Two big games tonight to decide hoops champion

by Dave Boehler
Beacon Sports Editor

It’s the Monday night of the year in the Big East Conference.

Because of recent weather-related cancellations, make-up games will be held tonight that will determine the boys basketball regular-season champion.

Sheboygan Lutheran needs to beat host Oostburg to finish in sole possession of first place with an undefeated record.

The Crusaders, who are ranked No. 1 in the Division 5 state coaches’ poll by, are 12-0 in the league (17-0 overall) and have won 23 consecutive league games (not including conference tournament games).

Oostburg – and Howards Grove – need to win to finish in a first-place tie with Lutheran.

The Flying Dutchmen are 11-1 (14-2) and have won nine of their last 10 games – the only loss was by one point to Plymouth – since the Tigers beat them by 24 points on Dec. 14.

“Oostburg is always a great environment to coach and play. Tonight should be no exception with the conference on the line,” Lutheran coach Nick Verhagen said. “Coach (Kevin) Bruggink has a disciplined group of well-coached players and I have no doubt that both programs, along with their fan bases, will be prepared for an exciting match-up tonight.”

Reigning conference champion Howards Grove is also 11-1 in the Big East and is at Random Lake tonight.

“We don’t have a whole lot of time to scoreboard watch,” Tigers’ coach Wade Georgeff said. “Random Lake is a good team that has been in a lot of games. We cannot afford to look ahead or pay attention to something out of our control. We have our rooting interests of course, but we are focused on closing out the regular season and moving forward.”

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