Wolves get redemption against Vikings on the road

After a tough 49-48 loss Dec. 5 at home against AHSTW in which Vikings Junior Luke Sternberg made a last second bucket, the IKM-Manning Wolves bounced back to a dominant 63-51 victory over the Vikings in their house earning their third win in a row and fourth win in their previous five.

“That was big,” said Wolves Head Coach Keith Wagner. “You give [Luke] Sternberg credit for making that the first time. We did mention that we hadn’t beat them in quite a while. It was nice to finally get over the hump a little bit and get a win, especially on the road too, that’s never easy.”

The game opened with both teams getting off to a slow start with the first bucket of the game coming from Vikings Junior Camden Soukup, followed by back-to-back 3-pointers from Wolves Sophomore Ben Ramsey. Sternberg made the final bucket of the quarter with the Vikings hanging on to a 9-8 lead.

Ramsey opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer putting the Wolves back in front, but Vikings Senior Nick Denning tied the game up right away at 11. Both team exchanged buckets following Denning’s shot, but the Wolves started to pull away when Ramsey made another 3-pointer, followed by a mid-range jumper from Junior Ben Langel, and a shot in which he was fouled, adding the extra point, putting his team up 26-17 at halftime.

“We have got to find a way to string some stops together,” said Viking Head Coach G.G. Harris. “I don’t care if that’s a score, stop, score. It doesn’t matter how it comes. They had way too many runs against us. I thought we rebounded the ball pretty well. We’re still really struggling offensively, and we need to find some consistency, and if we’re not knocking shots down, we’ve got to find a way to get to the free throw line and to the rim.”

The Vikings got off to a strong start to open the third quarter with the first bucket coming from Collin Harder, followed by a 3-point play from Soukup, and a basket from Kaden Jorgensen at one point cutting the lead down to four points, forcing a timeout from Wagner.

When play resumed, the Wolves got back on track going on a 9-0 run with shots from Langel, Miles Nuzback, and Lane Sams before Sternberg put an end to their run with back-to-back buckets bringing the Vikings back within nine points. Wolves Senior Ross Kusel started to catch fire after a quiet first half, banking a shot from 3-point range, then a mid-range shot from Ramsey, followed by another 3-pointer from Kusel putting his team up 17 points.

“Ross got it going in the second half,” Wagner said. “I knew he was very capable of making shots, and getting to the basket. I think our other guys feed off those two [Ramsey and Kusel]. When they get it going, everybody else was able to jump on the bandwagon. It was good to see that.”

The Wolves continued their dominance opening the fourth quarter with 3-pointers from Justin Segebart and Kusel widening their lead to 53-33. The Vikings managed to claw their way back into the game with a 9-0 run with back-to-back shots from Denning, followed by a bucket from Soukup, cutting the Wolves lead down to 13 points, but the Wolves cruised to victory over the Vikings handing them their 8th loss of the season.

The Vikings will head on the road Friday at 7:30 p.m. to take on the 4-8 Audubon Wheelers. The Wheelers are led by Edward Miller averaging 15.7 points and 9.4 rebounds, along with Aaron Olsen averaging 2.5 assists.

“They’re a team that has gotten a better since the first time we’ve seen them,” Harris said. “They’re big and they’re physical and they do a great job on the offensive and defensive glass. We’ve got to keep the Miller kid quiet. We can’t let him go off by any means.”

The Wolves will play the 7-4 Tri-Center Trojans on the road Friday night at 7:30 p.m. The Trojans are led by AJ Harder averaging 17.5 points and 5.4 assists per game, along with Christian Dahir with 10.1 rebounds per game.

“It’s going to be really challenging,” Wagner said. “They play really well at home. They have a good team, so we have to play really well. Rebounding is going to be a big key there. They have a number of really good shooters.”



Harlan Newspapers

1114 7th Street
P.O. Box 721
Harlan, IA 51537-0721

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