ANAMOSA - Coming off a tough three-game stretch just a week earlier that saw his team go 1-2 going against some top quality opponents, Anamosa boys basketball coach Kevin Barnes wanted to see his team create a little momentum heading into the Christmas break hosting Wilton Tuesday, Dec. 22.
The Raiders did more than just generate momentum during a resounding 70-42 win over the Beavers.
“What a great way to head into the break,” said Barnes as his team watched Wilton score the game’s first six points before completely taking control of the contest going on a 17-5 run to end the opening frame.
“We were just really good in all aspects of the game. We got off to a slow start, which was really my only complaint of the night. But not long after we really got it going.”
Anamosa (4-2, 1-1) got on the board when Sam Wilt drilled a long 3-point basket at the 4:47 mark of the first quarter, and from that point on not only would points come flowing seemingly with ease for the hosts, but they would also come at a premium for the Beavers who struggled to get open shots against the aggressive Raider defense the rest of the way.
“I never scoreboard watch, but at one time one of my assistants let me know we were in danger of getting to the running clock in the first half,” Barnes said. “It’s just rare that you can get that big of a lead that early in a high school basketball game, and against a respectable team, too.”
And after the opponent scores the first six points of the game and after the hosts don’t score a single point for nearly the first four minutes.
A Jake Jess 3-pointer kept the Anamosa first quarter scoring barrage going before Caleb Otting, Trae Klatt, Andrew Morris and Wilt added more field goals as the Raiders led 17-11 at the horn.
The run not only continued through the second stanza as well, but the rest of the night as Jess opened the second eight-minute stretch with another trey handing the hosts a 20-11 advantage before Wilt and Grahm Humpal added two more as Anamosa stretched their lead to 30-13 at the 4:55 mark of the second quarter.
The Raider defense was as impressive as the offense holding Wilton to a mere two points during a blistering four-minute stretch that saw the hosts go on an impressive 14-2 run.
Morris, Otting and Wilt kept the Anamosa barrage going as the run stretched to 25-4 before the hosts led 42-19 at the half.
The Raiders would make sure the Beavers never got back into game after the break as well as 3-pointers from Humpal and Jess, along with two-point baskets from Wilt and Klatt had Anamosa leading by 26 (54-28) before the hosts settled on a 54-30 lead at the third quarter horn.
A Seth Schoon trey to open the fourth quarter gave the Raiders their biggest lead of the night, at that point, at 30 (60-30) as the team cruised to the finish as Barnes emptied his bench, but it didn’t stop the flow of offense as Justin Tjaden hit the last of Anamosa’s 10 total 3-pointers in the 28-point blowout.
“I could not be more proud of our guys,” Barnes said. “25 baskets on 21 assists. That is really a great compliment to just how we are playing. The ball is really starting to move and find the open guy leading to balanced scoring and we’re also becoming a harder and harder team to defend.”
Wilt led that balanced offensive attack against Wilton scoring 14 points while Morris added 10 more. Jess drilled three treys and finished with nine points while Zorrion Robertson chipped in with eight off the bench. Klatt, Humpal and Otting all added six points each for the offense.
“We talked early on that we’re seeing more good than bad, and now that we’re seeing a lot more good than bad, our hope is that will be the trend coming back after break,” Barnes said. “I just couldn’t be more proud of this group of guys.”