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Gehlen boys triumph over Blackhawks

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

(Sentinel photo by andy lenz) Gehlen's Blake Wiltgen fires off a contested shot against Hinton on Tuesday. Wiltgen had a career-high 33 points.
LE MARS -- Things started a little slow for both the Gehlen Catholic and the Hinton boys basketball teams in their matchup on Tuesday. After four minutes, the score was only 3-3. But the Jays then started to pick up the pace and never looked back, winning 58-37.

"It took a while, but we got it to our big guys and they did a nice job finishing," Gehlen head coach Mike Langel said.

After they had gained some momentum, the Jays finished the first period with a 12-6 lead.

At the half, the score was 26-15, Gehlen.

Gehlen junior Blake Wiltgen in particular got things going for his team, scoring 18 points in the first half alone.

"Blake had the hot hand tonight and everybody took turns getting him the ball," Langel said.

The Blackhawks tried to come back in the second half, but the Jays continued to dominate on both ends of the court.

Wiltgen continued to rack up points for Gehlen and led his team to a 41-25 lead after three quarters.

The final stanza offered no surprises and the Jays brought home their tenth consecutive victory.

"I was happy with the kids and the way they played," Coach Langel said. "They did a nice job."

Wiltgen had a career high 33 points on the night and went 14-for-16 from the field.

"This might be one for the record books," Langel said.

Wiltgen also added eight rebounds to his nightly resumé, followed by junior Colton Kneip and sophomore Alex Kellen, who each had four.

While the Jays had reason to celebrate, it was a frustrating night for the Blackhawks.

"They played pretty good defense on us," Hinton head coach David May said after the game. "We got a little frustrated and tried to force things. We wound up causing more problems on ourselves by doing that."

The Blackhawks shot only 16-for-65 from the field.

Junior Cole Johnston led his team in scoring with nine points. Senior Jason Vander Kooi and sophomore Logan Jurgensmeier each had six rebounds.

Coach May emphasized that the team still has things to learn. "We're not far from being a really good team, but we're not there yet," he said.

Gehlen's record improves to 11-2 going into a conference matchup with Unity Christian at home on Friday.

"Hopefully we'll pack the gym at night and get a big game," Langel said.

Hinton (6-6) will square off with Remsen-Union at home on Friday.

"We just gotta keep our head up and keep focusing on improving," May defined the approach to the upcoming game.

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