Shorthanded ‘Skins Knock Off Miners

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With four players out due to illness or injury, the Nokomis boys basketball team had a slightly different look to it on Tuesday, Dec. 7.

The Redskins would make the most of what they had available, though, with all eight of the remaining players on the varsity roster contributing to a 50-40 win over Gillespie on the Miners’ home floor.

With Cooper Bertolino, Nolan Himes, Reece Lohman and Kennedy DeWerff out, Kamron Coss and Mason Stauder earned their first starts of the year, along with regulars Elijah Aumann, Jake Johnson and Ryan Eisenbarth.

Stauder would make the most of his opportunity right off the bat, hitting a three for the first points of the game, then picking up a steal that led to a trip to the free-throw line for Aumann. Stauder’s trey and Aumann’s two free throws would be the start of a 10-0 run by the Redskins, with Aumann scoring four more and Jake Johnson adding in a free throw.

With 3:28 to play in the quarter, Nokomis led by 10, but the Miners would halt their offensive progress after that. Gillespie’s offense didn’t fare any better, going the entire first minutes eight without a field goal, although they did add two free throws in the final 2:39 to break up the shutout.

The field goal drought continued for both teams in the second quarter, with the teams trading free throws in the first two minutes to give Nokomis a 13-4 lead.

The Redskins would break through first with a three by Ian Keller, followed by Bryan Jubelt knocking down Gillespie’s first field goal at the 5:55 mark to make it a 16-6 ball game.

Jake Johnson upped the lead back to 12 with his first bucket of the game, but that would be the last Nokomis field goal of the half as the Redskins were limited to three free throws in the final 5:25 of the quarter.

Gillespie would take advantage of the offensive woes by getting back into the game, with Bryce Buhs scoring five points in the Miners’ 12-3 run that brought the score down to 21-18 at halftime.

The momentum of the late run in the second quarter seemed to carry over to the third as Gillespie tied the game on a three by Tristen Wargo. The trey knotted the game for the first time since before Stauder’s opening three 30 seconds into the game, but the tie wouldn’t last long as Joey Barker scored on the next possession for Nokomis to give them the lead again.

After a quiet second quarter, Aumann, Nokomis’ leading scorer this season, began to heat up. Ryan Eisenbarth recovered a Gillespie turnover and fed the junior guard for a fast break to make it 25-21, followed by another basket by Aumann to make it a six-point game with five minutes to play in the third.

Gillespie would hang around, getting as close as four on two separate occasions, but a Jake Johnson basket with 23 seconds left put Nokomis up 34-27 going into the final frame.

The Redskins would have some trouble from the free-throw line in the fourth, going 3-for-9 in the first six minutes, but still managed to hold off the Miners. Kamryn Link tried to will Gillespie to win, scoring 11 of the Miners’ 13 points in the fourth quarter and finishing with a team-best 15 for the game.

Link’s final four points came near the two minute mark on back-to-back jumpers that brought Gillespie within five of the Redskins, 43-38. With Gillespie forced to foul, the Redskins put the ball in Aumann’s hands and the junior guard went 7-of-8 from the charity stripe down the stretch. To add insult to injury, Aumann got the offensive rebound on the only free throw he missed, the last one he took, and dribbled the clock out for Nokomis’ 10-point win.

Aumann finished the game with 20 points, eight rebounds and four assists, going 10-of-14 from the free-throw line. Mason Stauder added in 10 points, going 7-of-12 from the charity stripe.

Under the basket, Ryan Eisenbarth had seven points and seven rebounds, while Jake Johnson had six points and seven boards as well. Ian Keller (five) and Joey Barker (two) rounded out the scoring for Coach Dan DeWerff’s club, who will hopefully be back to 100 percent in the near future.

Nokomis’ next game will be with a familiar foe from postseasons past. The Redskins will take on Madison at 8 p.m. in Nokomis as the Skins’ host the third annual T. Todt Shootout on Friday, Dec. 11.

The eight-game event, which benefits the Montgomery County Cancer Association in memory of local radio legend Terry Todt, begins at 9:30 a.m., with games every hour and a half before culminating with the battle between the Redskins and Trojans.

December 7 at Gillespie

Nokomis 10 11 13 16 50

Gillespie

Nokomis (50) - Elijah Aumann 20, Mason Stauder 10, Ryan Eisenbarth 7, Jake Johnson 6, Ian Keller 5, Joey Barker 2. Totals: 14 20-33 50.

Gillespie (40) - Kamryn Link 15, Tristen Wargo 7, Bryan Jubelt 5, Bryce Buhs 5, Joe Baglin 3, Bryce Hohnsbehn 3, Gavin Griffith 2. Totals: 13 11-18 40.

Three-point field goals: Nokomis 2 (Stauder 1, Keller 1); Gillespie 3 (Wargo 1, Jubelt 1, Link 1).

Record: Nokomis (3-3); Gillespie (0-3).

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