No. 7 RSM boys share the ball well in rout of Trinity

Friday, January 20, 2023

REMSEN — Great things have happened when Remsen St. Mary’s boys basketball team moves and shares the ball.

Co-head coaches Justin and Scott Ruden saw their squad throw a season-high 21 assists Tuesday night during a 70-31 War Eagle Conference rout over Trinity Christian. Jaxon Bunkers, who dished nine of his team’s then, season-best 19 assists in Monday night’s 55-37 win over MMCRU, supplied 18 points, 10 assists and five rebounds.

“The point of emphasis tonight was move the basketball and get a little team game going on,” said Justin Ruden. “We were struggling to shoot early in the season. It’s starting to come back. When you start moving the basketball, good things happen.”

Class 1A No. 7 Remsen St. Mary’s (10-1, 6-0 WEC) topped 60 percent shooting for the second straight night, going 60.9 (25-of-41). It was also the second straight night of four double-digit scorers, as Cael Ortmann tallied 18 points while 6-foot-5 Ryan Willman and 6-foot-4 Collin Homan added 14 and 10 points, respectively.

Bunkers has reached double-figure scoring in all 11 games en route to a 14.2 scoring average. However, Ortmann, a 6-foot-3 senior, was the first to 18 points in front of the fans at Jerry and Marlene Harpenau Family Gym.

Cael Ortmann Scored 18 points

Ortmann was hot from the start with eight points in the first quarter as the Hawks raced to a 20-10 lead, muscling inside for six points for a team that led from start to finish.

Ortmann, who has averaged 12.3 points while collecting six straight double-digit performances, also hit a three-point basket in the second and the third quarters. He was quick to credit teammates.

“We had a good flow on offense,” said Ortmann. “All of us were passing the ball and getting open shots. When I had the open shot, I knocked it down. I give credit to Jaxon, Ryan, Collin and Landon (Waldschmitt) for passing it to me.”

During many of the game’s possessions, all five Hawks on the floor received touches on the pass as they looked for the teammate with the best shot. Willman, who has averaged 12.6 points while reaching double-figures in each of his last three games, scored seven second-quarter points.

Homan (4 rebounds, 2 blocked shots) was the last of the four to hit double figures, departing after hitting a pair of free throws. Passing was also a plus for the reserves, including 5-9 Kadden Groepper, who scored his first five points of the season, beginning with a three-pointer.

“We’re starting to trust players and we’re starting to play more as a team,” said Justin Ruden. “It shows, because our shooting percentages are going up. Points are going up. You score a lot of points when you pass the basketball.”

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