Posted On: 03/10/17 9:00 PM
2A All-Tournament Team: Jesse Jansma (Captain), David Kacmarynski, Ben Gesink, Cameron Soenksen, Matt Dentlinger, Levi Jungling
Western Christian was scorching in the first half — especially Ben Gesink and Jesse Jansma — and would never surrender its early lead, leading wire-to-wire to capture its second straight 2A title. The Wolfpack was again playing without two of its regular starters, Tyson Kooima and Ben Grantsra, but used brilliant performances from Jansma and Gesink to help seal the win. Three years ago, No.7 seed Pella Christian knocked the Wolfpack out of the tournament in the first round. This season, as a No.2 seed, the Eagles — led by Kenden Veenstra’s 12 points — were unable to recapture that magic. Levi Jungling did not get going until late in the third quarter, he scored 12 points from then on. Jungling was key to sparking a late comeback bid, which saw the Eagles close what was once an 11 point lead down to just two in the fourth quarter. But the Eagles would only get that close, and the big plays late belonged to Western Christian.
Much like in the Wolfpack’s semifinal win over Camanche, Jansma came out smokin’ in this one. Everything he launched up, went it. He would cool later in the game, but his hot start was critical to the Wolfpack win.
Jesse Jansma is just soaking everything he throws up this week, has 8 in 1Q of final – he def wants tourney MVP #iahsbkb
— TJ Rushing (@TjRushing) March 11, 2017
Western Christian 15 16 11 20 — 62
Pella Christian 11 14 10 15 — 50
Western Christian (62) Jesse Jansma 22, Ben Gesink 21, Caleb Harmsen 13, Jacob Vis 5, Layne Miller 1.
Pella Christian (50) Kenden Veenstra 12, Levi Jungling 11, David Kacmarynski 9, Jackson Flagel 8, Alex Pringle 7, Graham Howerzyl 3.
Levi Jungling went into nuclear mode, and his team played well enough in support to propel Pella Christian into the 2A final. Jungling started out pedestrian; it seemed like he’d have another just OK game (even when he plays poorly, he’s still the best player on his team). But after the first quarter he caught fire, after a 1-4 start from deep, he hot his next five, and was scoring at the rim and from the line as well en route to his tournament-high 31 points. David Kacmarynski made a couple key buckets late — both and-ones — that kept the Eagles afloat when Jungling was being adeptly shaded by Parker Badding. Kuemper played well in the fourth quarter and used a 6-0 run at the start to take a brief one point lead. The Knights trailed by four with 5.9 seconds left until Sam Auen rained in a 27-footer, cutting the deficit to one. But after two Jungling makes at the line, Auen’s last second attempt was off the mark. Pella Christian will play Westrn Christian Friday at 8:05 for the 2A title.
— TJ Rushing (@TjRushing) March 9, 2017
He started off just OK, that didn’t last long. It was clear by late in the second quarter that he was feeling it. He made his final five 3-point attempts, and finished with 31 points; the highest scoring total we’ve seen yet this week.
Kuemper Catholic 9 16 14 22 — 61
Pella Christian 10 14 20 20 — 64
Kuemper Catholic (61): Parker Badding 15, Matt Dentlinger 13, Jacob Schaefer 13, Sam Auen 6, Will Badding 6, Jared Tigges 4, Nate Mertz 2, Gage Gunnerson 2.
Pella Christian (64): Levi Jungling 31, David Kacmarynski 14, Scott Haveman 9, Alex Pringle 5, Kenden Veenstra.
Semifinal: No.1 Western Christian (22-2) vs No.5 Camanche (23-2)
Even without two of its starters — Tyson Kooima and Ben Grantstra — top seed Western Christian completely obliterated Camanche in this one. From the tip it was clear that Ben Gesink would be the aggressor, he scored eight right away and finished with 24 points, 9 rebound and 8 assists. Jesse Jansma scored a game-high 27 points. Jacob Vis — who regularly comes off the bench — had a huge game going for 16 points and 15 rebounds. This Western Christina was on upset alert at halftime of its quarterfinal against 8 seed South Hamilton, and since then it has looked like a team that would be near impossible to beat.
Last game Jansma was very good, he was better today, and is making a very strong case for 2A MVP honors. He’s a big-bodied wing, with a butter stroke from deep; and athlete who runs the floor well and can score at the rim.
Camanche 15 10 12 7 — 54
Western Christian 27 26 24 17 — 94
Camanche (54): Dylan Hundley 12, Dakota Soenksen 8, Cameron Soenksen 6, Dev Patel 5, Evan Hall 5, Calvin Ottens 4, Tre Ausin 2, David Gonzalez 2.
Western Christian (94): Jesse Jansma 27, Ben Gesink 24, Jacob Vis 16, Caleb Harmsen 9, Layne Miller 4, Colyn Oostenink 4, Harry Steele 3, Clay Van Tol 3, Austin Haak 2, Dawson Feenstra 2.
It was smooth sailing for the Knights on Tuesday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena; after the first quarter, that is. The Cardinals of G-H-V held tough in the first quarter and they trailed just 9-8 heading into the second, but then Kuemper blitzed them and scored 20 second quarter points, and held G-H-V to just two. The Knights took a 29-10 lead into the break, and the second half was more or less a formality. Kuemper looked like the best team we’ve seen at the tournament so far, they’ll play Pella Christian in an all-parochial semifinal on Thursday afternoon. G-H-V returns three starters next season, including our 7th-ranked 2019, James Betz.
The 6-foot-7 forward was dominant while scoring a game-high 19 points, snaring a game-high 11 rebounds and blocking a team-high 2 blocks. You get the picture, he was the best player on the floor tonight — by far. The future South Dakota State Jackrabbit also became the all-time leading scorer in Kuemper history. So ya, he’s the man.
G-H-V 8 2 10 11 — 31
Kuemper 9 20 8 14 — 51
G-H-V (31): Ryan Meyers 11, James Betz 8, Connor Burke 3, Johnny O’Connor 2, Holden Hutcheson 2, Chase Theobold 2, Colton Schroeder 2, Nick Joynt 1.
Kuemper (51): Matt Dentlinger 19, Sam Auen 11, Jared Tigges 10, Jacob Schafer, 5, Von Kraus 2, Max Heithoff 2, Nate Mertz 1, Gage Gunnerson 1.
Levi Jungling had been struggling — just 1-8 from the floor — but still heaved a deep ball with confidence that gave Pella Christian a three-point lead late in the fourth quarter. Van Meter junior Blake Fryar matched that on the Bulldogs’ enduing possession; and just like that we had our first OT action of the tourney. Alex Pringle — who scored a game-high 18 points — set the tome early in overtime, scoring five straight points and giving the Eagles a four-point lead they would never relinquish. Van Meter returns all five starters next season, so there’s a silver-lining. Pella Christian will play the winner of Kuemper and G-H-V on Thursday at 3:45.
His game-high 18 points weren’t just routine buckets, they were pressure-packed got-to-have-them buckets. And his start to laid the foundation that Pella Christina would need to secure the win.
Van Meter 8 12 8 5 OT 9 — 49
Pella Christian 6 8 10 7 OT 12 — 52
Van Meter (49): Ian Abrahamson 12, JJ Durfinger 11, Jack Trudo 10, Ryan Schmitt 7, Blake Fryar 5, Grant Johnson 2, Anthony Potthoff 2.
Pella Christian (52): Alex Pringle 18, Levi Jungling 14, David Kacmarynski 12, Graham Howerzyl 3, Scott Haveman 3, Kenden Veenstra 2.
In what was technically the first upset of the 2017 Boys’ State Basketball Tournament, Camanche used a monster effort from freshman guard Cameron Soenkson, and held off a very good Cascade team to advance to the 2A semifinals. This game was tight throughout, but the Indians got some big plays and timely shots from several key players, and took advantage of a suddenly-cold Cougars squad to pull-away late. The Indians will play top seed Western Christian Thursday at 2:00.
This kid was all over the place in the win Monday night, and displayed some serious bounce en route to his game-high 17 points, 11 rebounds and 4 steals (all game-highs). He told us after the game that he’ll be running with the Iowa Barnstormers 15U this spring and summer.
Camanche 11 15 13 19 — 58
Cascade 11 9 14 14 — 48
Camanche (58): Cameron Soenksen 17, Dylan Hundley 13, Dev Patel 13, Dakota Soenksen 9, David Gonzalez 4, Calvin Ottens 2.
Cascade (48): Johnny Supple 23, Haris Hoffman 8, Gannon O’Brien 7, Brock Simon 5, Derek Koppes 3, Bryce Simon 2.
After an abysmal shooting start for Western Christian dug them a huge hole early, things eventually settled and the top seeded Wolfpack found a way to escape a quarterfinal scare. The poor shooting led to an early 29-13 deficit; it was dire for the Wolfpack. But then came exactly what they needed; a 14-0 run that bridged the second and third quarters. South Hamilton — led by Marco Balderas — would make a small push after that, but the rest of the game belonged to Western Christian.
We knew he was a key player for the the Wolfpack, but he erupted today, catalyzing the 14-0 run with solid defense. But he was better on offense; pouring in a game-high 25 points.
South Hamilton 19 10 10 8 — 53
Western Christian 10 13 19 11 — 47
South Hamilton (53): Marco Balderas 13, Collin Hill 9, Logan Kemp 8, Conner Hill 7, Logan Peters 5, Cole Berg 3, Colton Coy 2.
Western Christian (47): Jesse Jansma 25, Tyson Kooima 12, Jacob Vis 4, Caleb Harmsen 4, Ben Grantsra 3, Carter Broek 2, Colyn Oostenink 2 Ben Gesink 1.