The Baraboo prep boys basketball team shared the court with the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday.
The Thunderbirds took the court first at the new Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, suffering a 43-41 non-conference loss to Milwaukee Juneau about eight hours before the Bucks fell to the Toronto Raptors.
“The kids played hard to the end,” Baraboo coach Darrin Berger said. “We forced some turnovers pressing. We had a look to tie and win, but unfortunately (they) didn’t go. It was a cool experience for the kids and they battled hard.”
Baraboo (0-11) dug an early 12-point hole but fought back quickly, going into halftime with a 24-19 deficit and staying within one possession for much of the second half.
Senior Caden Blum brought the T-Birds within 41-39 with 1 minute, 25 seconds to play by cutting across the lane, catching an entry pass from Noah Jackson and spinning to score at the rim.
The T-Birds forced a turnover on the ensuing possession and went back to Blum on the other block. But his shot didn’t fall a second time and Milwaukee Juneau (5-5) continued to lead with under a minute remaining.
Each team went to the free-throw line on their next possession, both missing the front end of the bonus to keep the score knotted at 43-41.
Baraboo forced a jump ball with 20 seconds remaining, but Juneau held on to possession and stepped back to the free-throw line with 16 seconds to play. The free throw came up short again and Baraboo rushed down court. The T-Birds’ first shot was blocked out of bounds with 7 seconds remaining and Baraboo called a timeout to set up the game’s final possession.
Inbounding from underneath the basket, the T-Birds went back to Blum. His shot missed, but the T-Birds chased down the offensive rebound and Jackson’s 3-point heave came off the rim as time expired.
Blum paced the T-Birds with 14 points, making six field goals while going 2-for-4 from the free-throw line. Max Koenig added six free throws and eight points for Baraboo, while no other T-Bird scored more than four points.
Cosmo Blandino and Antonio Perkins scored 14 points and 10 points to lead Milwaukee Juneau.
Baraboo has lost each of its last two non-conference games by just two points, also suffering a 51-49 loss at Richland Center on Dec. 18. The T-Birds will look to break through when they host a non-conference game against Wautoma (7-5) on Tuesday.
BARABOO — Kargel 1 2-2 4, Koenig 1 6-9 8, Carpenter 1 0-0 2, Peterson 1 0-0 3, Philipp 1 0-0 2, Gehin 2 0-0 4, Jackson 1 1-2 4, Blum 6 2-4 14. Totals 14 11-17 41.
MILWAUKEE — Moore 3 2-2 8, Blandino 5 2-4 14, Perkins 4 1-2 10, Mills 2 1-2 5, Tyrek Bonds 2 1-1 6. Totals 16 7-11 43.
3-point goals — B 2 (Peterson 1, Jackson 1), M 4 (Blandino 2, Perkins 1, Bonds 1).
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