HARTINGTON — The Cedar Catholic Trojans took a wrecking ball to two of the top D1 teams in the State last week.
Cedar easily topped Osmond 61- 48 Tuesday, then set the tone early enroute to a 75-40 route of defending D1 state champion Laurel-Concord-Coleridge on Thursday.
Cedar raced out to an 18-13 first-quarter lead against the Orange and Black, but Osmond came back in the second frame to earn 11-10 scoring honors. The Trojans once again took control in the second half, putting together a 20-14 thirdquarter run to put the game away.
The Trojans (6-3) viewed the week as a real challenge as they knew they’d be facing some top calibre talent.
“Osmond is a very good team with an All-State caliber player in Graysen Schultze,” Cedar head coach Matt Steffen said.
Cedar more than held their own against the Tigers as Myles Thoene and Graysen went back and forth matching each other’s scoring. Schultze ended with 27 and Myles 24.
Thoene was helped out by Tate Thoene and Jaxson Bernecker who finished with 14 and 13 points apiece, with the latter also corralling 12 rebounds for a nice doubledouble.
Cedar got off to an even better start against the Bears on Thursday.
The Trojans raced out to a 22-6 first-quarter lead, then extended that lead to 44-21 with a solid second-quarter effort.
Cedar continued its scoring assault in the second half, outscoring the Bears 18-12 in the third frame and earning a 13-7 scoring advantage in the final stanza.
“Laurel is also a very good team and we put it all together and had a great game,” Steffen said.
The Bears struggled to handle Cedar’s defensive pressure and turned it over 21 times.
“We pressured well, took care of the ball and shot reasonably well,” Steffen said.
Laurel was forced into a 35 percent shooting night and were outrebounded 39-25 as Myles Thoene (20 points, six rebounds), Bernecker (13 points, six rebounds), Mack Kuehn (12 points, eight rebounds) and Tate Thoene (12 points, five rebounds) paced the rout.
Cedar played Boone Central Tuesday and then head to undefeated Dakota Valley Thursday before wrapping up with a rematch against 9-2, Pierce in Hartington Friday night.
“This week will be a challenge with three games in the week,” Steffen said. “Dakota Valley has a player getting Division 1 interest and is the best player we will see. Pierce is also a tough matchup.”
Steffen said he has seen a big difference in his team the last few weeks.
“I think our kids are maturing and understanding the game better how to play as a team. We are moving the ball better and taking better shots.”
One of those players is sophomore Carsen Arens who has broken into the starting lineup for the Trojans as a steady three-point shooter.
Arens said that the team is “feeling good” after the big win over the Bears from Laurel. “In the games before this we
“In the games before this we couldn’t quite find our groove, but against Laurel we passed the ball and found our teammates that were open,” Arens said. “We’ve been playing team basketball this whole stretch of games that we have been winning.
“It’s a huge morale booster. We have a few games coming up and if we can carry that momentum into those games, maybe we come out with some wins and boost the record a little bit.”
Arens notes that the Trojans could still improve their defensive efforts.
“When we are tired we tend to be lazy, so we need to prevent that by working our butts off every minute we are in there,” he said. “If we need a sub, coach will get us out. We need our defense to carry us through.”
SCORING Cedar - Myles Thoene, 20; Jaxson Bernecker, 13; Tate Thoene, 12; Mack Kuehn, 12; Carter Arens, 6; Carsen Arens, 5; Blake Arens, 2; Dagen Joachimsen, 2; Riley Kuehn, 2. LCC - Cael Hartung, 13; Evan Haisch, 7; Wilton Roberts, 6; Grant Erwin, 4; Evan Schmitt, 4; Jake Rath, 4; Lucas Rasmussen, 2.
Rebounds Cedar - Mack Kuehn, 8; Jaxson Bernecker, 6; Myles Thoene, 6; Tate Thoene, 5; Carsen Arens, 4; Blake Arens, 1; Dagen Joachimsen, 1; Hunter Thoene, 1; Carter Arens, 1; Riley Kuehn 1; Ethan Becker, 1. LCC - Cael Hartung, 4; Jake Rath, 4; Evan Haisch, 4; Wilton Roberts, 3; Lucas Rasmussen, 1; Carter Kvols, 1; Austin Hall, 1.
ASSISTS Cedar - Jaxson Bernecker, 5; Carsen Arens, 4; Myles Thoene, 4; Tate Thoene, 3; Dagen Joachimesen 1; Mack Kuehn, 1; Carter Arens, 1. LCC - Evan Haisch, 3; Lucas Rasmussen, 2; Evan Schmitt, 2; Wilton Roberts, 1; Dagen Puppe, 1.
STEALS Cedar - Carter Arens, 4; Carsen Arens, 4; Tate Thoene, 3; Dagen Joachimsen, 2; Myles Thoene, 2; Hunter Thoene, 1; Jaxson Bernecker, 1. LCC - Evan Schmitt, 1; Cael Hartung, 1; Evan Haisch, 1; Dagen Puppe, 1.
SCORING Cedar - Myles Thoene, 24; Tate Thoene, 14; Jaxson Bernecker, 13; Carter Arens, 7; Mack Kuehn, 2; Dagen Joachimsen, 2. Osmond - G Schultze, 27; R Schmit, 10; Zach Huwaldt, 8; C Wingert, 3.
Rebounds Cedar - Jaxson Bernecker, 12; Dagen Joachimsen 6;Tate Thoene, 4; Mack Kuehn, 2; Carsen Arens, 2; Hunter Thoene, 2; Carter Arens, 1; Myles Thoene, 1. Osmond - Zach Huwaldt, 8; B Solorzana, 4; G Schultze, 3; C Wingert, 3; S Hille, 2; R Schmit, 1; S Hasler, 1; Z Reifofski, 1.
ASSISTS Cedar - Myles Thoene, 4; Carter Arens, 4; Dagen Joachimsen, 3; Carsen Arens, 1. Osmond - G Schultze, 5; Zach Huwaldt, 2; R Schmit, 1; S Hille, 1; C Wingert, 1.
STEALS Cedar - Myles Thoene, 4; Carter Arens, 2; Dagen Joachimsen, 2; Carsen Arens, 1; Jaxson Bernecker, 1. Osmond - Zach Huwaldt, 1; R. Schmidt, 1; G Schultze, 1.