ORCS Knights conquer Watford City 71-51

Ashton Gerard/MDN Our Redeemer's Leyton Lang takes a shot Friday in a game against Watford City at the Minot Municipal Auditorium.

Our Redeemer’s and Watford City came out swinging during the first quarter Friday as a part of the Hoopsters Classic at Minot Municipal Auditorium. Ultimately, the game got away from the Wolves and the Knights were victorious, 71-51.

Though they won, Our Redeemer’s head coach Mark LaCroix saw some things his team needs to work on.

“We had too many second-chance opportunities given up tonight and didn’t jump to the ball at times,” LaCroix said. “Overall, it was nice seeing a win like that in the end there against a high quality team like Watford.”

Watford City showed off its 3-point power in the first, seeing long-range shots from sophomore Jayvn McGorman and junior Nevada Berquist.

“I thought Nevada Berquist played pretty well, this was his first game in about a year and a half,” Watford City head coach Matthew Heier said. Berquist rejoins the team after multiple knee injuries kept him off the court. “He played well, still a little bit slow, but health-wise he seems fine. It’s just mentally figuring out where he needs to be.”

At the end of the first, the Wolves were within six points, but that was the closest they were going to get to the Knights.

“In the first quarter we ran our offense,” Heier said. “In the second, third and fourth we just kind of jacked up shots, didn’t really get to the basket at all and played pretty selfish individually.”

Finally having the whole team at their disposal has been both a blessing and a curse for Heier and the Wolves as the guys are figuring out where they fit in all over again.

The Knights, however, used this as an advantage. On multiple occasions, Our Redeemer’s sophomore Landon Lang was quick to jump to the ball, often stealing it from the Wolves’ grasp.

“Everytime Landon steps out there he gives you 100 percent effort, which is awesome to have on your team,” LaCroix said. “He’s a good vocal kid and a young kid too. He does a lot there defensively right now and he’s very active kid.”

Senior Noah Abel also stuck out to LaCroix tonight as a calming influence through the press and helping the players get set on the court.

Throughout the game, the Knights saw big performances from Matt Hendrickson with 14 points, Leyton Lang with 12 and Greyson Olthoff with 12.

Leyton Lang could’ve been a bigger presence, but sat most of the third due to foul trouble. LaCroix noted the Olthoff really stepped up big once Leyton Lang had to take his leave from the court, doing a good job bodying up to some of the bigger guys in the lane.

The Wolves had their best scoring output in the fourth quarter, racking up 17 points, but it was too little, too late as the Knights were already bound for victory.

The Wolves saw big performances from Jessen Homiston and Berquist, scoring 10 points each during the game.

Overall, LaCroix said the Knights are getting there and that they just need to work on putting some things together to hopefully have a big presence once the end of the season rolls around.

Watford City is on the road, at 2 p.m. today, to face Bowman County. Meanwhile, the Knights will be back at the Minot Municipal Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. today to take on Beulah as part of the Our Redeemer’s Invitational.