Corey's Corner 1/4

Posted 1/04/17 (Wed)

               The winter schedule can be chaotic. Of course, the last time out really wasn’t that bad. Cancellations were a rare sight in 2015. But now here in the Great Winter of 2016, the games are constantly shifting. It keeps us on our toes, and certainly makes you appreciate when things go on schedule. And for the most part, this last week went off without a hitch.

               So we start out with a matchup between Deacons of Fargo Shanley and the Saints of St. Mary’s. The game started out very much in favor of the squad from out east, as their leading scorer Jacob Kava got scorching from deep. A trio of threes put Shanley in control. But then St. Mary’s answered back. They were down big in the JV game and came back, and the Varsity squad was doing something very similar. And it was absolutely spearheaded by Cole Gendreau. He was just shy of 30 points on the game, and the points came at all parts of the game. Luke Kambeitz and Matt Gunther got going as well, and it was a competitive game throughout after that initial surge.

               St. Mary’s got up a few possesions late, but then the Deacons answered back. Jacob Reinholz got going late, and cut it down to one possession in the final minutes. Then he cut it down to a one point lead for St. Mary’s. But as was the case all game, the Saints answered again. Luke Kambeitz hit a free throw to make it a two possession game with just a few seconds left, and the Saints held on to win 62-58. It was a big win for SM against a team in Shanley that started out the year incredibly well.

               Then it was time for a doubleheader (over the course of two days, so not really a doubleheader but hey its easy to say) between the Coyotes of Williston and the Minot Magicians/Majettes. The boys’ game was first so we start there, and this Minot team is simply fantastic. It’s been a calendar year since they lost a game, and it was easy to see why. Justin Engg is an incredibly athletic big capable of hitting a shot from anywhere on the floor, which will space out a defense for shooters like Chandler Albertson and Peyton Lamoureux. KyJuan Johnson runs the point with authority. Trevor Banks provides a spark off the bench in a true 6th man role. Max Olthoff can operate down low. Meanwhile, Williston is a rebuilding team and so despite good work by Baily Bethke and Triten Teske, the Magicians would take this one from the word go. Minot is a team that may very well be there at the end of the season.

               The Majettes took their cue from the boys and got off to a great start. Brenna Tschetter was an absolute force inside, and sometimes height just wins out in basketball. She finished the game just shy of 20. Kali Askvig opened her day with a three, and provided the perfect scoring partner for Tschetter. Williston got a strong scoring day out of a quartet in Danielle Stauffer, Jocci Lysne, Emily Jager, and Jalyn Helstad but Minot controlled things the grand majority of the time in this one as well. The early turnovers really hampered the effort of the Coyotes, something they’ll continue to work on throughout the year. Minot got the two-day sweep.

                And we wrap things up on the ice between the defending WDA champs and the Dickinson Midgets. Bismarck got things started off very quickly in this one, but the quick hands of Gabe Vaagen kept them off the scoreboard for the early parts of this one. Then with about nine minutes gone by, Jakob Parisien found the back of the net. That opened up the floodgates for Bismarck as they would score two more in the 1st period, and four goals in the 2nd. Drew Lenertz assisted on that first goal, and finished the night with three & and a goal.  Eight different players notched goals for the Demons, and Zach Kessler earned the shutout in between the pipes. Bismarck was the winners of the conference last year, and they have their eyes on it again. They’ve been in the state title four of the last eight years, and have their eye on that too. We’ll get to the see the rivalry in the WDA in a week when the Demons take on the Magicians on the ice (weather permitting of course).