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Adjusting and going with a “next man up” mentality has been a key for Kenosha Reuther boys basketball this season. Currently, the Bulldogs sit at 10-8 overall with two games remaining before the WIAA postseason starts next week.
Kenosha Reuther has three players that average double figures in Kamauri Leavell, Jermarion Jones and DeAndre Hayes in addition to having five players that average over five points per contest. Jones leads the team in points with 229, while Leavell averages around 16 points per game.
“We live by the ‘next man up’ mentality,” head coach Cliff McKenzie said. “When one of your brothers is down, another brother has to pick them up.”
In recent games, Kenosha Reuther has been battle-tested with some close games that they hope to use to a benefit come tournament time. Against conference leader Maranatha Baptist at home on Feb. 15, the Bulldogs led 36-32 at the half before being outscored by 12 points in the second half of a 63-55 loss.
On Friday night on the road against Palmyra-Eagle, Reuther overcame a nine-point deficit early before getting the lead. The Panthers stormed back in the last two and half minutes to make it a battle late before DeAndre Hayes hit a buzzer-beater with no time remaining to get a 60-59 win.
“It instills more confidence,” McKenzie said. “You just have to learn and live for the next game.”
Kenosha Reuther closes out the regular season with a home game with Wisconsin School for the Deaf on Feb. 21 and a road game with St. Augustine Prep on Feb. 22. The Bulldogs open up the WIAA tournament with a Division 3 matchup with Martin Luther at home on March 1.
“We just got to go in and fight. Oftentimes if we don’t fight, we get down and stop fighting,” McKenzie said of the rest of the season. “If we fight and compete, I think things will look good.”
About Reuther Central High School
Reuther Central High School, located at 913 57th St. in Kenosha, was named after Walter Reuther, a nationally noted labor leader in the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s. Reuther is a magnet school with several programs including blended learning, a transition program, and and adult education program. Visit their website for more information on these programs as well as application instructions.