Wisconsin Dells wins regional championship in basketball

By Tim Wohlers

The Wisconsin Dells boys’ basketball team won regionals at the WIAA tournament this year, after defeating the first two schools that they played against. 
Their first win came against West Salem in the regional semifinal. 
Wisconsin Dells ran a three-quarter-court press, wearing down their opponents early in the game.  Because of the constant pressure, West Salem made many bad decisions that led to turnovers.   
“The pressure from the press gives us a lot of transition opportunities,” said Coach Brad Rohling.  “We can take advantage of wearing teams down a little bit.  We’re all about getting deflections in our press, and making it tough on the other team.” 
Midway through the second half, Wisconsin Dells already had a 20-point lead over the Panthers.  They would hold on to win by a score of 65-46. 
Sophomore point guard Bryson Funmaker said that teamwork played a large part in the win. 
“I think we did really well as a team,” Funmaker said.  “We played together throughout the whole game.” 
The Chiefs’ second win would come in the regional final against Altoona, who have now lost the regional championship three out of the last four years.  In 2016, the team failed to make it past the second round. 
The Railroaders were up by nine in the second half, before Wisconsin Dells staged a comeback. 
“There were a lot of ups and downs,” Funmaker said.  “We started off slow, but were able to get back into things and pick it up.” 
The sophomore scored the last two points of the game on free throws, breaking his scoreless streak.  Those late baskets would help the Chiefs to a three-point victory, and the 2018 WIAA regional championship. 
Coach Rohling said he was proud of this year’s team, including the two Ho-Chunk players on it – Funmaker and senior Darius Mackinnis.  
“Those two are definitely a big part of our conference-championship team,” Rohling said. 
Wisconsin Dells would play its next game on March 7, against Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau in the first round of sectionals.