The Remsen St. Mary’s boys basketball team advanced to the state semifinals for the second year in a row. The Hawks disposed of third-seed Gladbrook-Reinbeck on Monday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines by a score of 57-47.
The Hawks started out rough falling behind 17-11 after one quarter and 24-13 with six minutes to go in the half. Remsen St. Mary’s co-head coach Justin Ruden says that is in large part to not doing little things right to start the game.
Then the Hawks got a break in the action and were able to reset things with their coaches. Senior Cael Ortmann, who scored 11 points, says it took a reminder that this is the last go around for the Hawks to get back on the right track.
In the next eight minutes and 49 seconds of game action, the Hawks outscored the Rebels 23-6 resulting in the game being tied at half and the Hawks leading to start the second half. Coach Ruden says having the game tied at the break gave them the confidence they needed to start the second half.
Part of the reason the Hawks did not fold was their experience in these situations. The Hawks have been to state in every season during their illustrious high school careers. Ortmann says that experience allowed them to stay level-headed and get back in the game.
The second half saw the Hawks go inside a lot more and have plenty of success. Sophomore post Collin Homan scored 17 points to go along with 16 rebounds in a monster double-double performance. Homan says he had to remain physical to give the Hawks a strong presence underneath.
Senior teammate Jaxon Bunkers, who had 12 points on the day, says his teammates recognized a mismatch and got Homan the ball whenever they could.
The performance was impressive for Homan who did not play many minutes on last year’s squad as a freshman. Coach Ruden says this game shows how quick his development has been into a strong presence in the paint.
Homan knew it would be a battle down there and says he never shies away from a tough test.
The Hawks now get a rematch with the team that eliminated them in last year’s tournament in North Linn. The Lynx beat the Hawks in last year’s state semifinal by a score of 56-46. Coach Ruden says the Hawks need to be strong on the defensive end to have a different outcome this year.
Another key to a different outcome, according to Bunkers, will be coming out of the gate strong.
The Hawks move on with a 23-2 record. Their contest with North Linn will be Wednesday night at 7:15 PM. KLEM Radio will broadcast the game live from Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. Gladbrook-Reinbeck ends the season with a record of 23-3.