By Mike Petersen
Sports Editor & Staff Writer 

Second-half dominance

St. Mary's shuts down H-M-S in boys' district quarterfinal


February 23, 2023


H-M-S senior Travis Kamradt guards Remsen St. Mary's Jaxon Bunkers during the district tournament game on Feb. 16.

Stingy defense in the second half tipped the momentum in Remsen St. Mary's favor, leading the blue and white-clad Hawks to a 58-45 win over Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn in a Class 1A boys' district basketball game Feb. 16 at Remsen.

The score was tied at half time, but St. Mary's defense limited the maroon Hawks to 19 points in the second half to earn the quarterfinal round win.

"We were within striking distance heading into the fourth quarter, but St. Mary's put the clamps down defensively and we struggled to get good looks," Hawk coach Naet Hoaglund acknowledged.

St. Mary's built an early seven-point lead and had a six-point advantage late in the first half. But H-M-S battled back both times and tied the score at 26-26 on a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Kooper Ebel.

"I was really pleased with the effort we played with. I thought our defense was solid in the first half and we made them have to work for quality looks," Hoaglund said.

St. Mary's scored six points to open the third quarter and extended the lead to 10. The Hawks managed to cut the margin to 52-44 with six minutes to play, but only scored one point down the stretch.


Lucas Kroese attempts to prevent Cael Ortman from getting a shot off during the boys' district tournament game at Remsen.

"We had a couple of opportunities to limit them, but we didn't do a good enough job of securing rebounds and St. Mary's was able to capitalize," Hoaglund said. "It seemed like they had us scrambling each possession and got really good looks."

As was often the case this season, H-M-S was led in scoring by Ebel (22) and Berends (15). Hoaglund noted that Berends had multiple St. Mary's defenders around him and they were "very physical." Travis Kamradt's five points and Keevyn Jacobsma's three rounded out the Hawks' scoring.

Berends added 10 rebounds and two blocks; Ebel had five rebounds, three assists and two blocks; and Kamradt and Trenton Vollink each came up with two steals.

"I'm proud of how our guys competed and left it all out there," Hoaglund said. "We just weren't able to make enough plays in the end."

H-M-S finishes the season at 12-10 while St. Mary's (20-2) advanced to the district semifinals.


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