By Brady Ambrose
The never-ending week of basketball for the Caledonia boys finally ended Saturday after the Warriors outlasted St. Charles 63-58 at St. Charles, wrapping up a stretch of four games in five days.
It was a mixed review by the end of the week with the Warriors finishing 2-2 with wins over St. Charles and Fillmore Central and losses to both Southland and Decorah, Iowa. The Warriors improved to 15-8 overall and 12-6 in conference play.
Caledonia opened the week hosting Decorah and struggled offensively when just one player scored more than nine points in the game. Sophomore Kyle Sorenson led Caledonia with 13 points, while West Spier added nine in a 73-62 loss. Jacob Drost and Josey Jewell each scored 13 points, and Josh Miller added 12 points for the Vikings, who led by as many as 15 points in the fourth quarter.
On Tuesday night Caledonia hosted Southland, and the Rebels used a 35-15 scoring advantage in the second half to roll to a 66-49 win over the Warriors. Leading 34-31 at the break, Caledonia couldn’t throw the ball in the ocean as they made just six of 36 shots in the final 18 minutes.
“We played ¾’s of the game – we’ve got to clean it up and get better,” Caledonia coach Josh Diersen said. “We give up way too many layups. They made their run when they were making layups. We made them shoot jumpers, but we missed shots that turned to layups. Add a few turnovers and it’s an 11-point lead and we had to scramble at the end.”
The Warriors played a good first half, leading by as many as six points at 16-10 early on a 3-pointer from Sorenson and then again at 30-24 with 4:20 in the half on a three from Josh Nord. But Southland closed the gap to 34-31 at the break and used a 9-4 run to open up the second half to give the Rebels a 40-39 lead on a three-pointer from Decker Bendtsen three and a half minutes into the second half.
Less than a minute later Southland’s Sam Klaehn was fouled by Austin Bauer attempting a 3-pointer, and Klaehn made three straight free throws for a 43-39 lead. Caledonia closed the gap to 43-41, but Southland’s Nick Schmitz grabbed an offensive rebound and scored. That started a 10-2 run to put the Rebels up 53-43 with 8:48 to play. “We’ve got to get better; we’ve got some games left to clean things up. They just hung around and we came out and had some bad possessions right away, and we didn’t put the ball in the hole and it went the other way,” the coach said.
Kyle Sorenson led the Warriors with 12 in the loss, and Alex Varney added 11 points.
Caledonia then got back on track Friday when they traveled to Fillmore-Central and rolled to a 56-40 win over the Falcons. Alex Varney connected for 23 points – including four-3-pointers in the game – while the Warrior defense clamped down, allowing just one player on the F-C team to score more than eight points.
Caledonia wrapped up the week with a trip to St. Charles where they edged the Fighting Saints 63-58 after Austin Bauer poured in 21 points and Varney tossed in another 10. The two teams combined to make 14 3-pointers in the game, seven by each with Bauer hitting three for the Warriors.
After traveling to Rushford-Peterson Tuesday, Caledonia will host P-E-M Friday night and then travel to Austin Saturday.
Caledonia 63, St. Charles 58
Sean Kearney 1, Nathan Rohrer 9, Alex Varney 10, Kyle Sorenson 9, Josh Nord 3, Austin Bauer 21, West Spier 8.
ST. CHARLES (58)
Talon Mercer 6, J.P. Reisdorf 7, Chase Busian 13, Aaron Leistikow 17, Brady Fisher 2, Devin Decker 13.
Free throws: CAL 16-20, STC 15-17.
Three-point goals: CAL 7 (Bauer 3, Kearney 1, Rohrer 1, Varney 1, Sorenson 1), STC 7 (Busian 3, Leistikow 3, Reisdorf 1).
Caledonia 56, Fillmore Central 40
Sean Kearney 5, Alex Varney 23, Andrew Kilger 2, Kyle Sorenson 6, Josh Nord 5, Austin Bauer 3, Kevin Lapham 4, West Spier 8.
FILLMORE CENTRAL (40)
Logan Masters 2, Jake Tammel 20, Brandon Breitsprecher 1, Cal Larson 2, Dan Gatzke 8, Andrew Coyle 7.
Free throws: CAL 20-26, FC 8-11.
Three-point goals: CAL 6 (Varney 4, Sorenson 1, Nord 1), FC 4 (Tammel 3, Coyle 1).
Southland 66, Caledonia 49
Southland 31 35 — 66
Caledonia 34 15 — 49
SOUTHLAND (13-4, 16-6): Ruechel 4, Anderson 5, Klaehn 7, Reinartz 2, Wolff 4, Johnson 2, Bendtsen 12, Schmitz 17, Goergen 13.
CALEDONIA (13-8, 10-6): Varney 11, Twite 2, Sorenson 12, Nord 3, Bauer 6, Burg 2, Lapham 7, Spier 6.
Nonconference Feb. 11
Decorah 73, Caledonia 62
Decorah 32 41 — 73
Caledonia 27 35 — 62
DECORAH (12-6): Rollins 3, Pierce 2, Peter 5, Miller 12, Brost 13, Jewell 9, Johansen 8, Kane 2, Ostlie 7, Hofting 4, Winter 8.
CALEDONIA (13-7): Rohrer 3, Varney 2, Li 3, Langen 4, Twite 5, Kilger 3, Sorenson 13, Nord 5, Bauer 6, Burg 3, Lapham 6, Spier 9.