With a key injury and young developing guards, the Verona boys basketball team has lost six straight games after dropping two last week.
Verona (2-8, 2-5 Big Eight Conference) lost 90-34 at home to Madison La Follette on Friday, Jan. 10. The Lancers are ranked second in the Division 1 Associated Press state poll.
“It was an opportunity for the younger guys to play against one of the top-ranked teams in the state,” Verona coach Eddie Singleton said.
The Wildcats were coming off a 71-35 road loss to Madison Memorial on Tuesday, Jan. 7.
Senior guard Haakon Anderson, the team’s leading scorer (15 points per game) and rebounder (9.2) has missed the last five games with an ankle injury. Junior Cam McCorkle injured his shoulder against La Follette and did not return.
“With the injuries we have had, our hand is forced for developing the younger guys,” Singleton said.
The Wildcats are averaging 42.3 points per game during their six-game slide and have scored 35 or less in three of those games.
Verona will host Beloit Memorial on Thursday. Singleton held a team meeting with the players ahead of the matchup.
“I’m continuing to learn and receive feedback as a coach,” Singleton said. “As coaches, we have to give them better scouting reports. We have made some scheme changes and as we get healthier, we will be more successful.
“I’m hoping Haakon is back for Beloit Memorial. They haven’t won a game and I would like to keep it that way.”
Madison La Follette 90, Verona 34
Juniors Kolson Roddick and Bennett Sherry each scored a team-high six points for the Wildcats, who trailed 50-13 at halftime.
Adam Bekx and Sebastian Golden each chipped in four points and grabbed five rebounds. It was Bekx’s first game back since recovering from a meniscus injury in his knee. Jacob Kisting had a team-high three steals.
La Follette seniors Ben Probst and Derek Gray each scored a game-high 18 points. Probst knocked down four of the Lancers’ eight 3-pointers. K’Shawn Gibbs added 15 points and Isaiah Stewart had 14.
Madison Memorial 71, Verona 35
The Wildcats shot 25.4% (13-for-51) from the field and the Spartans finished with a 42-19 advantage on the glass.
Sherry scored a team-high 10 points. Senior Malik Odetunde added nine points. Roddick and Gavin Farrell each chipped in five points.
Memorial jumped out to a 37-21 lead at intermission and clamped down defensively in the second half. Kyle Yu scored a game-high 19 points.