By Charlie Warner
Argus News Editor
“After dropping the game to St. Charles, I was happy the way our kids bounced back and picked up two wins later in the week. We lost to Lewiston-Altua by one point the first time we played them, so beating them by 29 points shows improvement. And beating Decorah, which is a bigger school on Saturday was a good win too.”
That’s the way Warriors boys basketball head coach Josh Diersen summed up another busy week. The Warriors lost to a very strong St. Charles team 56-49 on Jan. 31 and then bounced back for a 76-47 win over L-A Feb. 2 and a 56-54 road win over Decorah Saturday.
St. Charles 56, Warriors 49
The Warriors started out cold and the Saints, mainly 6’5” Will Swiggum, started out hot. Swiggum scored 19 points in the first half and a strong St. Charles defense held the home-standing Warriors to just 21 points in the opening half.
After trailing by 15 points midway through the first half, the Warriors made a small run and pulled within 10 points, 31-21, at the half.
“We played better in the second half and got within four points for much of the second half. But we just didn’t make our shots when we needed to and we only made four free throws,” Diersen explained.
The Warriors were not only cold from the charity line. They were just as cold from beyond the arc, as they hit just one of 13 treys. For the game, they shot just 35 percent from the field.
“You can’t beat a good team like St. Charles shooting that poorly,” Diersen added. “We just couldn’t put the ball in the hole.”
The Warriors did have 30 rebounds and just 16 turnovers. But their cold shooting spelled a seven point loss.
Josh Lampert led the Warriors with 13 points, five steals, three rebounds and three assists. Andy Kilger had eight points, nine rebounds and three seals, Willie Cordes had eight points and four rebounds. Ryan Eppen had six points and two rebounds and Kevin Lapham had six points and three rebounds. Alex Varney had three points, four rebounds, four steals and two assists, Nathan Rohrer had three points, two rebounds, one steal and an assist and Kennan Bruening had two points and two rebounds.
Warriors 76, L-A 47
The Warriors avenged an early season loss to the Cardinals last week, as they beat visiting Lewiston-Altura by 29 points, 76-47.
The Warriors found their shooting touch in this game and out-scored the Cards 41-24 in the first half. They continued to dominate the second half, as they scored 35 points and held L-A to 23.
“The kids played very hard in this game,” Diersen said. “With our four-guard offense, we run and gun all the time. This makes it really hard for teams to set up fullcourt presses against us. And because we are in good shape and have a deep bench, most teams can’t run with us.”
Cordes had a big night for the Warriors, scoring 20 points and pulling down five rebounds. Lampert had 17 points, four steals, three rebounds and two assists. Kilger had 10 points, six rebounds and four assists and Varney was the fourth Warrior in double figures with 10 points and three rebounds. Rohrer added six points and three assists, Bruening had four points and two assists, Houdek had three points, Sean Kearney had two points and four rebounds, Eppen and Matt Petersen each had one point and Ryan Frank had five rebounds.
Warriors 56, Decorah 54
Thanks to a hot start by Varney, who nailed three straight treys to open the game, Caledonia jumped out to a 16-6 lead Saturday at Decorah.
The Warriors led 32-25 at the half, but the home-standing Vikings fought back to tie the contest late in the game. Some clutch free throw shooting by Lampert and Cordes sealed the win for Caledonia.
The Warriors made nine of 16 free throws, shot 35 percent from three point land and 44 percent from the field. They had just 14 turnovers.
Varney led the Warriors in scoring with 18 points, all in the first half. He also had four rebounds. Lampert had 16 points, five rebounds and five assists. Cordes and Kilger both had six points, Rohrer had five, Bruening had two points and five boards, Eppen had two points and Houdek had one point.
The Warriors play three games again this week. On Feb. 6 they traveled to Wabasha-Kellogg, on Feb. 10 they host Dover-Eyota and on Feb. 11 will host Waukon.
You can contact Charlie Warner at firstname.lastname@example.org