'Jack's night': Ellendale cruises past Edgeley/KM in regional semis

Edgeley/KM and Ellendale faced off in the Region 3 tournament semifinals Tuesday evening at the Jamestown Civic Center.

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Jacob Nitschke (24) of Edgeley-Kulm-Montpelier puts the ball up over Ellendale's Riley Thorpe, left, and Anton Geller on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, during the Region 3 tournament at the Jamestown Civic Center.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

JAMESTOWN — Jack Bommersbach typically shoots at least 50 3-pointers in a practice session.

All that practice came in handy for the Ellendale junior Tuesday night.

Bommersbach hit four three-pointers to help to lead Ellendale to a 68-46 regional tournament semifinal win against Edgeley/KM. Ellendale will face off against Medina/Pingree-Buchanan in the Region championship game on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the Jamestown Civic Center.

Edgeley/KM will face Linton/HMB for a third-place trophy at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Bommersbach led all scorers with 24 total points. The junior shot 50% from the field and was a perfect 4-of-4 from the line.


"I just found my spots around the arc and waited for my teammates to create for me," Bommersbach said. "I pretty much give credit to my teammates because they found me in my open spots and I just took the lane when I had a chance to."

Bommersbach is a second-year varsity team member for Ellendale head coach Brian Vance and he's certainly put in the work to earn his spot on the roster.

"Basketball is definitely my favorite sport," Bommersbach said. "I went to two Jamestown elite camps at the Newman this last summer and then our team signs up for team camps and then I practice my three-ball and my ball handling. That's pretty much it."

Vance said Bommersbach's intensity on defense has helped to keep the Cardinals in a number of games this season.

"He's strong as an ox but he's kind of a pest out on the floor and that's what we need him to be," Vance said. "He's even-keeled. I can get on his case and he's not going to get down on himself, he's just a good kid, a good ball player and a joy to be around."

As charming as Bommersbach might be off the court, one could bet Edgeley/KM wished the junior was off the floor.

The first half between the Cardinals and Rebels was gritty. The pair of teams traded shots and were pretty well-matched in every facet of the game. After one half of play, the Cardinals led 28-27.

"We knew it was going to be physical," Vance said. "Edgeley's a good team — they are quick — and we just had to come out and match their intensity. We beat them by four last time and we kind of wanted to beat them by a little bit more so it was nice that we were shooting the ball well. We've got shooters and that's been nice. Typically we'll have two or three guys in double figures and tonight was Jack's night."


Edgeley/KM relied heavily on Jacob Nitschke to produce offensively in the opening half. The junior responded well and wound up being the only player in the game to hit double digits in the opening half. Nitschke came away with 10 points while Zeke Barnick finished out his half with eight. Joe Kramlich scored six in the first 16 minutes. Dylan Carlson rounded out the Rebels' scoring with three points.

While Edgeley/KM had some kids with higher individual numbers, Ellendale spaced out their scoring and had five players with at least two points through the first half of play. Bommersbach led the Cardinals with eight while Riley Thorpe put up six and Levi Reis and Cole Saylor combined for 10.

The Cardinals' shooting got hot in the third quarter, In the second half, Ellendale shot 55.6% from the field and hit 3-of-6 from deep. In eight foul shot attempts, the Cardinals drained eight. Edgeley had some trouble in the second half, only shooting 27.6%. From deep the Rebels were at 7.1% and at the stripe the team knocked down 2-of-7.

"We did a great job at knowing when to take it back and then get back to what we do the best," Bommersbach said. "We did a good
job stopping their runs and playing defense when we needed to."

Anton Geller was the Cardinals' leading rebounder with 13 and dished out seven assists. Thorpe grabbed seven boards of his own and made a block.

The Cards were up 52-44 with about 5:25 left in regulation but five quick points by the Rebels brought the game back to within single digits with 5:02 left. Bommersbach put the Cardinals back up by 18. The junior, scored seven-straight points to make it 62-44 Ellendale.

By the time 60 seconds remained, it was a 20-point game.

"All year they have been grinding," Vance said. "They've been working together so well. Our M.O. is that we want to play fast and that doesn't just mean up and down the court. We want to cut fast, we want to hit the cutter, we want to hit the open man, we want to get the extra pass for a better shot and they are just playing together really well."


Ellendale 68, Edgeley/KM 46

ELL — Jack Bommersbach 24, Riley Thorpe 10, Cole Saylor 9, Levi Reis 9, Anton Geller 9, Mason Molan 5. Totals: 26 FG, 8-13 FT, 37 rebounds, 13 fouls, 10 assists, 16 turnovers 2 blocks, 10 steals. 3-pointers: Bommersbach 4, Thorpe 1, Saylor 1, Reis 1, Molan 1.

EKM — Jacob Nitschke 16, Joe Kramlich 13, Zeke Barnick 12, Carlson 5. Totals: 18 FG, 5-11 FT, 29 rebounds, 14 fouls, 10 assists, 13 turnovers, 0 blocks, 9 steals. 3-pointers: Barnick 2, Kramlich 1, Carlson 1, Nitschke 1.

Katie Ringer is a sports reporter for the Jamestown Sun. Katie joined the Sun staff in the summer of 2019 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire with a degree in journalism. She can be reached by email at or by phone at 701-952-8460.
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