Cardinals pick up two big wins

(Above) GHV’s Zachary Suby puts up a shot against Algona.  The Cards pulled off a 58-56 victory over the Bulldogs.  -Reporter photo by Chris Barragy

by Michelle Watson

It was an exciting week for the Garner-Hayfield-Ventura boys.  They pounded North Union and came out on the winning side of a close contest with Class 3A rival, Algona.

GHV 55, North Union 26

A little too much vacation following the winter break may have played a part in the Cardinals’ slow start against North Union (1-7, 1-8) on Friday, Jan. 4.  Once GHV got their game feet back in the second half, there was no stopping them.

“I wasn’t surprised when we didn’t shoot the ball well in the first half,” said Coach Jake Young.  “Getting back into basketball mode after break usually takes time.  It was good to see the guys settle down in the third quarter.”

The first half was slow for both teams.  In the second quarter, there was more than a three-and-one-half minute scoring drought by both teams.  James Betz finally connected on a three-point shot to break a 15-15 tie.  Neither team scored for the remainder of the second quarter and the Cards took a slight 18-15 lead to the locker room.

GHV erupted in the second half, going on a 24-3 run.  The bench came in to finish off the game and help capture the 55-26 victory.

“I was happy with the way the guys competed all game on the defensive end.  They really made them earn every basket,” said Young.  “Offensively, we need to cut down on our turnovers and move the ball quicker.”

Betz recorded a double-double for the game, with 12-points and 14-rebounds.  He also had three assists and five blocked shots.

Zach Suby and Austin Bahenski each recorded nine-points, while Justin Reding and Landon Dalbeck each chipped in eight-points.  Brody Boehnke finished with seven points and Jared Graham added two.

Other rebound leaders included Graham with seven and Suby grabbed four.

Suby and Holden Larson each had two steals.

Dalbeck and Graham both dished out three assists.

GHV 58, Algona 56

The Cardinals knew they were going to have to bring their physical game when they met up with Algona (5-4), a Class 3A team, on Saturday, Jan. 5.

“Playing a 3A team is always fun for us and our guys were excited for the challenge,” said Coach Jake Young.

It was a challenge from the beginning to the end.

The first quarter saw back-and-forth scoring, with the lead changing hands a couple of times.  GHV managed a one-point advantage at the end of the first quarter, 12-11.

Strong free-throw shooting in the second quarter by Holden Larson and Landon Dalbeck helped the Cards pull ahead, 16-13.  Algona was also strong from the free-throw line and regained the lead, 19-18.  A bucket by Dalbeck and a three-point shot by Justin Reding helped GHV to a 23-21 halftime lead.

James Betz kept the Cards in the game in the second half, scoring the first nine-points of the half.  The score was knotted at 32-32 when Algona started hitting some threes and pulled ahead, 50-43, with 4:11 remaining in the fourth quarter.  Betz connected on four free-throws, followed by a bucket by Dalbeck that once again tied the score, 50-50.  It was strong free-throw shooting in the final minutes of the game that helped GHV to the 58-56 victory.  The Cards hit 6/8 down the stretch at the line.  They were 22/28 in the game.

“Down the stretch I was proud of the way the guys executed exactly what the coaches were telling them to do in late game situations,” said Young.  “It’s one thing to practice close games, but you don’t really know how the team is going to respond until the pressure is on.  These wins give us a lot of confidence and momentum going forward.”

Betz and Dalbeck were a two-man wrecking crew.  Betz ended with 22-points, while Dalbeck dumped in 20.  Betz finished with nine rebounds and two assists.  Dalbeck had six rebounds, two assists and five steals.

Reding and Suby ended the night with six-points apiece.  Reding also had six rebounds, two assists, one steal and one blocked shot.

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