By Brady Ambrose
The Caledonia boy’s basketball team dropped two-of-three games last week. On Jan. 8 the Warriors lost at Southland 78-62 but followed with a 61-39 home win over Fillmore Central Thursday night. On Saturday Caledonia dropped a 57-46 decision at home to Rushford-Peterson.
Coach Josh Diersen’s team fell to 8-3 overall when the week was done and also suffered a blow when senior guard Alex Varney went down with an ankle injury against Fillmore Central and is expected to miss about three weeks, according to Diersen. “It could be a week early or it could be a week later. We’ll just have to wait and see,” he said. Junior West Spier also injured his ankle in the same game but did play against the Trojans Saturday, scoring 10 points, and Andrew Kilger also missed the game but should return to action this week as well.
Saturday night against Rushford-Peterson the Warriors were in a nip-and-tuck game, tied at 36-36 with 5:33 to play until R-P sophomore Charlie Krambeer caught fire and hit three straight 3-pointers to give the Trojans a 49-41 lead with a little over three minutes to play. Krambeer hit his first trey at the 5:33 mark after missing his previous five attempts, all in the second half. The Trojans grabbed the lead on their next possession when Alex Vix hit two free throws. Spier answered with a pair of free throws to tie the game at 38 all.
Krambeer then hit another long-range jumper to put R-P up 43-40, and the Trojans extended the lead to 46-40 on another three from Cole Kingsley. Krambeer’s third 3-pointer with 3:11 to play pushed the lead to eight at 49-41, and Vix hit two more free throws for a 51-41 lead with two minutes to play.
Sophomore Kyle Sorenson led the Warriors with 13 points in the loss.
On Thursday night Caledonia beat Fillmore Central 61-39 at home with Spier scoring 13 points. Varney added 12 and Nathan Rohrer tossed in 10 more. The Warriors led by 10 points at 28-18 with 3:18 left in the first half, but FC closed the gap to 31-25 at the break after they had fallen behind 21-7. The Falcons then started the second half with a 10-8 run and closed the gap to 39-35 and got as close as 41-38 with 8:07 to play. But Caledonia answered in a big way. Josh Nord hit a three to push the lead to 44-38, and Varney hit three free throws to push the lead back to double-digits at 49-38 with a little less than five minutes to go. Varney hit two more free throws to push the lead to 13, and Sorenson added two more for a 15 point lead at 53-38 with 3:13 to play. Caledonia finished the game with a 16-7 run. “It’s one of those games that’s pretty chaotic, but we found a way to win and played better in the second half,” Diersen said. “We’ve got to keep getting better and trusting each other. We’ve only been playing for less than a month and a half or something like that – we’ll keep plugging away and get better and get healthy.”
On Tuesday Caledonia suffered a 16-point loss at Southland after Southland senior Nick Schmitz scored 21 first-half points and improved to 6-1 in the conference. Caledonia travelled to P-E-M Jan. 15 and will host La Crosse Logan Saturday at 6 p.m.
Caledonia 34 28 — 62
Southland 43 35 — 78
FILLMORE CENTRAL 39
Fillmore Central 25 14 — 39
Caledonia 31 30 — 61
FILLMORE CENTRAL (2-9, 2-7): Tammel 6, Rindels 2, Case 2, Gatzke 20, Powell 7, Coyle 2.
CALEDONIA (8-2, 6-2): Kearney 5, Rohrer 10, Varney 12, Sorenson 4, Bauer 6, Nord 5, Lapham 6, Spier 13.
R-P 24 33 — 57
Caledonia 28 18 — 46
RUSHFORD-PETERSON (10-2, 7-2): O’Shaughnessy 6, Krambeer 10, Thompson 1, O’Hare 7, Vix 7, Kingsley 13, Hauge 10, Anderson 2.
CALEDONIA (8-3, 6-3): Kearney 5, Rohrer 1, Sorenson 13, Nord 4, Bauer 9, Lapham 4, Spier 10.