Thunder boys’ basketball defeats Xavier in overtime

Rhett Driessen had some big plays during overtime against Appleton Xavier to help the Thunder win the battle with a final score 76-73. – Photos by Sara Tischauser

Riley Murphy led the Thunder with 24 points on Jan. 3.

Peyton VanDeHei goes up for 2 points against Appleton Xavier.

By Sara Tischauser

The Seymour Thunder Boys’ Basketball team hosted the Appleton Xavier Hawks on Jan. 3 and both teams came into the game undefeated in the Bay Conference this season.
The two teams battled back and forth and took the game to overtime to determine a winner. Seymour won the battle with a final score of 76-73.
“We are 5-0 in Bay Conference and they [Xavier] are 4-1,” said Seymour boys’ basketball head coach Jon Murphy. “It just means we are off to a good start. We will still have to play them later but it gives us a leg up early in the season.”
Going into this battle, the team knew it would be tough competition.
“I think our kids knew this was a big game,” Murphy said. “Xavier hadn’t lost a Bay Conference game since the 2016-17 season. They had won 34 Bay Conference games in a row.”
Muprhy said that the win was a team effort and there were many key players for the night.
“We were led by Riley Murphy who had 24 [points] including two big 3-point shots in last 30 seconds that put the game into overtime,” coach Murphy said. “Then Trent Blake who had 23 points to go along with 12 rebounds. Trent was big on both ends of the court.”
In addition Mason Dorn had 12 points in teh second half of the game.
During overtime there was some big plays that helped Seymour come out on top.
“Rhett Driessen came up big in overtime with a big basket and a free throw and then he drew a charge and got us the ball back and that enabled us to get control in overtime,” Murphy said.
This win was a great way to end the first half of the season.
“Obviously a big game and a big win for the kids and the program,” Murphy said. “We are just starting second half of season. We are 11 games in and we are 8-3 overall and 5-0 in the conference. The season is 22 games long before the tournament starts. We are right at the midpoint.”
At the halfway point, Murphy is happy with where the team is and looks to continue improving for the second half.
“The first half of the season is about putting yourself in a position to get a Bay Conference title and we’ve done that,” Murphy said. “We are taking it one game at a time and looking to get better and develop our bench a little bit. We are off to a good start and we are super excited about our big win last night.”