RSM records repeat trip to state by downing IKM-Manning
DENISON — Third-ranked Remsen St. Mary’s is headed back to Des Moines and the state basketball tournament for the second straight year after beating IKM-Manning 39-23 in the 1A Substate 8 final on Monday, February 26.
“We’re really excited,” RSM Head Coach Scott Ruden said. “I think out of the eight teams down there, there’s not going to be a weak team.”
The Hawks have relied on their defense all season long and it has appeared to be getting better along the tournament trail. For back-to-back games the team has held their opponent to just 23 points, first against Kingsley-Pierson in the district final, a result that was 15 points below their previous lowest scoring game. This time the Hawks held IKM-Manning to 23 points, 31 points below their season average.
“We were a bit upset with ourselves after our first two tournament games,” Ruden said. “The coaches had a meeting, we watched film and talked to the kids. Then the seniors called a meeting and since that point every player on the floor has put 100 percent into defense and we’ve been playing lights out defense since then.”
It was a slow start for both teams with the offensive struggles bugging RSM as well. They were held to their lowest scoring output of the season as well and were 25 points below their season average. While neither team made it to the free-throw line often, when the Hawks did, it didn’t always lead to points.
“It was a little bit of an off night shooting, but I’ve got to hand it to them, their team played unbelievable defense also,” Ruden said. “They were scrappy. They were after everything. I guess when you get to a substate game, you’re going to get that. You’re going to get everybody’s best effort. A tough gym to shoot in. The rims are really tight. I’m not going to make excuses, but I think we’ll shoot better at Wells Fargo (Arena) just like we did last year.”
RSM held a 16-10 lead at halftime, a score more typically seen at the end of the first quarter.
Brody Ricke led the team in the first half with five points on a 3-pointer and basket. He ended with seven for the game while adding seven assists and four steals. The team continued to slowly inch further out in front in the second half with Nicholas Ruden and Spencer Schorg having better outcomes after the intermission. Schorg scored all eight of his points in the second half while seven of Ruden’s team-high 10 points came after the break. He ended with a game-best eight rebounds.
Derrick Schorg also concluded with 10 points while Carter Kuchel finished with four points.
For the second straight year RSM will head to the state tournament with a perfect record after also doing so a season ago in what was the team’s inaugural trip.
IKM-Manning ends the season at 15-9. The Wolves entered the substate final riding a season-long six game winning streak.
Remsen St. Mary’s (25-0) awaits their opponent in the state tournament as coaches must send their rankings of the other qualifying teams with the IHSAA determining the brackets based on these seeds. The team will play on Monday, March 5 in one of four 1A quarterfinals. Ruden says last year’s experience should help this year’s team.
“We know where we’re going, we know our routine,” Ruden said. “I’m hoping that can help us in the first game.”
Remsen St. Mary’s
6 10 10 13 39
2 8 5 8 23