Loboes repeat: LaMoure tops Edgeley-KulmBig-time players step up in big-time games, and following the conclusion of the Class B District 5 boys’ basketball tournament championship at the Jamestown Civic Center on Saturday, little doubt was left as to who would be named the district’s Senior Player of the Year.
By: Michael Savaloja, The Jamestown Sun
Big-time players step up in big-time games, and following the conclusion of the Class B District 5 boys’ basketball tournament championship at the Jamestown Civic Center on Saturday, little doubt was left as to who would be named the district’s Senior Player of the Year.
LaMoure senior guard Tyler Thielges put his team on his back, scoring nearly half the Loboes’ final point total by going 6 of 9 from downtown and finishing with 22 points, guiding LaMoure to its second district title in as many years by defeating the Edgeley-Kulm Rebels 48-38.
“I was just thinking in my head, ‘Finally, they’re falling,’” Tyler Thielges said. “Yesterday, I had a few go in and out, and finally they were just dropping.”
Thielges produced a similar performance in this very same game one year ago. The District 5 Senior Player of the Year hit four three-pointers and poured in 20 points, not to mention also hitting the game-winning bucket with less than five seconds to go, as LaMoure took down Ellendale 47-45.
Thielges was particularly deadly in the first half on Saturday, as a pair of his treys late in the first period handed the Loboes a 14-8 edge to start the second. LaMoure’s 6-foot-6 senior center Skylar Shockman opened the game with LaMoure’s first six points, as the Loboes never trailed.
“He does such a good job of running the game and when he needs to shoot, he can shoot,” LaMoure coach Darren Thielges said of his son, Tyler. “He’s not going to have that 20 points per game average. That’s not the way we run our offense, but we know he can shoot. We just kind of keep it to ourselves and tonight he was open.”
Tyler did all the damage for the Loboes in the second. He drilled two more treys and scored all of LaMoure’s 10 points of the period.
Edgeley-Kulm went 0 of 5 from the field before hitting its first bucket of the second period after four minutes had already gone by. It was made by Logan Hanson, and it was E-K’s only field goal of the period.
Hanson led the Rebels with 11 points and seven rebounds.
“Regardless of what set we ran, we had to execute well, and at times we did and at times we just missed shots when we had good looks,” Edgeley-Kulm coach Kevin Strobel said.
Tyler Thielges went into the break with 16 of LaMoure’s 24, after going 4 of 5 from long range with a two-point bucket and a pair of free throws to boot.
“I can’t say that they weren’t even really uncontested,” Strobel said of Tyler Thielges’ shooting display. “Some of them, we had a hand in his face. He just knocked them down.”
But what really makes Tyler Thielges an MVP-type player is the integral role he plays on LaMoure’s shutdown defense, which hasn’t allowed an opponent 50 or more points all season.
Thielges held Edgeley-Kulm’s main outside scoring threat, senior Beau Diegel, scoreless in the first half. Diegel sat the final two minutes of the second period with three fouls and ended the night with just three points, all of which were scored at the free-throw line after being fouled on a three-point attempt in the fourth.
“We were struggling to get the ball into the paint,” Darren Thielges said. “They were putting some pressure on our outside and we weren’t getting the ball to the basket right away and Tyler had to hit some shots and it was a big lift.
“But I think more importantly, the biggest thing was the job he did defensively.”
LaMoure continued to lock the Rebels down defensively in the second half, maintaining its 10-point lead after three (36-26). LaMoure led by as many as 16 (46-30) in the fourth, as Tyler Thielges hit two more treys in the second half.
“We weren’t going in overconfident, because we know (Edgeley-Kulm is) a great team, and there’s a good chance that we might play them again in the region championship,” Tyler Thielges said of his team’s second straight district title. “What got us here is want we wanted to get us the win. Playing hard and playing tough defense.”
Edgeley-Kulm (16-6) has lost just six games this season, with three of those losses coming at the hands of LaMoure. But the Rebels’ season rolls on, as they’ll face Strasburg-Zeeland in the quarterfinals of the Region 3 tournament at the Jamestown Civic Center on Feb. 20.
“Well, I know it’s a tough loss. You always want to win every game you play,” Strobel said. “But you know what, we’re in the regionals. We’ve got a week of practice before we get to that regional match-up, and we’ll stick with it and work hard.”
The No. 3-ranked and undefeated Loboes (21-0) will face South Border, a team they defeated 56-41 just a week ago in Wishek.
“They’ve got some talent. (Michael) Jacobson is a very good player and he’s got some guys that can spot up around him,” Darren Thielges said. “If we let them get on track and get open shots, we’re going to be in for a dogfight. Nothing’s guaranteed after this point.
“We’re just going to enjoy this one a little bit and then start game-planning next week and see if we can put a couple of games together.”
District 5 Boys’ Basketball Tournament
No. 1 LaMoure 48, No. 2 Edgeley-Kulm 38
Edgeley-Kulm 8 14 26 38
LaMoure 14 24 36 48
Edgeley-Kulm — Logan Hanson 11, Nathan Elhard 9, Steven Geisler 8, Tallen Berg 3, Beau Diegel 3, Jordan Nitschke 2, Lucas Madcke 2. Totals: 14-45 FG, 9-12 FT, 34 Rebounds (Hanson 7), 13 Fouls, 6 Assists (Elhard 2, Geisler 2), 9 Turnovers, 3 Steals (Elhard 2). Three-pointers: (1-11) Berg.
LaMoure — Tyler Thielges 22, Skylar Shockman 8, Brady Thielges 7, Jared Meiklejohn 5, Anthony Olson 4, Tanner Carlson 2. Totals: 18-45 FG, 4-6 FT, 28 Rebounds (Shockman 9), 12 Fouls, 8 Assists (B. Thielges 3), 5 Turnovers, 1 Block (Carlson), 7 Steals (Shockman 2). Three-pointers: (8-17) T. Thielges 6, Meiklejohn, B. Thielges.
Records: LaMoure 21-0; Edgeley-Kulm 16-6.
District 5 awards
All-District players: Tyler Thielges, LaMoure; Adam White, Ellendale; Dylan Thompson, L-M-M; Brady Thielges, LaMoure; Eric Knodel, Central Prairie; Cody Christ, BCN; Beau Diegel, Edgeley-Kulm; Nicholas Blaskowski, P-B-K; Nathan Elhard, Edgeley-Kulm; Nathan Denning, Central Prairie; Logan Hanson, Edgeley-Kulm; Jacoby Kramlich, BCN.
Athletic Director of the Year: Brett Thielges, BCN.
Senior Player of the Year: Tyler Thielges, LaMoure.
Coach of the Year: Darren Thielges, LaMoure.
Sun sports writer Michal Savaloja can be reached at (701) 952-8461 or by email at email@example.com