Eau Claire Memorial needed a big boost off the bench.
And it got it.
Getting key points at critical times down the stretch from Nathan Hau and Bryce Burlingame, the Old Abes were able to hold off La Crosse Logan 65-62 in a non-conference game Tuesday night at the Eagles Nest.
Hau grabbed a rebound and put it back in and added a free throw after being fouled with 1:08 to play to break up a tie game and Memorial led 63-60, never to trail again.
“I was down low and happened to be there for the rebound,” said Hau, a reserve front-liner. “I put it back up with a little contact and it went in. It was a big shot for the team but there were a lot of big shots in the game.”
After Logan cut the lead to two, he made the second of two free throws to make it a 3-point game with just three seconds to play.
“There was a little pressure on the first one but then time out was called,’ he said. “Coach helped relax me for the second one.”
Coach Chad Brieske told Hau that he would make the shot. “We just figured on the potential that he would make it.”
Burlingame, a back-court backup, followed Tanner Kohlhepp’s 3-pointer with another from the corner with 7:11 to play to give the Old Abes their first lead of the second half at 49-46.
With 1:12 to play, he hit two of three free throws to tie the game at 60 and later hit one of two for a 64-62 lead.
“Bryce played an outstanding game,” Brieske said. “He hit big shots and played great defense.”
It was a game in which Logan, a lanky and athletic team, led a good share of the way, by 31-29 at halftime and by as many as five points in the second half.
“Inconsistency has been our problem,” coach Andy Fernholz said. “We play in spurts.”
After a time out with 15 seconds to play and trailing by two, Logan had possession but turned the ball over with three seconds left. Hau grabbed the ball and was fouled.
“We just wanted to get a good shot off,” Fernholz said. “We just made one too many passes and they got it.”
The win was powered by the Abes main gunners. Caden Boser scored 21 points and grabbed 12 rebounds before fouling out with 1:32 to play. It was a huge loss but Hau was able to step in.
Cormac Sampson scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds and Kohlhepp hit three 3’s and finished with 11 points.
“We had to gut and grit and grind it out,” Brieske said. “We got contributions from so many.”
A key for the Abes was their ability to hit nine of 19 from 3-point land with five players chipping in.
Logan was led by 6-3 Jackson Hamilton, who scored 21 points inside. CJ Siegel, who came in averaging 24 points, added 12, Matthew Borsheim 13 and Maguire Werner 10.