Wolves earn second win in 24-hour span

24 hours after a big home victory Friday night over the Tri-Center Trojans, the IKM-Manning Wolves stepped foot onto the court against the Exira-EHK Spartans and dominated with a 84-67 victory.

"I think last night was really good for our confidence to get over the hump and get a win," said Wolves Head Coach Keith Wagner. "Then we said we have nothing to lose. Nobody is expecting you to win this game. Just go out and play loose, let it rip, get a good shot, and let it fire. We got contributions from everyone. I think that's the big thing."

The Wolves came out of the gate on a 9-0 run starting with a 3-pointer from Sophomore Ben Ramsey, a 3-pointer from Senior Ross Kusel, and then another one from Ramsey. The Spartans got on the board to end their run temporarily with a bucket from Senior Cash Emgarten, but soon after, Wolves Senior Lane Sams hit another shot from 3-point range.

"We were getting good shots and knocking them down and shooting with confidence," Ramsey said. "Just doing what we need to do to get a big lead in the beginning."

The Wolves continued to dominate with more shots from Ramsey and two 3-pointers from Sams, putting his team up 22-10. The Spartans temporarily got things turned around going on a 7-3 run to close out the quarter with a clutch 3-pointer from Senior Jaiden Pettepier.

Ramsey opened the second quarter with a shot, but Spartan Senior Quintinn White made a bucket, cutting the Wolves lead to 27-21. Following White's shot, both teams got locked in a back-and-forth affair with the Wolves taking a 41-35 lead into halftime that concluded the half with the final shot coming from Ramsey from 3-point range.

"He [Wagner] told us don't back down and continue to play how we're playing and continue that course and we'll come out with a win if we do that," Ramsey said.

Ramsey continued his dominance opening the third quarter making the first two buckets for the Wolves expanding their lead to 10 points. White hit a shot for the Spartans, but Sams responded with a 3-pointer, followed by Kusel getting fouled on a bucket, adding the extra point, putting his team up 51-39.

Kusel responded again right after with another 3-pointer, but following that shot, the Spartans went on a 5-0 run, cutting the Wolves lead back to 10. The Wolves weren't phased by the run as they took command of the game once again going on a 7-0 run of their own with Ramsey once again making the final shot of the quarter, taking a 63-48 lead into the fourth.

Emgarten got the Spartan crowd fired up with a slam dunk to open the fourth quarter, but the Wolves were just too much with Justin Segebart connecting on two shots from downtown, and Kusel adding another.

The Wolves won't play again till Friday at 7:15 p.m. against the 3-1 Treynor Cardinals on the road. The Cardinals are led by Jace Tams with 78 points, averaging 19.5 points per game, Karson Elwood with 21 rebounds, and Alec Lovely with 17 assists.

"Playing with confidence and continuing to knock down shots," Ramsey said. "Continuing to play as a team and if we do that, we'll get some big W's."

The Spartans return home Tuesday night at 7:15 p.m. to battle the undefeated 6-0 Coon Rapids-Bayard Crusaders. The Crusaders are led by Cal Heydon with 108 points, averaging 18 points per game, and 47 rebounds, along with Caden Oswald with 23 assists.

"They have a pretty good trio up there," said Spartan Head Coach Tony Santisteban. "I told these guys we've got to play together, we've got to play smart, keep playing hard like we have been. We'll watch film and get a game plan going, and hopefully we're ready for them on Tuesday."



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