The Three Lakes boys varsity basketball team used a thrilling 55-52 road victory at Laona last week to build a small win streak of two games. It is also their seventh win in their last eight overall as they now rest in sole possession of second place in the Northern Lakes Conference with a 5-1 mark. They are 9-3 overall.

The Florence Bobcats stand just one game ahead of the Bluejays in the conference and the two teams have an important matchup scheduled next month that will likely play a major role in how the conference title will eventually be determined.

But for this week, the Bluejays are happy to have left Laona victorious after a tough battle that went down to the wire.

Just before the half, the Rebels took a small lead over Three Lakes as Carter Janesch hit a long three-point shot in the closing moments to give the Rebels a 21-20 advantage.

To start the second half, the Bluejays took back the lead and held it for most of the half. The Rebels recaptured it at 48-46, late in the game before Three Lakes would take over from there en route to a three point win.

After a slow start to the season, Wabeno-Laona had won six out of eight games coming into the Tuesday contest. Currently they are only a game behind the Bluejays for second place in the conference with a 4-2 record. Overall, the Rebels are 8-8 for the season.

The Bluejays have now swept the series by beating the Rebels back in early December in Three Lakes.

Jared Kaufman was the top scorer in either team and led the Bluejays with 20 points, including 12 in the second half where they were needed down the stretch. Another major-scoring contributor was L.J. Terlizzi who pitched in 15 points. Like Kaufman, the majority of his scoring came in the later stages of the game, including his final score of the night on a three-point basket.

Kaufman had two, three pointers in the game. Josh Cogar joined the three-point club as he made three of his own for nine points.

Toby Volkmann scored six points, including a second half, three-point bucket. Chase Melton and McCain Graff rounded out the scoring for the Bluejays with four points and one point respectively.

Walter Winkelman led the Rebels with 15 points and six rebounds while Janesch chipped in 11 points and four rebounds in the defeat.

The Rebels did rebound as a team later in the week as they beat another conference rival, Crandon, by a score of 53-36. Crandon just happens to be the next contest for the Bluejays as the team will travel to face the Cardinals at Crandon High School on Monday.

Crandon has been struggling but head coach Brad Volkmann expects a battle.

“You can never take a conference competitor for granted, regardless of their record, as all teams seem to get keyed up for their local rivals,” he said. “Our team has been playing very good basketball, but we still need to stick with hard work and our general game plan with Crandon on Monday, as we would for any other important game. And at this point in the season, they are all important games.”

The Bluejays played only a single game last week due to the heavy snow event when a game initially scheduled to be played on Thursday in Watersmeet was postponed. Volkmann indicated that since the game was against a nonconference team, there is a chance that it may not be rescheduled.

Following the Crandon game, the Bluejays will return to Three Lakes, Jan, 27, to face Prentice in another nonconference game at 5:45 p.m.

The Buccaneers have a 7-6 record for the season. They have had an up and down season, including recent games where they posted losses in their last two, after winning four of their previous five.