Cyclones get redemption against Panthers

Towards the end of the first quarter in Friday’s home game with the game tied at 12, Senior Cyclone Jason Erlemeier came down court launching a 3-point shot, followed by a mid-range jump shot, putting his team up 17-12 en route to a dominant 68-45 victory over the Creston Panthers.

“[Jason] Erlemeier was aggressive,” said Cyclone Head Coach Mitch Osborn. “He’s a great shooter. A couple of times, he shot a little quick, but when he’s open, you’ve got to pull the trigger.”

Senior Panther Cael Turner opened the scoring with a shot from 3-point range, but the Cyclones answered back right away with a 3-pointer from Erlemeier. Sophomore Dallas McDowell hit a 3-pointer to give the Cyclones an 8-point lead into the second quarter.

Junior Ben Leinen opened the scoring with a shot at the basket, following by Senior Franz Reisz, putting the Cyclones up by 12. Senior Panther Tony Davidson put a temporary stop to the Cyclone offense, but Leinen and Reisz answered back, followed by a 3-point shot from Senior Will Arkfeld, putting the Cyclones in the drivers seat with a 15-point lead.

“We’ve spent a lot of time shooting 3’s, and those offensive boards that we got were huge,” Leinen said.

The Cyclones took a 17-point lead into the locker room at halftime with Erlemeier the leading scorer with 11 points and Leinen with 10.

“He [Osborn] always says that the first three minutes of the second half are the biggest part of the game,” Leinen added. “If we can put a 6-0, 8-0, or 10-0 run on them, that really puts the nail in the coffin, and don’t let up.”

And the Cyclone offense did just that continuing to dominate in the third quarter starting with a shot at the basket from Reisz. Reisz was fouled soon after, making one of two free throws, missing the second, but Arkfeld grabbed the rebound, passed to Reisz, who banked home another shot.

Erlemeier added another 3-point shot, putting his team up 17 points, forcing Panther head coach Bryce Schafer to use a timeout. When play resumed, Reisz scored again, followed by a shot from Junior Panther Jake Hoyt cutting the lead to 15 points entering the final quarter.

The Cyclones started the fourth quarter on a 5-0 run, and the Panthers couldn’t score until 3 plus minutes into the quarter courtesy of Freshman Rhett Driskell.

“I thought we did a great job identifying their outside shooters,” Osborn said. “We had Franz in the middle clogging things up, and that’s key. We made sure we knew where Cael Turner and Parker Turner were at all times.”

The Cyclones hung on for their 12th win of the season, and handing the Panthers their 11th loss.

“It feels good to beat them in basketball,” Leinen said. “Avenging our two football losses. That kind of sucked, but to come back and beat them in basketball, it takes hard work and hustle from all our guys, and it means a lot.”

The Cyclones return to action Monday night on the road at 7:30 p.m. against the 6-14 Atlantic Trojans. The Trojans are led by Colton Rasmussen, averaging 26.9 points per game, Gavin McLaren, averaging 6.7 rebounds, and Nolan Waters, averaging 3.5 assists.

“We’ve got to play with urgency,” Osborn said. “We’ve got to limit Rasmussen’s shots down. We did the last time and I’m sure they’ll have a game plan to get him more open, but we definitely want to slow him down. He’s averaging 27, and we held him to 4, and we won by 20.”



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