Third-ranked Remsen St. Mary’s boys basketball clinched their sixth consecutive state tournament appearance with a 48-47 win over ninth-ranked Newell-Fonda in Sioux Center on Saturday night.
The Hawks came out of the gates with a lot of confidence leading 33-22 at the halftime break. As Co-Head Coach Justin Ruden says, that confidence started to fall away in the second half when Newell-Fonda outscored the Hawks 16-4 in the third quarter.
The Hawks never backed down and made enough plays down the stretch to pull out the one-point win. Coach Ruden says that his entire team made valuable contributions towards the win.
Jaxon Bunkers is one of those players that made big plays when needed. The junior scored 11 points in the first half to spark the Hawks offensively. Bunkers says that he took advantage of a defensive mismatch against him in the first half.
That trust was tested throughout the game for Bunkers. He picked up four fouls midway through the third and had to sit the bench for a good chunk of the second half. Ultimately, Bunkers came through scoring the last basket of the game to win it for the Hawks. Bunkers says that trust his teammates have in him means a lot to him.
Coach Ruden highlighted some other players that made key plays for his team down the stretch.
Carter Schorg scored 11 points on the offensive end, but it was his ball-handling that came in handy late when Newell-Fonda picked up the Hawks with a full-court defense. The key for Schorg, in dealing with that defense, was keeping calm and not speeding up to an uncomfortable pace.
This is the Remsen St. Mary’s boys basketball team’s sixth consecutive state tournament appearance dating back to 2017. Coach Ruden attributes this run towards the culture that surrounds the program.
For Coach Ruden and Remsen St. Mary’s, they don’t want to be content with just making it to state. They want to go down to Des Moines and make some noise.
The Hawks will take a 24-0 record to the state tournament and match up with West Harrison on Monday, March 7th at 3:45 PM. KLEM Radio will provide live broadcasts of the Hawks at the state tournament.
Newell-Fonda’s season comes to an end with a 22-3 record.