POSEN-It was a case of same story, different day for the Posen boys basketball team on Wednesday.
Another big first half deficit, more offensive lulls and at the end of the night, a 78-55 loss to No. 3 Cedarville at Posen High School.
It marked the fourth straight loss for Posen (6-11), which trailed by 20 at halftime and was never quite able to catch up to the Trojans (15-1).
"Cedarville is a good team. There's a reason why they're ranked. They've got good height, good shooters, they play good defense," Posen coach Steve Hentkowski said.
Though Cedarville has only seven players on its roster, five of them reached double figures on Wednesday. Keith Bouschar paced Cedarville with 19 points, Dan Stenback added 17, Josh Hester had 12 and Todd Hecht and Joe Duncan each chipped in 10.
The Trojans got going early offensively and led 27-17 after the first quarter. Using an array of moves that included everything from six-foot jump shots to put-backs to driving the lane for lay-ups, Cedarville kept the pedal down as Posen went nearly four minutes without a field goal to open the second quarter.
Nick Hincka led Posen with 29 points, but Posen struggled to knock down shots for several stretches during the game while the Trojans seemed to score with easy at times. Posen did well at the charity stripe, going 12-for-16, but Cedarville also got to the line more often and finished 20-for-28.
Defensively, Hentkowski was pleased with his team's effort, but he also pointed to 26 turnovers as a major problem for the Vikings.
"I thought our defensive play was good. We stayed with them and I was really happy with the effort of my guys," Hentkowski said. "They had a hard time stopping Nicholas and a few rebounds here and a few less turnovers and this could've been a different turnout."
Cedarville led 50-30 at halftime and held Posen to just nine points in the third quarter. Posen broke through Cedarville's press quite often, but struggled against the Trojans' half-court defense, which didn't allow Posen many open looks and limited the Vikings to shooting less than 30 percent from the field.
Hincka led Posen's charge in the second-half, notching 19 points including 13 in the fourth quarter, but it came a little two late as the Vikings went nearly another four minutes without scoring to open the final period.
Lucas Litwinski added 15 points for Posen.
The Trojans led 63-40 after three quarters, but didn't rest on its laurels, using its height to get several baskets in the paint from players like Stenback and Bouschar who were able to twist away from Posen defenders and score.
Hentkowski is hopeful that even though his team is in the middle of a skid, it will ultimately help them as they head into district play starting in March.
"We talked about it yesterday. I had five guys come in voluntarily. I told them, 'Guys, if we can stay with these top notch teams, come districts, if we can play like this, then we can maybe pull off an upset,'" Hentkowski said. "We've just got to keep working hard."
CEDARVILLE (78): Stenback 5 7-10 17; Hecht 4 2-2 10; Hester 7 2-4 16; Bouschar 7 5-6 19; Causley 3 0-0 6; Duncan 3 4-6 10.
POSEN (55): Hincka 9 9-11 29; Mulka 0 1-2 1; Litwinski 6 0-0 15; Sharpe 1 2-2 4; Beach 1 0-1 2; Kwiecien 1 0-0 2; Zaborney 1 0-0 2.