Loboes, Rebels for titleThe championship game of the 2012 Class B Boys’ Basketball Tournament set for tonight at the Jamestown Civic Center will feature last year’s champion and a team that hasn’t played in a district title tilt in 14 years.
By: Michael Savaloja, The Jamestown Sun
The championship game of the 2012 Class B Boys’ Basketball Tournament set for tonight at the Jamestown Civic Center will feature last year’s champion and a team that hasn’t played in a district title tilt in 14 years.
Defending champ and No. 3-ranked LaMoure punched its ticket into tonight’s main event by cruising past Barnes County North 64-35 in Friday night’s semifinals. In the other semifinal, Edgeley-Kulm, who last saw the championship game back in 1998 when Edgeley defeated Ellendale for the District 9 crown, got past Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal 58-36.
In loser-out play on Friday, Central Prairie kept its season alive with a 62-35 victory over Ellendale.
Play resumes at 4:30 p.m. again this evening with Litchville-Marion-Montpelier facing P-B-K, and Central Prairie taking on BCN, in a pair of Region 3 qualifiers.
The Loboes and the Rebels will decide a district champ at 7:30 p.m.
No. 1 LaMoure 64, No. 4 BCN 35
The LaMoure Loboes gave up 50 points or more just four times last year, on their way to the District 5 crown and a runner-up finish in the Region 3 tournament.
Flash-forward to this season, and the Loboes’ defensive prowess has only improved.
The team has yet to give up 50 or more to an opponent this season, and the undefeated Loboes extended that streak to 20 straight games in 2011-12 with Friday’s 64-35 semifinal win over the Bison.
“It’s a work thing. We just challenge everybody to outwork everyone,” LaMoure coach Darren Thielges said. “We want to go out and just contest shots. Make it as difficult as possible and then work on boxing out. I think if you do that often enough, then you force guys into taking tougher shots.”
But simply working hard isn’t the only answer.
“It’s a pride thing, too,” Thielges added. “Once it develops for a while, they don’t want to be the guys to give up 60 points.”
It was a combination of sorts that guided LaMoure to victory, as they led by as many as 37 points in the second half. LaMoure indeed was suffocating on defense, but the Bison also couldn’t throw the ball through a barn door offensively.
The Bison struggled mightily, especially in the first half as they trailed 33-10 at the break. BCN made just three field goals in the first 16 minutes on 3 of 24 shooting from the floor, while LaMoure pumped in a healthy 54 percent of their buckets and were led at the break with nine of Tyler Thielges’ game-high 14 points.
“It’s always a combination. I thought we played pretty good defense and we were contesting most of their shots,” coach Thielges said. “A couple times we got out of position and over-played a pass and then they were able to get open on the other side for a shot. But for the most part, I thought we contested shots pretty well.”
It wasn’t like the Bison were playing bad basketball — they only committed 5 turnovers in the first half and 12 in the game — but the shots just wouldn’t fall.
The team was led in scoring by Brad Clemens with nine. Ironically, all of Clemens’ points came on 9 of 12 shooting from the free-throw line.
Tyler and brother Brady Thielges led the charge, as Brady dropped in 12 points. The brothers combined so sink 11 of 26 shots from the floor, with Tyler hitting a pair of treys.
“I thought they did a nice job of reading what shots were open, and I thought we had a couple of guys come in off the bench and give us a little spark too,” coach Thielges said. “We’re just trying to make reads, trying to make the right play and (Tyler and Brady) know that’s their role. They’ve got to step up and hit shots when they’re left open.”
Tanner Carlson (11) and Jared Meiklejohn (10) also finished in double figures for the Loboes, while Anthony Olson came in off the bench and dropped in nine points.
Probably more impressive is the fact that LaMoure has still been able to terrorize teams defensively, after losing 6-foot-4 senior forward Zachary Stemen late in the season with a broken left foot.
“We’ve got to play for fronts more. Instead of being physical and not letting their guy get down to the block, we’re working more at trying to get down to the block and get into a front position,” Thielges said. “So that makes it a little bit different, but I thought our guys did OK on the help side for the most part. We’re compensating.”
LaMoure has defeated Edgeley-Kulm twice already this year, including a 54-29 victory over the Rebels in the championship game of the Stutsman County Tournament.
“We’ve got to defend. That’s what we do,” Thielges said. “I think they are going to be a little more experienced and a little more athletic, so we are just going to have to make sure that we get in position, get to spots and then just do fundamentals.”
No. 2 E-K 58, No. 6 P-B-K 36
Edgeley-Kulm junior forward Logan Hanson kicked the game off with six straight points on 3 of 3 shooting from the floor, and the black and yellow Rebels would never relinquish the lead.
Hanson led all scorers with 16 points on the night, as the Rebels converted 47 percent of their shots and outrebounded P-B-K 37-25 en route to victory.
“You’ve got to give P-B-K a lot of credit. They stuck around and could have folded after that 6-0 run, or even after we got that comfortable lead, but they kept working,” E-K coach Kevin Strobel said. “But Logan does shoot the ball well, of course he got open looks from the free-throw line and he knocked them down.”
E-K led by as many as 14 in the first half before taking a 32-19 advantage into the half. The red and black Rebels, however, mounted a charge to start the fourth with an 8-0 run.
P-B-K’s Wyatt Guthmiller drained a pair of treys and Cole Diede tossed in a bucket to slash the lead to seven points at 34-27 with 5:44 left in the frame.
“We just lost a little focus. Defensively I don’t think we were quite as intense for a couple possessions,” Strobel said. “We called a timeout, ran a special and got a decent look, which kind of got us back into focus.”
But that was as close as P-B-K would get. E-K sharpshooter Beau Diegel drilled a pair of threes of his own later in the period, as E-K went up 45-31 at the end of three and rolled from there.
P-B-K was held without a field goal in the fourth. The team was cold for most of the game, going 6 of 20 from beyond the arc and shooting 29 percent overall. Shawn Baker led P-B-K with 11 points.
“It was the guys’ goal to make the regions, and now we’re in,” Strobel said. “So, we’ll see what happens tomorrow.
“I thought LaMoure played really good basketball tonight. They shot the ball well,” Strobel added. “There’s nothing easy tomorrow night. We know we are going to get man-to-man defense, and we just need to take care of the basketball and execute on offense.”
No. 3 Central Prairie 62, No. 7 Ellendale 35
Much to the chagrin of the Ellendale Cardinals, the Central Prairie Firebirds were unable to duplicate its 25-percent shooting performance from Thursday’s 51-49 quarterfinal loss against Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal.
The Firebirds smoked their first seven shots from the floor through the cylinder to take a quick 15-4 lead with 4:23 left in the first, and they’d set the cruise control from there.
Central Prairie (10-11) shot over 55 percent from the field in the first half to build a 29-15 lead at the break. The team ended up nailing 22 of 48 buckets for 46 percent in the ball game, and were led by Eric Knodel with 18 points and Nathan Denning with 16.
In their final game of the season, Ellendale turned the ball over 21 times and shot a much cooler 11 of 42 from the field. Adam White and James Johnston led the Cards with 11 points each.
Ellendale’s season came to a close at 2-19.
District 5 Boys’ Basketball Tournament
No. 1 LaMoure 64, No. 4 BCN 35
Barnes County North 7 10 22 35
LaMoure 16 33 52 64
BCN — Brad Clemens 9, Derek Fletcher 7, T.J. Steckler 6, Cody Christ 6, Austin Jorissen 4, Jacoby Kramlich 3. Totals: 11-49 FG, 10-16 FT, 32 Rebounds (Kramlich 4, Fletcher 4), 15 Fouls, 6 Assists (Christ 3), 12 Turnovers, 2 Blocks (Kramlich 2). Three-pointers: (3-11) Kramlich, Fletcher, Steckler.
LaMoure — Tyler Thielges 14, Brady Thielges 12, Tanner Carlson 11, Jared Meiklejohn 10, Anthony Olson 9, Kenny Hodem 4, Devin Pedersen 2, Skylar Shockman 2. Totals: 26-55 FG, 7-10 FT, 43 Rebounds (Shockman 7, Olson 7), 14 Fouls, 11 Assists (Meiklejohn 3, Hodem 3), 13 Turnovers, 4 Blocks (Shockman 3), 6 Steals (Hodem 2). Three-pointers: (5-16) Meiklejohn 2, T. Thielges 2, Carlson.
Records: LaMoure 20-0; BCN 6-15.
No. 2 Edgeley-Kulm 58, No. 6 Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal 36
Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal 6 19 31 36
Edgeley-Kulm 14 32 45 58
P-B-K — Shawn Baker 11, Nicholas Blaskowski 10, Wyatt Guthmiller 6, Cole Diede 5, J.R. Perleberg 3, Jesse Deal 1. Totals: 12-42 FG, 6-12 FT, 25 Rebounds (Baker 6), 14 Fouls (Diede), 6 Assists (2 with 2), 15 Turnovers, 1 Block (Blaskowski), 5 Steals (Baker 3). Three-pointers: (6-20) Guthmiller 2, Blaskowski 2, Diede, Baker.
E-K — Logan Hanson 16, Nathan Elhard 14, Beau Diegel 11, Jordan Nitschke 6, Steven Geisler 6, Tallen Berg 5. Totals: 24-51 FG, 4-7 FT, 37 Rebounds (Elhard 8), 13 Fouls, 13 Assists (Diegel 4, Elhard 4), 13 Turnovers, 1 Block (Geisler), 11 Steals (Elhard 4). Three-pointers: (6-13) Diegel 3, Nitschke 2, Berg.
Records: Edgeley-Kulm 16-5; P-B-K 3-18.
Friday’s loser-out game
No. 3 Central Prairie 62, No. 7 Ellendale 35
Central Prairie 17 29 43 62
Ellendale 8 15 22 35
Central Prairie — Eric Knodel 18, Nathan Denning 16, Brett Williams 9, Thaddaeus Owen 6, Will Staloch 5, Jackson Schmidt 3, Brett Mayher 3, Avery Foerderer 2. Totals: 22-48 FG, 15-20 FT, 32 Rebounds (Knodel 5), 14 Fouls, 11 Assists (Owen 4), 11 Turnovers, 2 Blocks (2 with 1), 11 Steals (Denning 3). Three-pointers: (3-10) Staloch, Schmidt, Mayher.
Ellendale — James Johnson 11, Adam White 11, Alex Tschosik 6, Matt Martin 6, Austin Roehl 1. Totals: 11-42 FG, 12-20 FT, 32 Rebounds (White 8), 13 Fouls, 7 Assists (Martin 3), 21 Turnovers, 2 Blocks (2 with 1), 6 Steals (6 with 1). Three-pointers: (1-11) Martin.
Records: Central Prairie 10-11; Ellendale 2-19.