The Nokomis boys basketball program has always been able to overcome losses, with new players stepping up to replace those who graduated from a school that has only had four losing seasons in the last 40 years. That trend continued on Saturday, Feb. 6, in the Redskins’ second game, but probably not in the fashion they hoped for.
The Skins got 21 points off the bench from Elijah Aumann after their leading returning scorer, Evan Herpstreith, left early with a knee injury in Nokomis’ 49-26 victory over Staunton. The point total was a career high for the sophomore guard, who scored 27 points total last year in limited varsity play.
With their offensive production already taking a hit due to the graduation of last year’s one-two punch of Carter Sabol (20.7 points per game) and Alex Tosetti (13.6 points per game), Aumann provided a spark with six points in the opening quarter. Ben Clavin (three) and Kendall Knodle (two) would also score for Nokomis, who netted 11 points in the first frame.
While the new faces had to step up on offense for the Redskins, the program’s trademark defensive excellence didn’t skip a beat. Nokomis held the Bulldogs to single digits in each of the first three quarters, with Staunton scoring just three points in the first and the third.
Aumann’s slashing style coupled with a four three-pointer night from Clavin was more than enough to give Coach Dan DeWerff his first win at his alma mater after taking over for Coach Steve Kimbro.
Nokomis built on their eight point first quarter lead to go up 23-11 after two. Seth Johnson helped out in the quarter with seven points, going 4-for-4 from the free-throw line. He’d finish the night with nine points, going 6-for-6 from the charity stripe.
The Redskins put the Bulldogs away in the third quarter with a 15-3 frame, then equalled the home team in the fourth for the 23-point win.
In addition to Aumann (21), Clavin (12) and Johnson (nine), Nokomis also got three points from Jake Johnson and two each from Kendall Knodle and Ryan Eisenbarth.
Staunton was led by Frank Goss, who scored seven of his team-best ten points in the fourth quarter.
Pleasant Plains 43,
The win came on the heels of a tough loss to Pleasant Plains on the Cardinals’ home court on Friday by a 43-35 final score.
The Redskins hung tough with the home team for three quarters, matching them point-for-point as it was 19-19 at halftime and 29-29 at the end of three quarters.
The fourth quarter would be the difference maker for Plains, who got seven of their 14 fourth quarter points from Justin Guernsey and held Nokomis to just six points and one field goal in the final eight minutes.
Guernsey would finish the game with 18 points to lead all scorers, while Evan Herpstreith paced the Redskins with 13. Herpstreith had three of Nokomis’ five threes, all of which came in the middle two quarters.
Jake Johnson would add in six points for Nokomis, including the lone field goal in the fourth quarter, while Ben Clavin and Cooper Bertolino added five points each. Seth Johnson and Elijah Aumann rounded out the scoring with four and two for Coach DeWerff.
Now 1-1 on the season, Nokomis takes on Gillespie on Tuesday, Feb. 9, on the Miners’ home court.
at Pleasant Plains
Nokomis 4 15 10 6 35
Pleasant Plains 5 14 10 14 43
Nokomis (35) - Evan Herpstreith 13, Jake Johnson 6, Ben Clavin 5, Cooper Bertolino 5, Seth Johnson 4, Elijah Aumann 2. Totals: 12 6-10 35.
Pleasant Plains (43) - Justin Guernsey 18, Brady Marshall 7, Mason Williams 7, Mason Watson 6, A.J. Parkey 3, Zach Powell 2. Totals: 16 9-14 43.
Three-point field goals: Nokomis 5 (Herpstreith 3, Clavin 1, Bertolino 1); Pleasant Plains 4 (Watson 2, Guernsey 2).
Record: Nokomis (0-1); Pleasant Plains (1-0).
February 6 at Staunton
Nokomis 11 12 15 12 49
Staunton 3 8 3 12 26
Nokomis (49) - Elijah Aumann 21, Ben Clavin 12, Seth Johnson 9, Jake Johnson 3, Kendall Knodle 2, Ryan Eisenbarth 2. Totals: 15 12-15 49.
Staunton (26) - Frank Goss 10, Cayden Sylvester 8, Jacob Futrell 4, Sam Best 3, Braden Buffington 1. Totals: 10 2-6 26.
Three-point field goals: Nokomis 7 (Clavin 4, Aumann 2, S. Johnson 1); Staunton
Records: Nokomis (1-1); Staunton (0-1).