Home Sports Gehlen Catholic Beats Newell-Fonda in Thrilling District Final – Bonderson Breaks 61-Year-Old...

Gehlen Catholic Beats Newell-Fonda in Thrilling District Final – Bonderson Breaks 61-Year-Old Record

The Gehlen Catholic boys basketball team met up with Newell-Fonda for an all-time classic district final on Tuesday night.

The Jays left the Cherokee high school gym with a 79-77 win to advance to their second substate final in three years.

Gehlen Catholic and Newell-Fonda were never separated by more than nine points in the game keeping the energy up and pressure on throughout the game. When things were said and done, Gehlen Catholic head coach Mike Langel was proud of his team for the way they competed.

The Jays gave up a run to Newell-Fonda to go into the halftime break down four. Gehlen Catholic needed to make an adjustment to get back in front. Coach Langel says it took a change in the defensive gameplan to get back in the game.

Gehlen Catholic’s offense was once again spurred on by Keaten Bonderson. The senior scored a whopping 40 points on 16-26 from the field. He became just the second Jay in program history to reach 40 points in a game. Bonderson says he enters a whole new world when he is in a rhythm like he was in this game.

The offensive success for the Jays was not just limited to Bonderson’s impressive showing. Everyone was getting involved on the offensive end through something Gehlen assistant coach Ryan Wiltgen noticed throughout the game. Coach Langel says once the Jays took advantage of that, they were off to the races.

Bonderson’s 40 points were supplemented by 14 points from both Drake DeRocher and Keaton Logan and 11 points from Connor Kraft. Bonderson says every one of those guys brought something different to the game to help them succeed.

Bonderson’s performance was highlighted by a 13-point third quarter in which he broke a record that had stood for 61 years.

Ron Wiltgen’s single-season scoring record of 555 points set in 1961-62 had stood the test of time until Bonderson’s senior season came along. Bonderson says it is nice to set records, but he is more focused on getting wins.

Coach Langel says the formula for Bonderson’s killer instinct on the floor comes down to two things: his love of the game and his competitive nature.

On tap next for Gehlen Catholic is a rematch of the 2021 substate final in the very building it took place in. The Jays will face off with seventh-ranked Remsen St. Mary’s on Saturday night at 7:00 PM at Le Mars Community’s gym. Coach Langel says the Jays have a ton of respect for the Hawks, and it should be a great game.

The Gehlen Catholic players have a lot of things motivating them to keep their season going. The biggest one is keeping Mike Langel’s coaching career going as long as possible. Bonderson says the Jays have his back and want him to keep coaching as long as he can.

The Jays will advance to Saturday’s substate final with a 20-5 record. Newell-Fonda’s season ended with a record of 18-5.