Jays advance past MMCRU
LE MARS — Gehlen Catholic passed its first test of the postseason, beating MMCRU 67-42 in the district opener for both teams on Thursday, February 15.
“I think it showed in the first half that we were tight, we missed some shots,” Gehlen Head Coach Mike Langel said. “Once we got a 10 point lead at halftime, we relaxed a little bit and played better basketball and we ended up with a nice win.”
MMCRU stuck around through the early minutes of the third quarter, pulling to as close as seven on a Hunter Tentinger old-fashioned 3-point play a couple minutes into the second half. The Royals had been down 11 at the intermission.
“Our guys didn’t want to end it,” MMCRU Head Coach Toby Young said. “I think our guys put in a better effort and worked hard. I like that from our guys. We’ve played hard most of the year, it just hasn’t worked out for us. We knew Gehlen was a good team, that’s why they’re the second seed in the district. We were trying to give our best effort and I think our guys did that. Ran out of gas and ran out of opportunities late in the game.”
Gehlen’s Cole Wiltgen put the brakes on MMCRU’s comeback attempt with a tip-in and midrange jumper, part of his 18 point performance. He put the exclamation point on the third quarter with a buzzer-beating half court shot which pulled Gehlen’s lead out to 16.
Jacob Nemmers added 16 points as the only other player in double digits.
“They both started attacking the rim, which we need them to do,” Langel said. “When that happens, everything else works better. Brady had a good first half. He’s the kid that in the first half made some good shots and had the hot hand.”
Brady Livermore ended with nine points, all in the first half. Caden Kneip and Bryan Nohava put in eight points apiece.
Chris Schmid led the Royals with 18 points, followed by Tentinger with 12.
MMCRU ends the season with a 3-18 record with three of those losses coming at the hands of the Jays. The team graduates four seniors including Schmid, Tentinger, Zack Bonnstetter and Will Hunter. Those players made up four of the top five scorers for the team this season, an aspect that will be missed by Young.
“They’re really big contributors,” Young said. “They’re going to be hard to replace. They’ve carried us most of the year. Just a great group of kids.”
MMCRU 14 11 8 9 42
Gehlen 20 16 13 18 67