Our Redeemer’s earns second-straight win since loss to Bishop Ryan

Ashton Gerard/MDN Our Redeemer's senior Jayden Wetzel (21) shoots over two Heart River defenders Saturday at Our Redeemer's.

Saturday marked four days since Our Redeemer’s boys basketball fell to Bishop Ryan on Tuesday. But a win on Friday in Glenburn and Saturday at home has the Knights looking forward.

The Knights faced the Heart River Cougars at home Saturday as a part of Our Redeemer’s “Class B Day.” The Knights were victorious, 59-48.

“After coming off a tough loss earlier this week, it’s nice to get two wins in a row,” Our Redeemer’s head coach Mark LaCroix said. “Kind of get some momentum going up into Mohall, so that will help us out a lot.”

Leyton Lang started off the game with a layup to get the scoring started for the Knights. From that moment on, the lead never changed, although the gap came very close to closing.

Heart River started the game with lots of ball movement, working down the shot clock and really looking for the best shot.

“We really work a lot in practice on trying to control the game and try to keep the tempo in our favor,” Heart River head coach Greg Pruitt said. “With a team that’s a good shooting team like Our Redeemer’s, we really wanted to work the shot clock down to 15-seconds and then from there try to keep the game into the 40s.”

Our Redeemer’s had great ball movement in the first quarter, seeing shots from five different players. Heart River was getting into trouble not being able to rebound, sometimes setting Our Redeemer’s up for their fourth or fifth shot attempts.

By the end of the first, the Knights led 18-10.

To begin the second, the Knights and Cougars were going shot for shot with each other until Tayten Reid hit a long-range shot. Then, Jayden Wetzel was able to steal the inbound for a lay-up, giving the Knights an 11-point lead, 25-14.

Heart River answered with shots from Caleb Chruszch, Trace Jacobson and Jesse Canode. Two minutes until the half, the Cougars were able to make up some of their points and take away the double-digit lead from the Knights.

The Knights began turning the ball over and missing easy shots because they were trying to rush.Greyson Othoff and Reid were able to hit some open jumpers, but couldn’t rein it in as the Cougars outscored them in the second quarter. Our Redeemer’s led 35-28 going into the half.

In the third quarter, the Knights were trying to throw the ball to the air, their teammates’ backs, and even their coach as they couldn’t seem to get their rhythm back. This made for a frustrated herd of Knights.

“We know we did a couple things wrong tonight,” LaCroix said. “We have a practice on Monday to fix some things up. It was just little things tonight over and over again.”

These little things allowed the Cougars to come back more and more and held the Knights to a nine point quarter. By the end of the third, the Knights were only up five points, 44-39.

Canode for the Cougars came out in the fourth quarter and right away landed a wide-open jumper, leaving the Cougars three points away from tying the score.

LaCroix could be heard from the bench telling his team to stay disciplined. Free-throws and shots from Lang and Abel were able to grow their lead once more. The Knights found their footing again and closed out an 11-point win.

“Give Our Redeemer’s credit, they shot the lights out and they’re a very athletic team,” Pruitt said.

Pruitt was proud of his team being able to battle their way to only a three-point deficit, but they couldn’t quite push it in the end to keep the score closer.

“We need to play better basketball, way too many turnovers, way too many offensive boards on their part. But the good thing is we still have some season left to improve,” he said.

Canode for Heart River led the team in scoring with 20 points, with Jacobson at nine and Chruszch at eight.

The Knights saw double digit numbers from four different guys on the floor. Olhoff led the troupe with 18 points, Lang had 13, Abel had 12 and Wetzel had 10.

“There’s a couple guys that always stick out, like Matt Hendrickson does such a great job when he’s coming off the bench or starting for us, blocking out guys,” LaCroix said. “Jayden Wetzel stepped up his offensive game for us and Leyton has done a good job.”

While there was no one who had an outstanding game in LaCroix’s eyes, each player was able to do different things right and piece together the win.

The Knights return to the court 7 p.m. Tuesday at home to face the Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood Mavericks.