The Gehlen Catholic boys basketball team won their final home game of the season on Thursday night taking their district semifinal over George-Little Rock by a score of 53-41.
The Jays found themselves quickly down 12-9 after George-Little Rock got their offense rolling quickly to start the game. The Mustangs would increase that lead to 15-10 by the early part of the second quarter. That is when head coach Mike Langel made a change in the Jays’ defense that helped them go on a 14-0 run. He says that was a big turning point in the game.
At that point in the game, the Jays had been struggling rebounding the basketball as well. The Jays were giving second and third chances on a lot of Mustang possessions. Coach Langel then put in Carter Kellen to help secure some rebounds. Langel says Kellen’s hustle was a huge spark for his team.
The Jays got a standard Keaten Bonderson offensive output of 27 points to lead the way offensively. Heading into the half, no one else had more than three points. That changed in the second half when Keaton Logan, Drake DeRocher, and Connor Kraft started getting shots to fall. Coach Langel says those three picked up their offense when the team was struggling in the second half.
The game was special for the Jays who advance to the district final for the second time in three years. It was also special for Mike Langel who coached his final home game at Gehlen Catholic, and it was a win. He says the Deb Campbell Memorial Gym has hosted some great memories for him and his family.
The environment was electric for the Jays who will take a 19-5 record to Tuesday’s district final in Cherokee against tenth-ranked Newell-Fonda. Coach Langel says that electricity propelled them to play their best basketball of the season. Now, he says the goal is to play like that again and again in the next few games.
George-Little Rock ended their season with a record of 11-11.