Prince of Peace to be RSMís opening round opponent at state

Thursday, March 7, 2019
Above, Remsen St. Maryís lifts their state qualifying banner following their win over South OíBrien on Monday. The team returns to Des Moines for the third straight year, this time as the six-seed in the 3-vs-6 matchup after being the three-seed the past two seasons. The Hawks open state tournament play on Monday, March 4 at 1 p.m. against Prince of Peace at Wells Fargo Arena.
(Sentinel Photo By Allen Hamil)

Remsen St. Maryís (19-6) vs. Prince of Peace (20-3)

Monday, March 4 @ 1:00 p.m.

Remsen St. Maryís hopes the third time to state will be the charm as they embark on their latest state tournament run on Monday, March 4. The team is currently undefeated in first round games at Wells Fargo Arena with wins over Lynnville-Sully (73-57) last year and New London (59-52) in 2017.

This year marks the third year in a row the team will be in the 3-vs-6 matchup, only this time the Hawks are the lower seeded in the game.

Prince of Peace is located in Clinton, the eastern-most city in Iowa along the Mississippi River. The school is making its first trip to state in 25 years when they finished as state runner-up in 1994 known as Mater Dei. Prior to that, Clinton St. Maryís won state championships in 1953, 1975 and 1977, finished as runner-up in 1965 and also made trips in 1967 and 1978.

Members of the Tri-Rivers Conference, two of their losses this season came in league play as they split games with Calamus-Wheatland and Easton Valley as the three each finished with two conference losses coming to the other two schools. The team was without starter Michael Matthew, a 6-foot-3 senior who averages nearly eight points per game in those two conference losses although he returned to the lineup just in time to avenge the loss to Easton Valley in the district final. The only other loss for the Irish came to North Linn who bumped up to Class 2A this year and are currently undefeated entering their tourney run as top seed in their class.

Prince of Peace is a senior-heavy team which will go up against the senior-less Hawks. 6-foot senior Kaidion Larson is one of three players to average in double figures on the season with a scoring average just shy of 20 points per game, the second best in the 1A field. Larson shoots with a success rate of 50.9 percent overall from the field, but his 3-point percentage on 81 attempts lags behind at just 25.9 percent. He is second on the team in rebounds, assists and steals.

Nathan Moeller is the teamís lone starter who isnít a senior, but the junior might be the teamís best all-around player. RSM post players Brady Homan (6-foot-3) and Austin Jensen (6-foot-2) will have their work cut out for them against the 6-foot-4 Moeller who has shown his ability to throw down dunks on a handful of occasions this season. He is averaging 15.6 points per contest with a field goal percentage of 62.3 on the season. When heís not getting his points in the paint, heís also able to shoot from the perimeter making 20-of-37 (54.1 percent) from 3-point range this season. His 202 rebounds and 38 blocks lead the team and heís third on the team in assists and steals.

6-foot-1 senior Patrick Mulholland is the teamís other double digit scorer with a 12.1 points per game average on a 47 percent success rate from the field. Heís the most prolific 3-point shooter on a team that has taken the fewest attempts from beyond the arc of the 1A state qualifiers and whose team success rate of 30.9 percent from distance is second-worst in the field. Mulholland is also the teamís leader in assists and steals.

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

Remsen St. Maryís

Individual leaders

Prince of Peace

S. Schorg 16.0Pts/GKaidion Larson 19.7
Homan 111REBNathan Moeller 202
S. Schorg 89ASTPatrick Mulholland 80
S. Schorg 48STLPatrick Mulholland 66
S. Waldschmitt 13BLKNathan Moeller 38

The Hawks may have the advantage of a little state tournament experience, although Spencer Schorg is the only one with much court experience in Des Moines. He is averaging 16 points per game this season with a 53.7 percent success rate shooting. The 6-foot junior also leads RSM with 89 assists and 48 steals.

The 6-foot-1 Skyler Waldschmitt is capable of scoring outbursts and it would appear heís due for one after being held below his current season average of 10.7 points per game in five of the teamís last six games.

Brayden Ricke (9.1 PPG) and Blaine Harpenau (7.3 PPG) will also be looked to to score their share of points as the pair of 6-footers should match up well with their counterparts.

Defense and team basketball have been the main ingredients in the recipe for success for the Hawks the last two years and this season is no different. RSM allows the fewest points per game of any 1A tournament team, giving up just 44.3 points per contest. The team will also look to capitalize on the turnover margin with Prince of Peace turning the ball over more than any other team in the field and the Hawks doing so the second-fewest.

If defense really does win championships, then itís a good area for RSM to hone in on at state.

Team statsPts/ GFG%3pt FG%FT%REBASTSTLBLK
Prince of Peace62.349.130.966.864329623458
Remsen St. Maryís56.848.233.364.169735618851