The Nokomis boys basketball team may not be a full member of the MSM Conference until next year, but the Redskins gave their future conference foes a glimpse of things to come by going 7-0 against MSM competition in 2021.
The seventh win came against South County on Friday, March 12, a 53-50 affair against the recently off-quarantine Vipers.
Playing in the Franklin High School gym (South County is a co-op between Franklin and Waverly), Nokomis fell behind early, but kept the Vipers within an arm’s length.
Down 13-9 after one, Nokomis matched the Vipers point-for-point in the second and the score stood at 24-20 at halftime.
After being held to three points (a trey in the second quarter), senior Ben Clavin began to heat up for the Redskins in the second half. Clavin hit his second three of the game and put in two more field goals for seven of Nokomis’ 18 points in the third quarter.
With time ticking down, the score stood at 38-38, before South County got a layup from Seger Brown in the final seconds to salvage a two point lead going into the fourth.
The Vipers increased their lead to six in the opening minutes of the final frame with baskets from Matt Crow and Brown, but a basket by Kendall Knodle and a three from Clavin cut the margin back down to one.
Clavin answered again after a South County miss, going up and under for a go-ahead layup with just over four minutes to play.
Jake Johnson would increase the lead to three with a layup in transition, but South County scored to make it a one point game at 47-46.
The two teams would trade points in the final two minutes, but Nokomis’ defense would hold the Vipers and the Redskins would end their season on a win, their 11th of the year.
Ben Clavin would lead all scorers with 18 points, followed by Jake Johnson with 14 and Elijah Aumann with 10. Seniors Seth Johnson and Kendall Knodle wrapped up their careers with four and three points, while Cooper Bertolino and Ryan Eisenbarth added in two points apiece off the bench.
Nokomis vs. Pana
In the film Blazing Saddles, Sheriff Bart is about to confront Mongo when he gets some advice from his deputy, Jim, as he reaches for his gun.
“Oh no, don’t do that, don’t do that,” Jim warned. “If you shoot him, you’ll just make him mad.”
That has been the case with the Pana boys basketball team, it seems, over the last two games. After being “shot down” by Hillsboro on March 8, to end their conference hopes, the Panthers took out their aggressions on two other Montgomery County foes on March 9 and 10, winning by a combined total of 59 points.
Following a 32-point win over Litchfield on Tuesday, Pana flexed their muscle against Nokomis on Wednesday with a 70-43 victory in Pana.
The Panthers outscored Nokomis 19-10 in the first quarter and led 43-19 in the second. A 23-11 quarter for Pana in the third increased the margin even further, making it 66-30 going into the fourth, which would have a running clock.
The Redskins would continue to fight, with four players combining for 13 points, but Pana would ease away with the 27-point win.
Ryan Eisenbarth, one of the four to score in the fourth, led Nokomis with 10 points, while Elijah Aumann added nine. Jake Johnson would be close behind with seven, while Cooper Bertolino and Seth Johnson added in six apiece. Three points from Reece Lohman and two from Kendall Knodle rounded out the scoring for the Redskins, who moved to 10-6 on the year.
Pana was led by Andrew Ambrose, who had 20 points to lead all scorers. The Panthers’ win improved their record to 12-3.
March 10 at Pana
Nokomis 10 9 11 13 43
Pana 19 24 23 4 70
Nokomis (43) - Ryan Eisenbarth 10, Elijah Aumann 9, Jake Johnson 7, Cooper Bertolino 6, Seth Johnson 6, Reece Lohman 3, Kendall Knodle 2. Totals: 18 6-12 43.
Pana (70) - Andrew Ambrose 20, Colin Schmitz 10, Brendan Schoonover 9, Devon Peebles 8, Kyle Kuhn 7, Drew Hackler 6, Lane Funneman 5, Max Lynch 3, Evan Hudlin 2. Totals: 30 5-8 70.
Three-point field goals: Nokomis 1 (Aumann 1); Pana
Records: Nokomis (10-6); Pana (12-3).
March 12 at Franklin
Nokomis 9 11 18 15 53
South County 13 11 16 10 50
Nokomis (53) - Ben Clavin 18, Jake Johnson 14, Elijah Aumann 10, Seth Johnson 4, Kendall Knodle 3, Cooper Bertolino 2, Ryan Eisenbarth 2. Totals: 17 15-22 53.
South County (50) - Grant Marshall 16, Matt Crow 12, Lucas Schumaker 8, Seger Brown 4, Trenton Sampson 4, Noah Lyons 4, Ross 2. Totals: 19 6-7 50.
Three-point field goals: Nokomis 4 (Clavin 3, Aumann 1); South County 4 (Marshall 4).
Record: Nokomis (11-6).