NORFOLK — The chemistry between Crofton graduates Kelsey Sanger and Monica Arens proved too strong at the Northeast Nebraska All-Star Girls Basketball Game.
They led the Dark team to a 73-46 win.
Coached by former Cedar Catholic coach Robb Koerting, the Dark team started the game hot with a 15-2 start.
“Monica and Kelsey are fantastic players,” said Koerting. “I’ve needed to prepare for games against them for the past four years, so getting to coach them was a real treat.”
There were no Cedar Catholic girls on either team, but the Light team hosted Hartington-Newcastle graduate Sophie Noecker, and Wynot graduate Cortney Arkfeld.
Arkfeld scored 11 points, and was named the most valuable player for the Light team. She started the game, and needed to cover Sanger most of the night.
“It was fun playing good competition, and obviously they were a good team because everyone here is good,” said Arkfeld. “Kelsey is a great player, and she was really fun to guard. It was really tough.”
Sophie Noecker also had her hands full on defense guarding Stanton’s MacKenzie Brandl, who was recently named the Lincoln Journal Star’s Girls High School Athlete of the Year.
Noecker had a stellar year defensively, averaging over six steals per game, but Brandl is a four time state track champion.
“She is extremely fast, and that made her tough to guard, but the entire experience today was really fun,” said Noecker.
Having just one day to practice before the game, the girls were able to try new things, and made it have the fun of a pick-up game with the talent of an All-Star Game.
“We practiced for about an hour and a half yesterday, and we put in what offense and defense we were running,” said Arkfeld. “Oh and we decided to shoot that half court shot.”
Arkfeld smiled as she referenced the half-court shot that was taken after the Light team won the opening tipoff.
The girls got to enjoy one last high school game, and all that were interviewed mentioned how special it was to wear their high school uniform one last time.
DARK 21 14 19 19 73
LIGHT 7 18 15 6 46
DARK ALL-STARS: MacKenzie Brandl, Stanton 1-2 0-2 3; Morgan Frauendorfer, Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family 2-5 0-0 5; Rachel Stewart, North Central, 0-9 1-4 1; Elizabeth Watchorn, Ponca, 1-1 0-0 3; Hattie Blumenstock, St. Mary’s, 4-8 0-0 8; Taylor Colman, St. Mary’s, 2-4 2-2 7; Monica Arens, Crofton, 2-8 2-2 6; Sarah Castaneda, Bloomfield, 4-6 0-0 8; Kelsey Sanger, Crofton, 3-7 2-2 8; Maddie Knobbe, Guardian Angels Central Catholic, 8-11 0-0 17.
LIGHT ALL-STARS: Harlee Fischer, Stuart, 4-6 0-0 8; Kori Fischer, South Sioux City, 0-4 0-0 0; Jacie Laetsch, Chambers/Wheeler Central, 0-3 2-2 2; Sam Brester, Howells-Dodge, 1-5 4-5 6; Sophie Noecker, Hartington-Newcastle, 1-4 0-0 2; Baylee Wemhoff, Elgin Public/Pope John, 2-7 1-2 6; Cortney Arkfeld, Wynot, 5-7 0-0 11; Kamryn Anderson, Pender, 0-5 2-4 2; Jenna Jochum, Norfolk, 3-7 0-0 6; Carissa Powell, South Sioux City, 0-2 0-0 0.
NORFOLK — High school players from around the area competed in the Northeast Nebraska All-Star Basketball Game Friday, putting on a show for the spectators.
There were many impressive performances, but David Wingett of Winnebago stole the show.
Wingett scored 42 points and had 15 rebounds in an impressive display. Wingett played center at Winnebago, but showed he can fill a forward position next year at the Charlotte Basketball Academy, as he nailed seven three pointers.
“It was great being able to show my talents and play against all these guys that I have faced in high school,” said Wingett.
Wingett led the Light team to a 130-89 win, and he got everyone involved throughout the game. Jalen Wieseler, of Wynot, showed why he was lethal from downtown this year, hitting some shots that were from way behind the line.
“I hit a three one possession, and when we came back down Wingett pointed at where I shot from last time and he told me to shoot it again,” said Wieseler. “There wasn’t any set up for it, I just took the shot again.”
Wingett kept feeding the ball to Wieseler, and he kept making them. Wieseler finished with a double-double, as well, with 29 points, 11 rebounds. Those rebound numbers were impressive considering so much of the game was played above the rim.
Jayden Reifenrath, Cole Moes, Logan Strom, Christian Eisenhauer, Jake Young, David Wingett, and Caleb Gebhardt all attempted dunks, and all battled hard for rebounds the entire night.
Cole Moes, Osmond, hit for 17 points and won the most valuable player award for the Dark team. He was able to stay under the radar, as he hovered near the corners, and then crashed hard for the rebounds.
“It felt great to get back out there one last time, even though we lost that badly,” said Moes. “It was great playing with so many people that can dunk and grab rebounds above the rim.
Moes may not have gotten his dunk, but teammate Jayden Reifenrath of LCC not only threw one down of his own, but he blocked Wingett and other Light All-Stars multiple times.
“It was great to be out there,” said Reifenrath. “Everyone on the floor is really good so it made it a great time.”
Only one player selected to the teams was unable to play in the All-Star event. Stephen Hillis of Cedar Catholic chose to sit out after he rolled his ankle the previous week while practicing for the All-Star Football game. Hills is playing football for the Air Force Academy starting this Fall, and he starts basic training on June 29. He said that not playing was the smart decision but he would have loved to be out there competing.
The boys played a phenomenal game despite only having one day to practice with each other. Luckily they all seemed pretty familiar with each other and it obviously wasn’t their first time on the same team.
“A lot of us have played together on summer teams or on AAU teams so that definitely made it easier,” said Moes.
Dark 9 17 35 28 — 89
Light 35 25 37 33 — 130
DARK ALL-STARS: Christian Eisenhauer (Norfolk) 1 2-2 5, Grant White (Neligh-Oakdale) 3 0-1 7, Travis Larson (Norfolk) 2 2-2 7, Grayson McBride 3 2-2 8, Jayden Reifenrath (Laurel-Concord-Coleridge) 2 0-0 5, Cole Moes (Osmond) 7 2-2 17, Payten Gamble (Wayne) 5 0-0 13, Tyson Belitz (Neligh-Oakdale) 3 4-4 11, Logan Strom (Norfolk) 3 0-0 6, Caleb Rihanek (Boyd County) 3 2-2 9.
LIGHT ALL-STARS: Riley Berner (Lutheran High NE) 2 2-2 6, Josh Cuddy (St. Mary’s) 0 0-0 0, Jake Young (O’Neill) 6 0-0 15, Jalen Wieseler (Wynot) 11 0-1 29, Tyler Regan (O’Neill) 2 1-1 5, Kobe Slaughter (Guardian Angels Central Catholic) 2 0-0 4, Caleb Gebhardt (Lutheran High Northeast) 6 0-0 15, Logan Nordhues (Randolph) 6 2-2 16, David Wingett (Winnebago) 15 5-6 42, Stephen Hillis (Cedar Catholic) DNP.