Gilbert hands R-S boys first loss, Norse then hold off C-M
—by Todd Thorson
The Norsemen suffered their first loss of the season last Tuesday night (Dec. 9) in Story City, falling to their rivals, the Gilbert Tigers, in a game that was evenly matched for most of the contest. Only a strong defensive stand in the fourth quarter allowed the visiting Tigers to pull away in the end to win by eight, 63-55. The Norse would regroup three nights later, holding off a pesky Colfax-Mingo group also in Story City 59-50. The Norse are now 4-1, while Gilbert remains undefeated at 4-0 following a 48-41 victory over South Hamilton also on Friday. Colfax-Mingo fell to 0-4 following the loss to the Norsemen.
Gilbert 63, R-S 55
For three quarters it looked like a classic Gilbert/Roland-Story confrontation, that would ultimately go down to the wire. The lead went back and forth in the first half, with the Tigers edging in front 10-9 after the quarter break. By halftime it was tied at 27-27. Wes Greder led Gilbert with 14 first half points, while Colin Greene paced the Norsemen with three three pointers; good for nine first half points.
Following the break, Gilbert went on an 8-0 run midway through the third period to take a 38-30 lead with four minutes left in the period. But R-S went on a run of their own. John Barclay would hit two of three free throws with one second left to edge the Norse to within one at 42-41 with one quarter to play.
Gilbert tightened up the defense to start the fourth, and proceeded to go on a 10-0 run to take a 52-41 lead. It appeared the game might be all but over, but the Norsemen would not cave, clawing their way back with yet another run to cut the lead to five at 57-52 with two minutes remaining. Unfortunately the Norse could get no closer, as the Tigers made their free throws down the stretch to win, 63-55.
Three Norsemen scored in double figures, led by Adam Shorkey’s 16 points. Colin Greene finshed right behind Adam with 15 points, and John Barclay came in with 12 points. Tyler Hovick just missed double figures with nine points, while Jerald Fritz posted three points. Wes Greder ended the night with a game high 24 points, followed by Ryan Blum with 16 and Jack Hoiberg scored 10. The Norse shot 17 of 40 for 42.5 percent. The Tigers hit for 22 for 48 for 46 percent.
Shorkey led in rebounding with nine, as the Norse out-rebounded the Tigers 27-25. Jerald Fritz grabbed seven off the boards. Hovick and Barclay had four and three assists, respectively.
“I was really proud of our guys’ effort all game long,” said Coach Darrin Berggren. “We did a great job of continuing to battle back after each of Gilbert’s runs. In the end they just made a few more plays than us, and that was the difference in the game. We had our shots, but just couldn’t get them to go down the last two minutes.”
R-S 59, Colfax-Mingo 52
Senior Zach Tryon had an emotional night on Friday night in Story City, drawing a starting nod against Colfax-Mingo in the last Roland-Story sporting event of his high school career. Zach was scheduled to have major back surgery yesterday (Tuesday).
The game started slow, as neither team could score in the early going. The score was tied at only 6-6 with two minutes remaining in the first period. But thanks to a couple of three pointers by Alex Teig and John Barclay, the Norse pushed ahead 12-8 after one quarter. In the second frame, the Norsemen’s defense stepped up the pressure, as the home team out-scored the Tiger Hawks 18-4 to open up a 30-14 bulge at halftime. Leading the way for the Norse were Jerald Fritz and John Barclay with eight and seven first half points, respectively.
The third quarter saw both teams trade baskets back and forth in an evenly played period. Colin Greene hit two three pointers in the third to put the Norsemen in command 45-26 with one quarter to play. As the game was winding down, the Norse still held a 47-34 advantage with just under three minutes left. Colfax-Mingo had one big run left in the tank, however, and proceeded to out-score the Norsemen 18-12 in those waning minutes to make the final score just a seven point margin at 59-52. Fortunately for the Norse, the Tiger Hawks just ran out of time.
Greene and Fritz led the Norse with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Tyler Hovick had nine points, followed by Adam Shorkey with eight. Brandon McCoy came off the bench to score seven. Barclay also finished with seven points. Alex Teig added five points, and Logan Greiner posted two points. Jared Myers led all scorers with 18 points for Colfax-Mingo. Jacob Lietz added 13 points for the Tiger Hawks.
C-M out-rebounded the Norse 36-29. Shorkey led the Norse with seven grabs. Colin Lourens hauled down 14 rebounds for C-M. Barclay dished off five assists, while Hovick had four. And Zach Tryon swiped three steals. The Norse shot 23 of 54 from the field for 43 percent. Colfax-Mingo was 19 of 47 for 40 percent.
“It was a good team win,” said a relieved Coach Berggren, considering the way the game ended. “I thought our defense was excellent and we did a much better job of taking care of the ball. (But) we really struggled rebounding for the first time this season. Colfax-Mngo was able to get 20 offensive rebounds, which is way more than we had been giving up this year. We will need to continue to improve in all areas this week, as we will be taking on two very good conference teams, both on the road.”
The Norse took on Nevada last night (Tuesday) before traveling to Jewell on Friday night to take on the Hawks of South Hamilton. That will draw to a close the 2014 portion of the schedule as the Norse won’t return to action until Tuesday, Jan. 6 at CMB.