By Charlie Warner
Argus News Editor
The Caledonia boys basketball team was on the road last week, and played two challenging opponents at two unfriendly venues.
The Warriors topped a solid Fillmore Central team 78-61 Jan. 10 in the always-tough-to-win Preston gym.
The Caledonia boys then traveled to Rushford Jan. 13 to battle the number-two Class A state-ranked Rusford-Peterson Trojans. They returned with a 60-51 loss.
“We played well in both games,” coach Josh Diersen said. “Both Fillmore and Rushford have good teams and they play so well at home. It’s always difficult to come away with a win when we travel to Preston. And R-P is state ranked. To be in that game to the end says a lot about our team.”
Warriors 78, FC 61
The Warriors took control of this game in the opening minutes, only to let the home-standing Falcons back in the game right before the half. The Warriors held a 12-point lead, but FC got hot right before the half and trailed 39-36 at the intermission.
The Warriors went on a 25-6 run at the beginning of the second half and won by 17 points.
“This was a fast-paced game,” Diersen reported. “It always is when we play in Preston. Although we struggled with our shooting, which is what let them back into the game late in the first half, we rebounded well (41 total rebounds) and played solid defense for the win.”
Josh Lampert had another monster game for the Warriors. The senior guard scored 22 points, had 10 rebounds, eight assists and seven steals. Eric Houdek also hit double figures with 16 points and had seven rebounds. Willie Cordes and Andrew Kilger both had nine points and four rebounds. Nathan Rohrer had seven points and five rebounds. Ryan Eppen had six points and five rebounds, Alex Varney had six points and five rebounds, Kennan Bruening had two points and Kevin Lapham had one point and one rebound.
The Warriors made 8 of 13 (51 percent) from the free throw line, made just 4 of 21 treys and were 33 of 82 (40 percent) from the field.
R-P 60, Warriors 51
The Warriors battled a very good Rushford-Peterson team Friday night, only to drop a Three Rivers Conference road game by nine points.
“We were in this game right up until the end,” Diersen said. “I was pleased with the way we played. We had way too many turnovers (21) and only got to the free throw line nine times. R-P was 13 of 18 from the free throw line, while we were just 5 for 9. You can’t win games when the other team gets to the free throw line that many more times.”
The Warriors were down 31-29 at the half and played the Trojans pretty much even during the second half. The Trojans got hot from outside in the second half and made 7 of 19 treys.
“We just couldn’t make the shots in the second half when we were open,” Diersen said. “R-P did and that was the difference in the game.”
Varney led the Warriors with 14 points and six rebounds. Lampert had 13 points, five assists, four steals and four rebounds. Eppen added eight points and two rebounds, Rohrer had five points and four rebounds, Bruening and Houdek each had three points and two rebounds and Cordes had two points and two rebounds.
The Warriors shot 43 percent from the field, 56 percent from the free throw line and just 22 percent from three-point land.
The Warriors host state-ranked PEM Jan. 17 and then travel to Spring Valley to take on Kingsland on Jan. 24.