Warrior boys’ season comes to an end in East Sub-section title game

Alex Varney battled a St. Charles player for a rebound during the Warriors' 64-54 win over the Saints last week. Photo by Charlie Warner

By Charlie Warner
Argus News Editor

“I was very proud of the way our kids played this year. With the very large group of seniors we had last year, this year’s group came into the season with very little varsity playing experience. But they really jelled and became a very good basketball team. They made it all the way to the sub-section championship game and a chance to move on. That was quite an accomplishment. This year’s seniors are going to be missed.”

That’s the way Warrior boys basketball coach Josh Diersen summed up his feelings shortly after Caledonia lost to a very good Plainview-Elgin-Milville team in the Section 1AA East Sub-section championship game last Saturday night in Rochester. The Warriors lost that game 83-60.

Caledonia advanced to the sub-section championship game by defeating a very good St. Charles team on March 13 64-54. The Saints had defeated the Warriors twice during the regular season, but Caledonia was able to turn the table on St. Charles in the tournament game.

Warrior guard Josh Lampert left this Saint defender on the floor. Photo by Charlie Warner

Warriors 64, St. Charles 54

The Warriors played one of their best games of the season when they took on #2 seeded St. Charles at the Rochester Civic Arena.

The Saints jumped out to a quick lead and built that lead to 27-14 with five minutes remaining in the first half.

But a trey by Andy Kilger and a four-point play by Alex Varney jump-started the Warriors, who out-scored the Saints 19-3 for a 33-30 halftime lead.

Caledonia continued to dominate the game at the beginning of the second half, as they out-scored St. Charles 10-5 in the first five minutes of the second half for a 45-38 lead.

St. Charles pulled within two points once during the second half, but trailed by five points when the Saints’ big man Will Swiggum fouled out with five minutes remaining.

Caledonia was able to keep a four to six point lead for the final five minutes of the game, as the Warrior guards were able to break St. Charles’ press. The Saints were forced to foul the Warriors in an attempt to get the ball back and Caledonia made their free throws in the final minutes for the 10-point win.

The Warriors had a good night shooting, as they shot 49 percent from the field, 46 percent from three point land and 47 percent from the charity stripe. They turned the ball over 15 times.

Lampert led the Warriors with 17 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals. Kilger scored 13 points, Varney had 11 points and six rebounds, Petersen had eight points, Eric Houdek had seven points and four rebounds, Ryan Eppen had seven points and three rebounds, and Willie
Cordes and Nathan Rohrer each had two points.

Ryan Eppen (20) pulled a rebound down, as Kennan Bruening (25) also battled for the loose ball. Photo by Charlie Warner

PEM 83, Warriors 60

“PEM was hitting on all cylinders. They shot very well, jumped out to a big lead and we just couldn’t get back into the game,” noted Diersen of the loss to PEM in the sub-section finals.

The Bulldogs nailed seven treys in the first half, while the Warriors missed that many “bunnies” from right around the rim. PEM built up a 41-19 first half lead and then scored 42 while holding Caledonia to 41 in the second half.

“We didn’t make our free throws or our lay-ups in this game and that was the big difference,” Diersen said. “That, and we played PEM when they were really on. If they continue to play like that, they should continue to advance in the play-offs.”

Varney led the Warriors with 11 points and two rebounds. Lampert had 10 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Rohrer had seven points, Cordes, Kilger and West Spier each had four, Kevin Lapham had three points and fiver rebounds, Petersen, Kennan Bruening and Ryan Frank each had three points, Sean Kearney, Josh Nord and Houdek each had two points and Eppen had one point and five rebounds.

 You can contact Charlie Warner at [email protected]