ANAMOSA - It’s not every year Anamosa boys basketball fans get to witness what played out on the court Saturday, Jan. 9, hosting a very talented Mid-Prairie team.
Heck, it doesn’t even happen every decade, so Raider fans certainly rejoiced in the victory that saw Anamosa junior Grahm Humpal toss a put-back shot up and through the hoop a mere fraction of a second before the final horn sounded.
Though Golden Hawk fans certainly disagreed with the officials’ decision that the shot should have indeed counted.
“I’m not sure where to start,” said Anamosa boys basketball coach Kevin Barnes, as Humpal’s heroics shocked Mid-Prairie players, coaches and fans, who bereded officials as they ran off the floor, handing the Raiders an incredible 50-48 victory.
“We have talked since break about the ball finds energy. Sam’s (Wilt) shot was a little short, Andrew (Morris) attacked the boards and appeared to get just enough of the rebound to deflect it right to Grahm, who was charging hard from the wing. Understanding the desperation of time, he grabbed it and shot it all in one motion. It was just a great play.”
With the score tied at 48-48, Anamosa (6-4, 2-2) held the ball for the game’s final 2:57 to set up Wilt for the game-winning shot attempt.
“Our intent was not to hold it for that entire time, but our kids did a great job of decision making,” Barnes said. “With 17-seconds to go we called a timeout and the kids just willed themselves to victory. It was just a great effort.”
Holding a narrow 41-39 lead entering the final frame, Caleb Otting drilled a 3-pointer before Wilt added a field goal and a free throw giving the hosts a 47-41 advantage. After the Mid-Prairie bench was whistled for a technical foul at the 5:09 mark, a Wilt free throw pushed the Anamosa lead to seven points at 48-41.
But the Golden Hawks weren’t about to go away that quietly.
Carter Harmsen drilled a 3-pointer and two free throws while Will Cavanagh added a field goal during a minute-and-a-half 7-0 run that saw Mid-Prairie tie the score at 48-48 with 2:57 to play.
Amazingly, it would be the final shot the visitors would get in the game.
“Leading up to that final shot, we had so many guys contribute along the way,” Barnes said. “The second half just had a tournament type feel to it. Every possession was intense and both teams really battled. We had some big plays made in that second half, but for us it started just before the half.
“Seth (Schoon) gave us a huge lift on the defensive end coming in with great energy and then knocked down a three, followed by a Grahm three and the lead was down to four at the half (30-26). Then Trae (Klatt) took over the first three minutes of the second half. He had a bucket and two steals, one that led to another bucket and the other to a 3-pointer by Sam and we had the lead.”
Jake Jess drilled huge back-to-back treys during the Raiders’ third quarter run and when Klatt converted at the rim with two-seconds left, it was Anamosa holding a two-point advantage heading into the final frame.
Wilt led all scorers tallying 16 points for the hosts while Humpal came through with 11 more.
“I thought this was Sam’s most complete game as a varsity basketball player,” Barnes said. “He was just really, really good on both ends of the court.”
The Raiders opened their week Tuesday, Jan. 5, pulling away from visiting North Cedar taking a 65-54 triumph.
“This was a ‘grind it out’ type win,” said Barnes, as his team out-scored the Knights 26-19 in the fourth quarter.
“I thought we were good on the defensive end all night long. I was really proud of our guys. We have been working so hard on pressuring all 84-feet for 32-minutes. I thought we were as close as we have been to that all season long.”
The scoring started slow with Anamosa holding an 11-7 lead after one frame before a 12-8 run in the second stanza had the hosts up 23-15 at the half.
“We got off to a good start, which is something we have been trying to work on with our guys,” Barnes said. “Then we just hit a lull. After leading 11-3 at the four-minute mark in the first, we were tied 11-11 at the six-minute mark of the second. But we got it going a bit before the half to push the lead to eight.”
The Knights got back into the game going on a 20-16 third quarter spurt to pull to within four points at the horn (39-35), but clutch free throw shooting by the Raiders over the game’s final couple of minutes sealed the River Valley Conference victory.
“We were 14-of-17 from the free throw line in the last two-and-a-half minutes of the game,” Barnes said. “That was very impressive. We played without Trae again in this game and I thought we really had kids step up. Grahm was really good, not only having a career high, but how he got them. He scored several of those baskets at the rim.”
Humpal poured in a career-best 18 points while adding five assists and four steals to his outstanding stat-line. Wilt added 14 points while Jess had 10. Morris was huge on the glass ripping down 15 rebounds while also scoring 11 points as Anamosa shot 51-percent from the field overall.
The Raiders were at class 2A fifth-ranked Camanche Friday, Jan. 8, and after two challenging quarters against the talented Indians, succumbed to a 76-49 setback.
“We did not score for the first five minutes of the game,” Barnes said. “Finally, Andrew knocked down a three and we were down 12-3 at the time.”
Camanche stretched that advantage to 17-5 at the horn before Anamosa began to work themselves back into the game going on a 21-14 second quarter run that had the visitors down just 31-26 at the half.
“Our kids did not panic,” Barnes said. “We battled our tails off and got it back to 24-22 just before the half. We got off to a good start in the third quarter, too. Trae hit back-to-back lay-ups and the score was 36-32.”
Then the Indians took over again, holding Anamosa scoreless for the game’s next six minutes.
The hosts went on a game-changing 27-6 third quarter spurt to take a commanding 58-32 advantage into the final frame.
“We just couldn’t make shots,” Barnes said. “I felt bad for our kids. We did a lot of good things and we made a lot of good plays, we just didn’t make any baskets. As hot as Camanche was, we weren’t. It was just one of those nights.”
Wilt’s 16 points led the Raiders while Klatt added nine more.