Hawks avenge earlier loss to Akron-Westfield
REMSEN — The Remsen St. Mary’s boys have now avenged losses to two of the three teams that have beaten them this season including Tuesday’s (January 22) 74-66 win over Akron-Westfield. The Hawks fell in the first meeting 66-57. RSM previously avenged a loss to South O’Brien while their rematch attempt with West Sioux fell short.
“The kids were amped up to play them again,” RSM co-Head Coach Scott Ruden said. “They really wanted to beat them. They played too aggressive and not smart right away and when we settled down and started playing our game, it got better. Akron shot really well again. They’ve got our number or something, but I thought we did a better job second half on defense.”
The Westerners came out looking to catch their foe off guard for the second time as they jumped out to an 8-2 lead at the 4:55 mark of the first quarter on a 3-pointer from Leighton Blake. A-W Head Coach Jon Harris said his team was looking to finally put a streak of wins together after entering with back-to-back victories.
“Our goal was to have a winning streak,” Harris said. “It takes three games to be a winning streak. We’d won two in a row and we’re trying to start that streak here tonight so the kids were excited to try and get that accomplished. We were trying to play loose, but get after it a little bit and we did some nice things and caused them some problems early.”
RSM got back into the game with an 8-0 run which included a pair of 3-pointers from Brayden Ricke and Spencer Schorg, the team’s leading scorers with 19 points apiece, as the Hawks took the lead and held a slim one-point advantage after a quarter.
The Westerners made another attempt to pull away in the second quarter as they led 31-26 with just under three minutes left prior to half. The Hawks quickly fought back to a tie just 45 seconds later as Ricke connected on his second trey of the game.
In the second half, it was RSM’s turn to try pulling away. A two-point lead at halftime slowly crept up, but Blake kept the Westerners within striking distance with his 3-point shooting as he ended with a team-high 17 points with most of the points coming on five 3-point makes.
The Hawks used one of their best offensive performances of the year to keep an arms-length distance away, building up to a double-digit lead before the Westerners cut it back to as close as six with 11.8 seconds left.
After being stuck in the 40s for scoring each of their previous four games, the Hawks were just a point shy of their season high. Noah Schroeder was the team’s third player in double digits after Ricke and Schorg as he finished with 16 points. Brady Homan added eight while Damen Brownmiller and Skyler Waldschmitt each had six.
“Homan had a good game and I thought Noah Schroeder had a good game for us,” Ruden said. “That was good to see because we haven’t had a lot of that yet.”
The Westerners have done a good job of finding scoring despite leading scorer Nick Jacobs and his 17 point-per-game average still out with a sprained ankle. The team found four players reach double digits and another just two points shy of the mark. Along with leading scorer Blake, Carter Drent matched a career-best with 15 points and Reagan Frankl added 14 points. Aaron Hartman picked up 10 points on five made baskets and Chris Steffen knocked down a pair of threes as part of his eight points.
“We’ve been playing better and better,” Harris said. “We’re moving the ball better as a team and they’ve come together. We’re a little shorthanded and they’re willing themselves trying to find a way to win. Unfortunately it didn’t pan out that way tonight, but a solid effort again. Just a few too many turnovers and a couple lapses on defense and that really hurt us. They had several easy baskets in the fourth quarter and that made it tough for us to hang in there.”
The Westerners (7-9) will host Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn on Friday, January 25.
The Hawks (11-4) will be home again on Friday, January 25, against Clay Central-Everly.
RSM: Points- Ricke 19, Schorg 19, Schroeder 16, Homan 8, Brownmiller 6, Waldschmitt 6.
A-W: Points- Blake 17, Drent 15, Frankl 14, Hartman 10, Steffen 8, Kroksh 2.