by ADAM GRUENEWALD
The Central boys’ basketball season concluded with a first round 2AA playoff loss at Glencoe-Silver Lake last Tuesday, 49-29.
The Raiders started the game taking their time on offense and held a 2-0 lead on a Andrew Cardinal lay-in just 4 minutes into the contest.
The Panthers then responded going on a 11-0 run relying on the inside presence of 6-8 Garrett Ober who had 11 points in the first half.
Central head coach Nat Boyer said the team did what they could to limit Ober.
“We really wanted to force Garret to shoot from the outside,” he said. “As far as getting rebounds, three of his buckets were second chance. Our Achilles heel was rebounding but the boys worked on it and worked on it.”
Jacob Popelka hit a jumper, Mason Goettl hit a 3-pointer and Ober then scored six straight points hitting from both inside and outside the paint.
Isaac Hormann and Casey Clemensen both hit 3-pointers for the Raiders, but Ober got it going again. His 3-point play gave GSL a 16-8 lead with under 5 minutes left in the first half, a lead they would maintain throughout.
The Raiders would trail 23-13 at half.
Central was able to limit Ober in the second half, but the Panthers got contributions from other players, notably Keaton Anderson who scored all 13 of his points in the second half.
Hormann hit a 3-pointer for the Raiders to make it 25-16, but the Panthers answered with a 11-5 run.
Anderson had seven points in the stretch, including a huge 3-point play with under 9 minutes left. Anderson got the bounce on a tough shot in the lane giving him 1,000 points for his career and, after a timeout, hit the freethrow for a 36-21 advantage for GSL.
“Our number one thing was we kept a defender locked in on him,” said Boyer. “He’s one of the best player in the conference and they run through him. He came out strong in the second half.”
The interior defense of the Panthers kept the Raiders outside of the paint as they got their first free throw attempts from Hormann with 4 minutes left in the game.
The Panthers didn’t let up which gave both teams a chance to get their seniors in the game as the Raiders five seniors in Cardinal, Alex Eichner, Alek Bixby, Reid Wenisch and Casey Clemensen all got significant time for the Raiders.
“It was good to have those guys play together,” said Boyer. “They’ve done so much for the three years I’ve been here.
All five have made this program better with their work ethic and showing their pride every practice and every game.”
Cardinal finished strong getting to the line several times as the game wound down and Clemensen fouled out with 34.6 seconds remaining.
The Raiders finish the season at 11-13, while G-SL advanced to play Jordan on Friday.
“We got that 11-win mark and we’ll take every win and appreciate what we did,” said Boyer.
The Raiders return seven players with significant varsity experience, while the seniors move on to the next phase.
“I credit the kids for working hard and the older players for bringing younger players along,” said Boyer. “Now they go on to different phase after high school and I think that seeing level of commitment to the program speaks volumes.”
The #3 Panthers defeated Jordan on Friday, 53-33 and were scheduled to face #5 LeSueur Henderson on Tuesday in the subsection final. The 2AA section final will be on March 7.
Central 13 16 29
GSL 23 26 49
Central – Noah Peterson 1 0-0 2, Casey Clemensen 2 0-0 5, Isaac Hormann 2 1-2 7, Andrew Cardinal 2 1-3 5, Reid Wenisch 0 0-0 0, Brice Panning 0 0-0 0, Zach Schnabel 0 0-0 0, Carter Clemensen 2 0-0 6, Kellen Erpenbach 2 0-0 4, Alex Eichner 0 0-0 0, Alek Bixby 0 0-0 0, Nate Nimitz 0 0-0 0, TOTALS 11 2-5 29
Glencoe-Silver Lake – Teddy Petersen 1 0-0 2, Keaton Anderson 5 2-2 13, Garrett Ober 6 2-3 14, Mason Goettl 3 0-0 8, Jacob Popelka 3 0-0 6, Cole Petersen 1 0-0 2, Scott Landes 0 0-0 0, Reed Wawrzyniak 0 0-0 0, Jon Richer 0 0-0 0, Eric Dahlke 1 1-2 4, Aaron Boraas 0 0-0 0, Shane Ehrke 0 0-0 0, Alex Romano 0 0-0 0, Jayden Tschimperle 0 0-0 0, TOTALS 20 5-7 49
Three Pointers – Central 5 (Hormann 2, Car. Clemensen 2, Cas. Clememsen), GSL 4 (Goettl 2, Anderson, Dahlke)
Contact Adam Gruenewald at firstname.lastname@example.org.