Dalton (Sjong) to start the game, which we’ve seen now a few times,” Dave Sjong said. “Our guys have finally figured out when that happens that other guys have to make shots.

“Mike has been in a shooting slump this season, but we know what he’s capable of. He came out and got some confidence early. It was Mike’s night. He was definitely on.”

Dalton Sjong added 12 points to go with Michelau’s 30, followed by Castona, who returned from an ankle injury for the game, with 10.

Central also started quickly in the regional opener, as it took a 23-9 lead after the first quarter and never looked back. The Falcons extended their advantage to 39-20 by halftime.

But it wasn’t always easy, Sjong said, as the Comets made eight 3-pointers.

“At one point, we were trading twos for threes because just kept posting guys up,” Sjong said. “Delavan didn’t have a size matchup for Dalton or Sam (Cavener), so we kept throwing it inside and got a big lead.”

Sjong led the way with 24 points, followed by Michelau with 10 and Luke Millhouse and Cavener with nine apiece.

 

 
 

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