The Remsen St. Mary’s boys basketball team made their sixth consecutive state tournament appearance in Des Moines, but they had not won a game in the tournament since 2019. That changed when the Hawks beat West Harrison in the state quarterfinals by a final of 70-52.
The Hawks exploded to an 11-0 run to start the game, and they would not relinquish that lead the rest of the game. Remsen St. Mary’s Junior Cael Ortmann says that the Hawks were fired up to play in Des Moines again.
Co-Head Coach Justin Ruden says that the key to the Hawks quick start and their success on offense came from their ability to move the ball.
Hawk Junior Jaxon Bunkers says that the Hawks move the ball unselfishly because, to them, it doesn’t matter who gets the basket.
The top distributor of the ball was Austin Jensen who led the Hawks with six assists. Coach Ruden says that they noticed something in the scouting report that allowed Jensen to facilitate their offense.
The win punched a ticket to the state semifinals for the first time since 2019 for Remsen St. Mary’s. Coach Ruden says it feels good to get that monkey off their back.
Cael Ortmann says that there was a drive from Remsen St. Mary’s to prove to the rest of the state that they belonged in the tournament.
The Hawks now match up with the second-seed in the 1A field in North Linn. The Lynx sport an offense that scored a tournament-high 89 points in their win over North Mahaska. Bunkers says that this style is going to be different than what they faced against West Harrison, and the Hawks will have to be ready for some tough defense.
Coach Ruden noticed a couple of things that Remsen St. Mary’s will focus on in the next day getting ready for the Lynx. The Hawks shot 15-28 from the free throw line which is something he knows will come with some practice. The main thing the Hawks will try and fix is the occasional lapse on defense.
The Hawks finished with four players in double figures for an offense that shot 54.8% from the field. Carter Schorg scored 20 points, Cael Ortmann scored 17, Jaxon Bunkers scored 14, and Alex Schroeder added 12 off the bench.
The Hawks will take a 25-0 record into their state semifinal with North Linn. The game is at 7:15 PM on Wednesday from Des Moines. KLEM Radio will provide live radio coverage of the game starting at 7:00.
West Harrison ends their first trip to state in program history with a loss ending the season with a 22-4 record. The Hawkeyes will not graduate a senior off of their roster.