A scrappy Garner-Hayfield-Ventura team dug deep and battled hard to come up with a victory over Osage (14-9) in the first round of the Class 2A District 5 semifinal played at Forest City, on Thursday, Feb. 15.
“There were a lot of things to worry about when playing a tough opponent like Osage,” said Coach Joe Albertson. “My concern was mostly in regards to our tempo after being off for a week. We also suffered some injuries that didn’t allow us to practice with pace, and it showed during the game.”
James Betz and Ryan Meyers both sunk threes in the opening minute to take an early lead. The Green Devils hit a three of their own to close the first quarter trailing, 17-11.
Osage came alive in the second quarter and scored nine unanswered points to take their first lead of the game, 20-17. The Green Devils held the lead through the quarter and took a one-point lead into the break, 29-28.
“We were inconsistent on defense and committed too many turnovers early in the game,” said Albertson.
The third quarter was all GHV. Betz and Nick Joynt combined for 12-points to get the game rolling in the right direction. GHV led, 45-39, at the end of the third quarter.
Osage battled its way back into the game and knotted the score 50-50 with 4:06 remaining in the game. Betz and Joynt both connected on a three-point shot to take a one-point lead, 56-55. Betz hit another two and Colton Schroeder sunk the final shot for the 60-55 victory.
“Our bench came in and brought some needed energy. Matthew Heinemann, Colton Schroeder and Jonah Albertson hit big shots, grabbed rebounds, got a few steals and played solid defense,” said Albertson.
Betz and Joynt had strong nights for the Cardinals. Betz scored 21-points, collected seven rebounds, and had four assists. Joynt had 18-points, five rebounds, one assist and one steal.
“When we really needed a bucket late in the game, we got them from James Betz and Nick Joynt,” said Albertson.
Coach Albertson also praised the play of Ryan Meyers who came through with a big rebounds and a steal. Meyers ended the night with six points, six rebounds, one assist and two steals.
Also scoring for the Cardinals were Schroeder with five points, Connor Burke added four and Albertson and Heinemann had three-points each.
Burke was a team leader in assists with four and Jared Graham dished out three. Albertson and Graham each had one blocked shot.
“It was great to see everyone back on the floor making plays to help us to a victory,” said Albertson.
GHV faced Forest City on Tuesday, Feb. 20, in Clear Lake. Forest City (20-2) defeated Lake Mills, 59-43, in the opening game of Class 2A District 5 tournament. The results of this game will be available in the next issue of the Clear Lake Mirror-Reporter.