COLUMBUS — Watertown’s boys basketball team kicked off the season with a 90-82 triple overtime loss to Columbus on Tuesday.

The Goslings dominated early, jumping out to a 24-9 lead. They still led 36-26 at halftime, but the Cardinals rallied from 10 down to force overtime and finally pulled away in the third overtime period, outscoring the Goslings 11-3.

“The intensity level was so high at the beginning,” Watertown boys basketball coach Jim O’Leary said. “Shots were falling. We were getting steals. We were getting every loose ball and every rebound. We got a little tired at the end, but we had heroes galore tonight.”

Senior forward Nate Gapinski led Watertown 28 points while senior guard Oliver Meyers added 20. Senior guard Trenton Shelton poured in 10 points before leaving the game late in regulation with a knee injury. Senior forward John Clifford added nine points.

“Nate and Ollie combined for 48,” O’Leary said. “They were clutch. Ollie banked in a 3 late in the second overtime to force a third overtime. John Clifford was doing yeoman’s work, diving for loose balls, playing defense and posting up. He had two reverse layups off the post.”

Aaron Uttech led Columbus with 22 points. Mason Carthew and Jack Fritz each added 20 for the Cardinals.

“Columbus is solid,” O’Leary said. “They had decent size and athleticism. If we execute some things better, it doesn’t get to overtime, but it was a great game to build on. There’s no reason to hang our heads.”

Watertown hosts Reedsburg on Tuesday.

COLUMBUS 90,

WATERTOWN 82, 3 OT

Watertown 36 22 11 10 3 — 82

Columbus 26 32 11 10 11 — 90

Watertown (fg ft-fta tp) — Meyers 8 3-3 20, Shelton 4 1-2 10, Gapinski 8 10-11 28, Olivos 2 1-4 7, Kamrath 0 2-2 2, Johnson 2 2-5 6, Clifford 4 1-2 9 Totals 28 20-29 82

Columbus (fg ft-fta tp) — Carthew 8 4-6 20, Uttech 8 3-6 22, Cotter 5 2-2 12, Sullivan 2 0-0 5, Schroeder 3 0-0 7, Fritz 9 1-1 20, Stauffacher 2 0-0 4 Totals 37 10-15 90

Three-point goals — W (Meyers, Shelton, Olivos 2), C (Uttech 3, Sullivan, Schroeder, Fritz)

Total fouls — W 18, C 21

Fouled out — W (Meyers, Kamrath), C (Fritz, Stauffacher)

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