March 4, 2016 by lmorgan · Comments Off
NORFOLK — On a night when the Wolfpack needed to play their best basketball, Crofton said “no.”
Four-time defending state champions, the Warriors played a flawless game at both ends of the floor to defeat Elgin Public-Pope John 59 to 33 to claim the C2-5 district crown and a berth in the girls state tournament which begins Thursday in Lincoln.
Jenna Parks scored the Wolfpack’s first basket, but precious few would follow for the rest of the game as EPPJ made less than 25 percent of their field goal attempts (11 of 46), thanks in large part to Crofton’s defensive pressure.
Warrior defenders rushed the Wolfpack into errant shots in the first half. By the time the Wolfpack settled into the game, the Warriors held an insurmountable lead.
The Wolfpack managed just six points in the opening quarter as Crofton took a 19 to 6 lead.
Crofton (22-3) scored the first nine points of the second quarter to take a 28 to 6 lead. Sophomore Lydia Behnk broke the run with a putback basket with 3:43 to go before halftime. Parks drilled a trey at the three-minute mark, that would be the last points for EPPJ as Crofton took a 30 to 11 lead.
Much of the Wolfpack’s woes in the first half could be directly attributed to Crofton’s pressure defense. From the start they used a full-court press, forcing the Wolfpack to work hard to move the ball past the mid-court line. Coach Aaron Losing’s strategy worked as the pressure took the Wolfpack out of their game which, in turn, resulted in errant shots and turnovers.
Any chance to seize momentum at the start of the second half vanished as Crofton’s Katie Petersen scored back-to-back baskets in the first 90 seconds of the third quarter.
Ally Wemhoff’s two free throws got the Wolfpack on the scoreboard, Parks followed with two field goals and Baylee Wemhoff added a free throw to account for the Wolfpack’s scoring in the third quarter as they fell behind 43 to 18.
The fourth quarter was the Wolfpack’s best as their play more resembled that of earlier in the season which produced 19 victories.
Baylee Wemhoff slashed through the lane for a traditional three-point play, then nailed a trey to highlight a 15-point quarter by the Wolfpack. Jordan Mescher added three free throws and Katie Polk came off the bench to score the Wolfpack’s last two-point basket of the game.
“Overall I thought we played a great defensive game. In a half court set I thought the girls battled and made things difficult for Crofton. They just scored too much on transition and offensive rebounds. One thing we talked about was that we did not want to get off to a slow start in which we did.
“Everything they shot went in and it was the opposite for us. The girls though fought through the whole game and played their hearts out. Always tough to lose these games but the girls should be proud of the season we had,” Coach Randy Eisenhauer said about the game.
Petersen led all scorers with 25 points, Monica Arens was the only other double-digit scorer for Crofton with 11 points.
Parks and Baylee Wemhoff each had nine points to lead the Wolfpack.
The loss ended the Wolfpack’s season with a 19-8 record.
Crofton 59, Wolfpack 33
Wolfpack…….6 5 7 15 — 33
Warriors…….19 11 13 16 — 59
Crofton — Breanna Allen 1-7 2-4 5, Brittany Guenther 3-5 0-0 9, Haley Arens 0-1 1-2 1, Josie Sanger 0-2 2-2 2, Monica Arens 4-13 2-2 11, Kelsey Sanger 2-5 2-2 6, Katie Petersen 12-18 1-1 25, Mariah Bendiger 0-1 0-0 0. Team totals: 22-53 10-13 59.
Wolfpack — Liz Selting 0-9 0-0 0, Jenna Parks 4-13 0-3 9, Lydia Behnk 3-5 0-0 6, Jordan Mescher 0-8 3-4 3, Jill Schindler 0-1 0-0 0, Baylee Wemhoff 2-10 4-5 9, Allyson Wemhoff 1-5 1-2 4, Katie Polk 1-1 0-0 2. Team totals: 11-51 8-14 33.
Team statistics — Three-point shots - Wolfpack 3-17, Crofton 5-18. Rebounds - Wolfpack 28 (Liz Selting 9, Jenna Parks 9), Crofton 41. Assists - Wolfpack 6 (Jenna Parks 2), Crofton 17. Steals - Wolfpack 12 (Ally Wemhoff 5), Crofton 7. Turnovers - Wolfpack 20, Crofton 16.
February is always a busy month for Wolfpack sports.
This year’s postseason is no different as, on Friday, the Wolfpack girls basketball team will seek to do something they haven’t done in a few years — earn a berth in the Class C2 State Basketball Tournament. The district final will be played tonight, Feb. 26, at Norfolk High School with tip-off to be at 7 p.m. Their task is a tall one — literally. The Wolfpack’s lone remaining obstacle for a trip to Lincoln is Crofton.Having won the C2-10 Subdistrict title last week, the Wolfpack (19-7) will face Crofton (21-3) for the C2-6 district title and an automatic berth in the state tournament next week in Lincoln. Crofton earned their spot in the district final by defeating Plainview last week.
The two schools have five common opponents (Creighton, Plainview, Battle Creek, O’Neill and Boyd County). Crofton went undefeated against those schools while the Wolfpack were 4-1 (their lone loss an overtime thriller to Boyd County).
O’NEILL — Girls just wanna have fun.
Coach Randy Eisenhauer told the Wolfpack basketball team, prior to the start of the C2-10 Subdistrict championship game, to do just that - have fun. The result? A 49 to 37 victory over West Holt and a three-game winning streak heading into the C2-6 District finals Friday night.
Smiles were on the faces of the Wolfpack as they jumped ahead of the Huskies and never trailed in the second half to claim their 19th victory of the season against just seven losses.
Junior Baylee Wemhoff said the day after the game the goal was to shut down the Huskies’ two best players, Carlie Wetzel and Bailey Kraus.
The Wolfpack accomplished their goal and were rewarded with a victory.
A four-minute span late in the first quarter provided the Wolfpack with a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the way. With the game tied at 7-all, EPPJ outscored the Huskies 10 to five over the final 4:30 of the quarter. Wemhoff got things going, converting a steal into a layup. After free throws from Jordan Mescher and Ally Wemhoff made the score 12 to 7, Baylee Wemhoff nailed a trey and Jenna Parks added a field goal for a 17 to 12 lead at the end of the quarter.
The Wolfpack’s lead grew to nine points by halftime, 26 to 19.
West Holt made a run at the Wolfpack in the third quarter, at one point closing to within 33 to 28. The Wolfpack answered with a trey from Baylee Wemhoff and two points each from Ally Wemhoff and Jordan Mescher to spark a seven to two run to take a 40 to 30 lead towards the end of the quarter.
Over the final nine minutes of the game the Wolfpack defense limited West Holt to just nine points to seal the victory.
Baylee Wemhoff led the Wolfpack with 14 points, followed by Parks with 11 and Selting with 10 points.
Wolfpack 49, Huskies 37
Huskies………..12 7 13 5 — 37
Wolfpack………17 9 14 9 — 49
Wolfpack — Liz Selting 4-9 2-4 10, Jenna Parks 5-12 0-5 11, Lydia Behnk 0-1 0-0 0, Calli Krebs 0-2 0-0 0, Jordan Mescher 2-8 4-5 8, Jill Schindler 0-1 0-1 0, Baylee Wemhoff 4-14 3-4 14, Ally Wemhoff 2-8 1-6 6. Team totals: 17-55 10-25 49. West Holt team totals: 14-49 8-13 37.
Team statistics — Three-point shots - Wolfpack 5-17 (Baylee Wemhoff 3), West Holt 1-11. Rebounds - Wolfpack 40 (Jenna Parks 17), West Holt 33. Assists - Wolfpack 9 (Jenna Parks 5), West Holt 5. Steals - Wolfpack 9 (Jenna Parks 3, Baylee Wemhoff 3), West Holt 3. Turnovers - Wolfpack 12, West Holt 20.
O’NEILL — The Wolfpack won the first half, the Cyclones won the second half and the game.
Clearwater/Orchard defeated Elgin Public-Pope John 74 to 57 Monday night to advance in the C2-10 Subdistrict tournament and end the Wolfpack’s season.
Falling behind by six points after one quarter, the Wolfpack turned things around in the second quarter. Their pressure defense forced the Cyclones into turnovers which were then converted into points. The Wolfpack put together a 10 to 2 run in the final three minutes of the first half to seize the lead. Dylan Behnk had a three-point play, Chad Bode twice got inside for baskets and Seth Schumacher drilled a trey to give the Wolfpack the lead at halftime.
And then came the second half. The Cyclones seized control of the game in the third quarter, outscoring the Wolfpack 20 to five to break open a close game. Doing most of the damage was Jagger Smith. He and Andy Kerkman were a two-man wrecking crew, combining for all 20 points in the quarter. During one stretch, the Cyclones outscored the Wolfpack 13 to one.
The teams traded baskets for much of the fourth quarter as Kyle Kallhoff scored eight points in the final eight minutes of the game.
Smith finished with a game-high 39 points, Kerkman finished with 14.
The Wolfpack were led by Schumacher with 18 points, Bode added 15 and Kyle Kallhoff tossed in 10 points. Behnk and Bode each had six rebounds to lead EPPJ. The loss dropped the Wolfpack’s record to 11-12.
Cyclones 74, Wolfpack 57
Wolfpack……12 20 5 20 — 57
Cyclones……18 12 20 24 — 74
Wolfpack — Dylan Behnk 2-7 1-1 5, Chad Bode 6-9 3-5 15, Kyle Kallhoff 4-8 1-2 11, Austin Meis 0-1 0-0 0, Scott Moser 3-7 1-1 8, Seth Schumacher 7-10 1-2 18. Team totals: 22-42 7-11 57.
Cyclones — Andy Kerkman 14, Blake Kester 0, Jagger Smith 39, Zach Martin 2, Liam Odell 1, Ryan Wilhelm 2, Tristen Sanne 0, Blake Hoke 4, Travis Kerkman 6, Brenden Cleveland 6. Team totals: 31-55 11-19 74.
Team statistics — Three-point shots - Wolfpack 6-15 (Seth Schumacher 3), Cyclones 1-7 (Jagger Smith 1). Rebounds - Wolfpack 24 (Dylan Behnk 6, Chad Bode 6), Cyclones 26 (Andy Kerkman 8). Assists - Wolfpack 11 (Kyle Kallhoff 4), Cyclones 24 (Andy Kerkman 9). Steals - Wolfpack 8 (Chad Bode 3), Cyclones 16 (Andy Kerkman 9). Turnovers - Wolfpack 18, Cyclones 12.
OMAHA — Senior Andrew Fangman became the first Wolfpack wrestler to medal twice at the Class D State Wrestling Championships.
Fangman placed fourth Saturday in the 170-pound division, wrapping up a tournament where he wrestled five times, winning three matches and recorded two pins and one major decision.
His odyssey of five matches in three days began Thursday afternoon against Kyle Stevens of High Plains Community. Fangman made quick work of the junior, pinning Stevens in 1:15. Coach Doug Jones said Stevens was a medalist one year ago.
Fangman has pinned the vast majority of his opponents this season, so pinning Stevens didn’t surprise anyone.
Next up for Fangman was Elvariste Gomez of Morrill. The D4 district champion, Gomez came out on the short end of a 10 to 2 major decision. Fangman said he changed his style to match up against Gomez whom he described as being “really strong.”
“I couldn’t force as many things,” Fangman said. “I’ve wrestled enough to know how to change my style.”
The strategy worked, allowing Fangman to accomplish the main goal for Thursday - win both matches for a trip to the semi-finals. “It’s a lot easier to guarantee yourself a medal,” he said about winning Thursday’s matches.
In the semi-final round Friday night, Fangman matched up against Jacob Klingelhoefer of Amherst. The match didn’t go Fangman’s way as he was pinned by Klingelhoefer in 1:58.
“He showed up and I didn’t,” Fangman said about the loss. Klingelhoefer went on to win the 170-pound championship.
On Saturday, Fangman met a familiar foe in the consolation semi-finals - Stevens. In what Fangman and Coach Doug Jones would describe as the “deja vu” match, Fangman again pinned Stevens, this time it just took 17 seconds faster (58 seconds).
The victory put him in the consolation finals against Skyler Ratkovec of East Butler. Ratkovec claimed a 4 to 1 victory in the battle for third place at state. Ratkovec got a takedown late in the first period. Fangman broke free to make the score two to one in the second period. Ratkovec recorded a second takedown going into the third period and then rode Fangman out to claim the victory.
By virtue of his performance, Fangman earned the fourth place medal. Looking back, he said his career as a wrestler “has definitely been a ride … It’s the best thing I’ve ever done,” he said.
“It’s the best sport in the world.”
Last year, Fangman placed fifth in the 152-pound weight class. As a senior, he jumped two weight classes to wrestle at 170. Coach Jones said it was Fangman’s commitment in the weight room that allowed him to be able to compete at 170.
Fangman finished the season with a 39-7 record.
OMAHA — Wolfpack senior Ryan Pelster gave wrestling fans a tournament to remember, competing at the Class D State Wrestling Championships which wrapped up Saturday afternoon.
“It was something I’ve always dreamed of,” Pelster said of wrestling for a state championship. “It definitely was the most exciting point in my life so far.”
Pelster capped a career where he reached close to 100 victories, by wrestling in the 145-pound championship match at the CenturyLink. Fans there, and those surrounding TVs across the state, watched Pelster “go the distance” before coming out on the short end of an 7 to 4 score against champion Devon Walker of Elm Creek.
The final was a rematch from earlier this year, at the Burwell Invite, where Walker defeated Pelster 10 to 9. Coaches and wrestlers on both sides of the mat knew this would be a tough match and it was.
Walker scored two points on a takedown to take the early lead, Pelster then registered an escape. Pelster registered an escape and a takedown in the third period, but it was too little, too late as Walker prevailed.
The finals match capped a busy tourney for Pelster who came into Omaha riding high after winning the D2 District title.
“I’m still trying to soak it in,” Pelster said Monday morning. “Looking back, I’m proud of myself and what I accomplished.” He said he experience an adrenaline rush like never before when he participated in the “Parade of Champions” just before his championship match. Being nervous is nothing new for the wrestler who has been competing for 13 years. “You learn to get used to it,” he said about that feeling right before a match begins.
Pelster was ready for battle when the state tournament began with a confidence gained from winning the district title last week. In his first match Thursday, Pelster faced Marshal Holtzclaw of Thayer Central. With a 26-18 record, Holtzclaw fell behind early and proved to be no match for the Wolfpack senior. Pelster took the lead in the first period and never trailed as he claimed an 8 to 1 decision.
In the quarterfinals Thursday night, Pelster faced Matthew Sweet of Franklin. Sweet had pinned his first round opponent, but there would be no pin against Pelster. Pelster only allowed Sweet one point on an escape, winning four to one.
By virtue of his two victories Thursday night, Pelster took a 33-9 record into the semi-finals Friday against Dawson Trampe of Amherst. Trampe entered the match with a 22-5 record. Early in the second period, Pelster got a reversal on Trampe to take a two to zero lead. In the third period, Trampe was awarded one point as Pelster was called for stalling. Still, Pelster prevailed in the match, leaping into Coach Mike Zegers arms knowing that he was going to wrestle for a state championship the next day.
“There was no room for error,” Pelster said about his semi-final match. He said the match, the closest one he has competed in, was the most physically draining as everything was “riding on the line.”
“I get more tired in six minutes than after my mile or two-mile runs in track,” said the senior. “It really toughens you up for life.”
Head Coach Doug Jones said defeating Trampe was no easy task. “He (Trampe) was a tremendous ‘rider’ and was very strong. He was tough to get away from,” Jones said. That’s why the reversal was so important in the match. He said he was concerned about being called again for stalling. “There’s the challenge of staying aggressive, going for the fall, but you don’t want to get careless,” Jones said.
Pelster capped his senior season with a 34-10 record, a district championship and a silver medal for finishing second at state.
Election races in Antelope County, particularly Elgin, continue to take shape as there were more filings for public office last week.
A spokesperson from the Antelope County Clerk’s office Tuesday morning updated the filings previously reported on.
There was one new filing for a seat on the Elgin City Council.
Donald L. Mackel, an incumbent in Ward II, has filed for re-election for a four-year term.
He joins Ward I incumbent Councilman Jim Kittelson who, earlier in January, filed for re-election.
For a time, Kittelson faced a challenger in the Ward I race. Michael R. Braband had filed in Ward I. However, according to the clerk’s office, Braband withdrew his name for the council seat.
Braband will remain a candidate, just for a different office as he has filed for a seat on the District #18 Board of Education for a four-year term.
During the past week, incumbent School Board Vice President Steven Busteed filed for re-election to a four-year term.
In early January, school board member Doug Jones filed for election. Jones was appointed to fill the vacancy created two years ago when Kim Wells resigned and moved to Grant.
The deadline for incumbents to file for re-election is 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 16, at the clerk’s office in the Antelope County Courthouse in Neligh.
Two more EPS instructors will seek to have their applications accepted for early retirement.
Since the January meeting which saw instructors Brenda Siems, Jeane Johnson and Barb Bode apply for and be approved for early retirement, two more have applied. They are sixth grade instructor Shirley Thorberg and first grade instructor Dianne Gunderson.
Both Thorberg and Gunderson submitted their applications prior to the deadline for consideration.
In December, the school board approved offering early retirement packages for up to five instructors who met the criteria established one year ago
Also on the ‘action’ agenda are:
• Approval of a new contract for K-12 Principal Greg Wemhoff who is currently in his third year at EPS.
• Amend current school policy regarding graduation requirements for seniors.
• Approve for the 2016/17 school year, a teaching contract for mathematics instructor Becky Lindgren.
• Approve the purchase of an electronic display for alumni/historical pictures and current operation display pictures/events, etc.
Also during the meeting there will be appointment and reports of standing committees/review board goals; the monthly report fromt he Principal/AD; and a report from Superintendent Dan Polk.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. in the distance learning room at the high school and is open to the public.