Beckman boys’ basketball team is back and running with a vengeance. At Maquoketa Jan. 19, the Blazers scored double figures in three of four quarters to win 62-56. They ended the week Jan. 23 with a comeback win against Waukon at home, 70-65. Between the two, they dropped a heart-breaker, 49-46, to Marion at home Jan. 22, to stand at 9-5 on the year.
The last quarter of their last game last week saw them dump 19 points and that continued to this week. They scored 18 in the first, holding the Cardinals to 10, and 20 in the second for a 38-21 halftime lead.
Maquoketa cut that margin some in the third quarter when they held the Blazers to a measly three and dumped 14 of their own to make it 41-35 to start the final frame.
But both teams scored 21 fourth-quarter points to keep the Blazers on top for the first time in five games. Even better the Blazers got scoring from every one of the eight players they put on the floor during the game.
Coach Michael Molony stated, “After defeating them in December, we knew they’d want one back and we were going to need to play better. We started to fit into our roles much better. Our first half was probably the most complete basketball we played all season. Once we got scoring, we kept getting stops and a late run put us up 17 at the half.
“We kind of reverted to some poor decision making and shot selection to end the third which gave them some confidence, but down the stretch we kept our poise and closed the game at the line. This was a big win for us.”
Individual stat leaders included: scoring — Padraig Gallagher 22 (three treys), Jake Hermsen nine, Cayden Gassmann eight (two), Logan Burchard seven (two), Logan Goedken six (one), Ryan Burchard (one) and Jack Gehling four, Nate Schaefer two; rebounds — Gallagher 10, Hermsen eight, Goedken six, Gehling four, Logan Burchard three, Schaefer two, Ryan Burchard one; steals — Logan Burchard three, Goedken, Schaefer, Gallagher, Hermsen, Gehling one; blocks — Gallagher two; assists — Gallagher three, Goedken, Schaefer, Hermsen, Gehling, Logan Burchard two; turnovers — 12.
Marion came to town on Jan. 22 and put the team back into the loss column with a hard-fought 49-46 battle.
The largest lead either team owned was the Blazers’ 7-0 start to the game that included a lay-up for Hermsen, free throws and a trey from Gallagher.
“We knew we wanted to play much better than we did there earlier when they cost us our first loss,” Molony said. “They provide a unique matchup with their quickness. We did a pretty good job at times stopping their dribble-drive but at critical times, we just couldn’t get the stop. We made a lot of key shots and found shooters to keep us in there but those key stops would have forced them to play under a little more pressure.
“We hadn’t been in many close late-game situations yet and we did a really good job absorbing the game but not quite understanding the moments and the execution it requires. But I am happy we continue to compete our butts off.”
Individual stats include: scoring — Gallagher 15 (two), Gehling 11 (one), Goedken eight (two), Burchard (one) and Hermsen six; rebounds — Gehling, Hermsen and Gallagher six, Logan Burchard five, Goedken and Schaefer two; blocks — Hermsen and Goedken one; steals — Logan Burchard two, Gehling and Goedken one; assists — Gallagher four, Gehling three, Hermsen and Goedken two, Schaefer one; turnovers — 16.
After the first quarter of their game with Waukon, Jan. 23, it didn’t look good for the home team. Waukon (10-5) was racing and gunning their way to a 20-9 lead by the quarter break, beginning with a three and banking one off the glass at the buzzer.
They also added the first four points of the second quarter, but then the Blazers began to turn it around. Gehling and Goedken hit, then Gehling and Hermsen dropped 4-of-6 at the line and Gallagher drove the lane for six straight and a 24-19 difference. By half, after another last-second banked three, it was Indians 31-24.
The third quarter was all Blazers, outscoring the Indians 21-13. They gave up the first basket but answered that with two, went score for score but still trailed 40-32 when Schaefer and Gallagher converted one-of-two to cut it to 40-36. Waukon’s Braxton Stewart put back a miss but Gehling hit a turnaround in the lane and Gallagher drilled a three to make it 42-41 with just under two minutes showing. Gallagher ended the quarter with four unanswered, scoring off the inbounds and draining two free throws for a 45-44 lead.
Gallagher opened the last with a three, Goedken added a two after scrambling around the floor for the ball and it was 50-44. Stewart hit again but the Blazers counted at the bonus line for 5-of-6 and a 60-49 lead with half of the frame left.
Waukon didn’t roll over — they stole the ball twice and converted and added a three and a couple free throws to cut the margin to 62-60 with less than a minute. Goedken got free for a lay-in, answered by free throws from Andy Osmonson and it remained two points, 64-62. Gallagher was fouled going in for a lay-up and made it three more, for a game-high total of 30, 67-62, with 25 seconds to go.
Waukon’s leading scorer Braden Heman (24) drilled another trey, 67-65, and Goedken hit the bonus line for one of two, 68-65, with 14 seconds to go. A battle on the floor under the Waukon basket ended with Gehling holding the ball and calling time. Logan Burchard sealed the game with two free throws.
“We knew we were going to see a team much like the WaMaC teams due to their strong athletic culture plus coming off the state football championship. They were a unique mix of size, strength and athletic ability that we have yet to see.
“While we fell down early we figured out their pressure defense and attacked it better. We were really proud of how we came back, and if it wasn’t for a late buzzer three in each quarter, we would have had the halftime lead.
“We made their lives more difficult in the third and forced them to play a more slowed down game. Our poise at the line was outstanding and we made a lot of really big free throws. While late-game pressure got to us and our decision making started to wane, we kept taking our chances and attacking the hoop, leading to a lot of good shots.
“We showed the most toughness all year in this one and decided we weren’t going to back down when it seemed like we couldn’t get a thing to go our way.”
Individual stats: scoring — Gallagher 30 (three, 7-of-9 at the line), Gehling 13, Logan Burchard 10 (one, 5-of-6), Goedken nine, Schaefer and Hermsen three, Ryan Burchard two; rebounds — Gehling 10, Gallagher eight, Goedken six, Schaefer four, Logan Burchard three, Hermsen two; blocks – Hermsen and Goedken one; steals — Goedken three, Schaefer two, Gehling, Ryan Burchard and Cayden Gassmann one; assists— Goedken six, Schaefer three, Gehling and Logan Burchard two, Hermsen one; turnovers — 13.