BRILLION — In a big-time Eastern Wisconsin conference matchup between undefeated (10-0) Kiel and the reigning Division 3 state champs (12-0) undefeated Brillion, the Raiders toppled the Lions 66-54 on Friday night.
"This was our first big test, I would say, of the year. I would be lying if we didn't say it was big," said Raiders head coach Marcuss Rumpff. "We were ready for it. We've been taking this year one game at a time and we were ready. We're senior heavy and we're ready to go."
The Raiders started the game out on a 12-0 run and in the end that was the difference on the scoreboard. Kiel moves to 11-0 and Brillion falls to 12-1. The Raiders now sit at the top of the conference with a 6-0 record, Lions now 5-1.
Kiel senior forward Jack Heckmann led his with 20 points on the night. He was on fire from beyond the arc making a whopping 6 three-point shots. Overall, the team made 52% (13/25) of their shots from deep.
"Jack's a guy, he's put in a lot of time these last couple summers," said Rumpff. "He's really transformed his game. He's really become one of our best shooters, if not our best three-point shooter. It's always cool to see that work pay off."
It was bittersweet for Kiel who hadn't beat Brillion in two years, losing all five times, never coming within double-digits of the Lions.
"I mean it was big, coming into this game we knew it was an important game for us and one we had marked on our calendar for a long time — since last year when we lost them in the Regional Final. It was just a big win for us and a good way to boost our confidence going forward," said senior point guard Pierce Arenz who had 17 points.
Kiel has a non-conference game on the road against (5-7) Kewaskum on January 9.
Brillion is at conference (4-6) Sheboygan Falls January 11.