FREMONT — Cedar Catholic claimed the Knights Tourney title last week in Fremont.
The Cedar boys moved to 4-3 after capping off a crazy schedule with the 61-53 championship game win over Archbishop Bergan.
Earlier in the week, the Trojans competed in the Great Northeast Neb. Shootout, routing Pender 69-43, and dropping close decisions against Pierce (52-46) and Wayne (31-29).
In beating Bergan, the Trojans got a 21-point performance by Tate Thoene and 11 points from Myles Thoene to lead the way.
“We pressed Archbishop Bergan throughout the first half to speed up the game,” Cedar Catholic coach Matt Steffen said as the Trojans led 35-16 at halftime and held on.
Steffen was pleased with the way the team came back after two disappointing losses.
“We bounced back nicely after losing two games in the holiday tournament to win the Knights Classic Championship,” he said.
Against Pender, Myles Thoene (15 points), Jaxson Bernecker (12 points) and Mack Kuehn (11 points) led the way offensively while Dagen Joachimsen (seven rebounds) and Carter Arens (nine points, six rebounds) also provided plenty of assistance.
Cedar Catholic got 14 points from Thoene against Pierce while Bernecker (eight points) and Arens (seven points, six rebounds) in the loss against Pierce.
In the defensive struggle against Wayne, the Trojans shot 31 percent while their opponents shot just over 27 percent.
Thoene’s eight-point effort led the Trojans in the defeat.
Pierce came out and jumped to a quick 10-point lead.
The Trojans finally got going a little and cut their lead to four points at the halftime break and tied the game at 46 with a minute left.
Pierce scored to break the tie, forcing Cedar to foul to extend the game.
Pierce sealed the win with solid freethrow shooting, hitting 17-of-18 from the line.
Against Wayne, the coach said, the Trojans came out sluggish.
“Wayne really did a good job of slowing the pace of the game,” he said. “We did not adjust well to that. The largest lead in the game was when we were up 10-6 in the first period.”
Bernecker hit two freethrows with 15 seconds to go to put Cedar up 29- 28, but the hosts won it on a buzzerbeating, three-pointer.
Joachimsen said the defense played well over the stretch, noting the Wayne performance, but the offense is still not clicking.
“We still haven’t figured out what we want to do on offense and once we do, we are going to be a lot better,” he said. “I’d say it’s a symmetry issue. We have had quite a bit of turnovers the last few games and haven’t gotten the open looks we want. They aren’t bad shots, but they aren’t the shots we like a lot.”
Joachimsen said the team is still working the kinks out.
“It’s early yet and we still have a lot to learn. We also have a lot of new guys getting onto the floor who haven’t had a chance to get a lot of minutes in the past couple of years. We lost two starters from last year, so besides that it’s a little early,” he said.
The pandemic didn’t help as it kept the new roster apart for most of those pivotal summer months and Joachimsen said that having the seniors sit out two weeks in quarantine may have taken a bit of a “toll” on the squad’s chemistry.
The Trojans hosted Osmond Tuesday before playing host to the defending D1 champs from Laurel-Concord-Coleridge Thursday.
“Laurel-Concord-Coleridge is very similar to Osmond in that they want to push the ball and pressure you,” Steffen said. “I think we are getting better. We are improving our chemistry and confidence and just need to continue to go in the right direction.”
SCORING Cedar - Myles Thoene, 15; Jaxson Bernecker, 12; Mack Kuehn, 11; Carter Arens, 9; Tate Thoene, 9; Dagen Joachimsen, 7; Carson Arens, 6.
Rebounds Cedar - Dagen Joachimsen, 7; Carter Arens, 6; Myles Thoene, 4; Tate Thoene, 3; Mack Kuehn, 3; Jaxson Bernecker, 3; Carson Arens, 2; Riley Kuehn 1; Ethan Becker, 1; Jay Steffen, 1.
ASSISTS Cedar - Dagen Joachimesen 6; Carter Arens, 4; Tate Thoene, 3; Myles Thoene, 2; Carson Arens, 1; Jaxson Bernecker, 1.
STEALS Cedar - Tate Thoene, 3; Carter Arens, 3; Carson Arens, 2; Dagen Joachimsen, 1; Mack Kuehn, 1; Myles Thoene, 1; Riley Kuehn, 1.
SCORING Cedar - Myles Thoene, 14; Tate Thoene, 13; Jaxson Bernecker, 8; Carter Arens, 7; Mack Kuehn, 4.
Rebounds Cedar - Carter Arens, 6; Myles Thoene, 4; Tate Thoene, 4; Jaxson Bernecker, 3; Mack Kuehn, 2; Dagen Joachimsen 1; Carson Arens, 1.
ASSISTS Cedar - Tate Thoene 5; Carson Arens, 3; Myles Thoene, 2; Dagen Joachimsen, 1; Carter Arens, 1; Jaxson Bernecker, 1.
STEALS Cedar - Myles Thoene, 3; Tate Thoene, 2; Dagen Joachimsen, 1; Carter Arens, 1; Jaxson Bernecker, 1.
High Scr Game - Team: Broadway Lanes, 700; Fordyce Coop, 618; Keith’s Package Liquor, 616. High Scr Game Ind: Fay Burbach, 189; Kathy Young, 185; Ashley Dendinger, 182. High Hcp Game - Team: Broadway Lanes, 820; Fordyce Coop, 786; XPert Lawn, 782. High Scr Series Ind: Fay Burbach, 535; Ashley Dendinger, 512; Beth Schommer, 494. High Scr Series - Team: Broadway Lanes, 1921; Keith’s Package Liquor, 1824; Fordyce Coop, 1757. High Hcp Series - Team: Keith’s Package Liquor, 2319; Broadway Lanes, 2281; Fordyce Coop, 2261.
Cedar - Myles Thoene, 8; Tate Thoene, 6; Dagen Joachimsen, 4; Jaxson Bernecker, 4; Carsen Arens, 3; Mack Kuehn, 2; Carter Arens, 2.
Cedar - Jaxson Bernecker, 7; Dagen Joachimsen, 3; Carsen Arens, 2;Carter Arens, 2; Mack Kuehn, 1; Myles Thoene 1.
Cedar - Tate Thoene 2; Myles Thoene, 2; Jaxson Bernecker, 1; Blake Arens, 1.
Cedar - Carsen Arens 3; Jaxson Bernecker, 3; Myles Thoene, 2; Tate Thoene, 1; Carter Arens, 1.
Cedar - Tate Thoene, 21; Myles Thoene, 11; Jaxson Bernecker, 10; Mack Kuehn, 8; Carsen Arens, 5; Dagen Joachimsen, 4; Carter Arens, 2.
Cedar - Carter Arens, 8; Mack Kuehn, 6; Tate Thoene, 5; Dagen Joachimsen, 5; Carsen Arens, 4; Jaxson Bernecker, 3; Myles Thoene, 2; Blake Arens, 1.
Cedar - Myles Thoene, 3; Jaxson Bernecker, 3; Dagen Joachimsen, 3; Carter Arens, 2; Tate Thoene, 1.
Cedar - Jaxson Bernecker, 4; Tate Thoene, 1; Dagen Joachimsen, 1; Carsen Arens, 1; Myles Thoene, 1.
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