Boys' basketball: Jaguars have look of state champ in win over AshbyA match-up of two undefeated teams turned into a rout for BBE
By: Eric Morken, Alexandria Echo Press
A clash of two unbeaten teams that reside in the same subsection is supposed to be filled with drama down to the wire.
Fans that showed up to see second-ranked Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa take on an 8-0 Ashby team didn’t get that on Monday night. Instead, they saw a dominant performance put on by the Jaguars in a 72-27 win over the Arrows. If the defending Class A state champs still had to send a message to the rest of the 6A field, consider it done.
“I think it shows that we come out to play every game,” junior forward Billy Borgerding said. “We’re up to the challenge of competing against everyone. It was a big statement game tonight.”
This team has all the pieces in place to make another run at a state title. The Jaguars put together a magical season last winter on their way to a perfect 33-0 record. Now 11 games into this season, that unbeaten streak sits at 44 games.
Ashby was the only other team in the south subsection with an undefeated record still intact heading into Monday night. The Arrows were able to stay within single digits early before the final 8 minutes, 52 seconds of the half were dominated by B-B-E. The Jaguars outscored the Arrows 26-5 during that stretch. That gave them a 48-16 lead at the break. The 45-point win was their largest margin of victory of the season.
“I thought we would keep it much closer than that outcome,” Ashby head coach Jeremy Knick said. “We only shot about 15 percent, which is very low, especially for us. The right guys for us were shooting the ball. It just wasn’t going in, and when you miss against them, you are constantly working hard on defense and that is not a good thing.”
The Arrows shot just 7-of-43 from the field. Senior J.P. Moe and junior Blake Ohren both had 10 points, but no other player had more than two. Senior forward Tanner Langlie was never a factor in the game after going to the bench with three fouls in the first half. He finished with just two points and four rebounds.
“I don’t think the 16 percent shooting was a product of their defense as much as it was us just having an off night,” Knick said. “I think J.P. Moe was especially proof of that. He has had many great shooting nights this year and in seasons past, but his shot was all over the place last night, and I thought he had good looks.”
The Jaguars had no such problems on offense. They got out in transition for a lot of easy buckets, but their half-court offense is a clinic on what it means to move without the basketball. The opposition has to exert all its energy fighting through screens and trying to keep the Jaguars from getting clean looks around the basket.
The Arrows simply couldn’t keep up. Ten different players scored for B-B-E as the Jaguars shot 56 percent from the field (29-of-51). Junior guard Brian Goodwin led the way with 19, while Borgerding added 15 and three others finished with at least seven.
“We never like to stand around,” Goodwin said. “We’re always moving. We just always find the open guy and love to contribute to the team.”
That unselfishness is fueled by a common goal of getting back to the state tournament.
“That’s always the goal,” Goodwin said. “To get back to the state tournament, so our goals are pretty big. We’re pretty motivated. Coach always tells us to stay humble, though, so that’s what we try to do.”
Ashby might be one of the teams standing in their way on the Jaguars’ path come tournament time. If these two teams do meet again, the Arrows know a lot will have to go differently if they want to give themselves a chance.
“Obviously, shooting the ball better and finishing around the rim,” Knick said. “But the big key will be slowing the game down. They are too good and deep to get into a running game with. We need to set the pace, not them.”
ASHBY 16 11 – 27
B-B-E 48 24 – 72
ASHBY – Ohren – 10 points, 4 rebounds, 3 blocks; Moe – 10 points; Langlie – 2 points, 4 rebounds; Jeff Berglund – 2 points; Gage Olson – 2 points; Morgan Wing – 1 point
B-B-E SCORING – Alex Wosmek – 8; Trey Heinsius – 9; Goodwin – 19; David Rodgers – 4; Adam Heinze – 2; James Kuefler – 7; Jordan Wosmek – 2; Borgerding – 15; Alex Schumann – 2; Nick Benton – 4