Boys basketball: Wadena-Deer Creek trounces Bertha-Hewitt elementary-centered matinee
The Wadena-Deer Creek elementary school kids filled the high school gym to watch the varsity boys basketball team defeat Bertha-Hewitt on Thursday afternoon.
WADENA – There was no shortage of energy at Wadena-Deer Creek High School on Thursday afternoon.
Elementary students packed the high school gym to watch the varsity boys basketball team take on Park Region Conference rival Bertha-Hewitt.
Future Wolverines provided an unlimited amount of energy. WDC (12-5, 8-1 conf.) routed the Bears (8-8, 5-5) 73-59.
“This is the first time doing the event,” WDC Activities Director Norm Gallant said. “It was a chance to get all of our kids in the same place. Some of the kids have never been to a varsity game like this, so it was a chance to teach them about school spirit and sportsmanship. Our elementary school teachers and older kids have stepped up huge to make this happen. This was really fun.”
Gallant understood how the elementary kids view the high school kids and how putting on an event like this was a great way to showcase WDC high school sports to the kids who potentially have never been to a high school sports event.
“Our elementary kids look up to our high school kids,” he said. “To them, the varsity boys are Michael Jordan and Lebron James. For the kids to be here, it is so fun. The energy is great, and the kids are reacting to it. Both teams are out there smiling and having a good time. The energy is just different here. There are too many times here on a Tuesday night when the basketball team is at home, the hockey team is elsewhere and the wrestling team is over there so that makes it hard to pack the gym. It is so great to see a full gym, and for our varsity boys basketball team to play in front of a full crowd, it’s truly something special.”
WDC head coach Kevin Tumberg mentioned how a full gym gave his team a different boost they haven’t experienced before.
“Absolutely we fed off of their energy,” he said. “Talking to all the boys beforehand, they were nervous, and they knew it would be loud and exciting. We never had that many fans watching us. It was an absolute blast of how loud things got when we scored or did something good. It was really fun.”
“It was a great experience,” senior guard Isaac Hamann said about playing in front of a gym full of screaming kids. “None of us have played in front of that many people. They brought a ton of energy to us and we fed off of it.”
Hamann thought the win was much needed after the Wolverines started the week with two tough losses.
“It is a big bounce back game after playing pretty bad the last two games,” he said. “I thought we played really well offensively, but defensively, we can fix some things up. We have to be better on the defensive end next game.”
For most of the first half, the two teams traded buckets until the final five minutes. WIth WDC up 29-26, Lyrik Haug hit 1-of-2 free throws to spark a 13-2 Wolverine run to go into the locker room up 42-28. The late first-half run was the momentum swing the Wolverines needed heading into the second half.
“It was one of those things where we were hoping to go on a run and to make something happen,” Tumberg said. “Our guys started to play defense the way we should be playing, and it started to translate into easy buckets on the offensive end for us. We were talking before the game and some of our keys to success were stringing together a couple of stops with scores. We were able to get some in that stretch and get out to a big lead.”
The win helped the Wolverines stay in second place in the Park Region Conference. The Bears fell to fourth place after being tied for third with Menahga heading into the matchup.
“At the end of the day, we are happy to get a Park Region Conference win,” Tumberg said. “Anytime you are in contention to get a shot at winning the conference, you have to take care of business with every team you play. For our boys to come into the afternoon in front of a weird atmosphere with the entire student body here and to perform and play well, we were overall proud of the guys for playing a good game.”
WDC 42 31- 73
BH 28 31- 59
WADENA-DEER CREEK- Teshe Loer: 13 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals; Lyrik Haug: 15 points, 7 rebounds, 1 steal; Kobe Synder: 14 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal; D’Andre Hammond: 1 rebound; Isaac Hamann: 9 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals; Josiah Kallevig: 2 points, 6 rebounds, 1 steal; Peyton Church: 10 points, 1 rebound; Phillip Ross: 4 points, 2 steals; Jaxson Brown: 2 points; Nathaniel Peterson: 4 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal
BERTHA-HEWITT- Preston Miller: 12 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block; Zane Guderjahn: 1 rebound, 1 steal; Brady Rach: 15 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 block; Aaron Sellnow: 5 points; Titus Eckel: 4 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals; Zachary Baumgartner: 2 points, 6 rebounds; Brendan Adams: 21 points, 10 rebounds; Alexander Templin: 1 rebound