Derek Krogmann and Kyle Kelley each scored 23 points as the West Delaware Hawks defeated the Marion Indians, 70-62, at Seedorff Gymnasium Dec. 21. The win came three nights after the Hawks suffered their first loss of the season, a 40-35 loss to Maquoketa.
Against Marion, the Hawks led 21-18 after a quarter and 37-34 at halftime.
Head coach Matt Uthoff said the win over the Indians came after two great nights of practice. “After the loss to Maquoketa, I was most pleased with our two practices leading up to the Marion game. They were our two best of the year and I think that really says a lot about our guys. Seeing how this team would respond after a loss was kind of the next step in our growth process.”
Uthoff praised Marion, saying, “Marion has a really good team. They spread the floor well and can shoot the ball. We made enough plays down the stretch and got better offensive flow tonight. All around it was a pretty solid game for our guys.”
Uthoff commented on the defensive effort of Gavin Soppe. “It’s something that never shows up in the box score, but Gavin did a tremendous job defensively this week. Tuesday he held Abe Becker from Maquoketa to 14 points and he’s averaging over 20 a game. Against Marion, he held their guard to 13, six points below his average.”
Other scores were: Logan Woellert 10, Eric Salow and Logan Winn four, Blake DeMoss three and Jamison Smith two.
West Delaware is 7-1 at the holiday break, and Uthoff said their focus with holiday practices is simple. “We just want to focus on getting better. We will work on some individual skill development and continue to fine-tune some things. I’m really pleased with where this team is right now.”
The game against Maquoketa featured two ranked teams, as Maquoketa entered the game ranked No. 2 in Class 3A, while the Hawks were ranked No. 3.
Maquoketa led 9-8 after the first quarter and held the Hawks to 12 first-half points. Maquoketa led 20-12 at halftime.
West Delaware trailed 30-20 heading into the fourth quarter.
Kelley was fouled on a drive with 2:18 left in the contest, making the basket. After he converted the free throw, the Maquoketa lead was cut to 37-35.
Maquoketa knocked down three free throws in the final minute to seal the win.
“Maquoketa did a great job of putting defensive pressure on our perimeter guys and kind of forcing us out of rhythm,” Uthoff said. “I thought we lacked offensive flow for quite a while tonight.”
He said both teams defended very well. “If you had asked me if we could limit a team with Maquoketa’s offensive talents to 40 points, I’ll take that 100 times out of 100. This was a fun, hard-nosed rugged WaMaC East basketball game.”
Statistical leaders were: points — Derek Krogmann 15, Kelley 11, DeMoss three, Woellert, Winn and Mitch Krogmann two; rebounds — Derek Krogmann 20, Kelley four, Woellert, Winn and Soppe three; assists — Kelley, Woellert and Derek Krogmann two.