CENTRAL CITY - Having one of the top offenses in the entire state of Iowa, regardless of class, the Springville boys’ basketball team is more than accustomed to putting up points in a hurry.
But what the class 1A fifth-ranked Orioles accomplished at rival Central City Friday, Jan. 15, was an entirely new level of impressive.
“I think our guys were really looking forward to our Central City game after they got us last year in overtime late in the season,” said Springville boys basketball coach Nick Merritt, as the Oriole offense flowed with amazing precision and power posting an emphatic 100-33 victory over an outmanned Wildcats’ club.
“Central City has a young team this year, but I was impressed with how hard they played. In this one, our experience and pace of play really won out and we were able to get a lot of easy buckets around the hoop.”
Springville (14-1, 6-1) seemed to score almost at will against the Wildcats, who were completely helpless against an Oriole offensive juggernaut that poured in an incredible 39 first quarter points while their defense also did the job holding the hosts to a mere five in the opening frame.
Alex Koppes, Luke Menster, Bryce Wilson, Rhenden Wagaman and Jack Hoogland powered the incredible first quarter attack while the team kept the pressure on in the second stanza as well going on a 24-15 run to lead 63-20 at the half.
Menster was unstoppable scoring 22 of his career-high equaling 31 points in the first half as Springville led 87-27 through three frames before Merritt emptied his bench.
Menster added seven rebounds, four assists and four steals to his phenomenal all-around stat-line while Koppes added 19 points, eight assists and seven steals. Wagaman finished with 18 points and four steals while Wilson added 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
As a team the Orioles tallied an amazing 25 steals in the game and shot 62-percent from the field with Menster connecting on 14 of his 18 shots in the game.
Springville opened their busy week with a lopsided 60-35 triumph over visiting Maquoketa Valley Tuesday, Jan. 12, but early on it didn’t appear the game would end that way for the Orioles.
“Maquoketa Valley has a really nice team and has been playing well this year,” said Merritt, as his team struggled to score through much of the first quarter and a half before the Springville offense got humming late in the second stanza.
“They have some really solid shooters and when they are on, they are a very dangerous team. We knew we were going to have to come out and play well, unfortunately for us, it was Maquoketa Valley who came out and hit four 3’s in the first quarter and had us down early after we shot the ball poorly and made a lot of mistakes.”
Thankfully, the poor shooting didn’t last, and once the Orioles started seeing the ball go through the hoop, points seemed to come faster than a blink of the eye.
Springville trailed 12-11 at the first quarter horn and four minutes into the second stanza still trailed 12-11 before the team took the lid off the rim and started scoring in classic Oriole style.
Springville closed the second quarter on a 17-2 run and never looked back leading 28-14 at the half and then continued it through the third quarter as well, leading 48-21 entering the final frame.
“After regrouping, our defensive intensity really picked up and about halfway through the second we started to take control scoring 12 points in about two minutes,” Merritt said. “From there we did a nice job of maintaining our defensive intensity and did well contesting their shots throughout the game.”
Wagaman led the balanced offense scoring 15 points while Menster added 14 more. Koppes tallied 13 points and five steals while Wilson chipped in with eight points, eight rebounds and five assists in another outstanding all-around performance.
The Orioles wrapped their busy week with yet another amazing offensive and defensive showcase, cruising to a 98-24 rout hosting Clarksville Saturday, Jan. 16.
“In the second of back-to-back games, our guys did another good job of pushing the tempo and getting a lot of easy looks, as evidenced by our shooting percentage,” said Merritt, as his team was a scorching hot 63-percent from the field overall.
“We continued to play good team ball finding the open guy when possible. We also created a lot of turnovers and had 31 steals as a team which was a result of our effort on the defensive end.”
Springville topped their whopping 39-point first quarter performance less than 24 hours earlier against Central City with a 41-point effort against the Indians and led 41-8 after one quarter and 63-17 at the half.
Koppes was unstoppable pouring in 29 of his game-high 36 points in the first half, including an incredible 21 in the opening quarter alone.
The Orioles held Clarksville scoreless in the third quarter going on a 21-0 spurt and led 84-17 at the horn.
Koppes added a career-high 12 steals while Wagaman scored 17 points. Menster also tallied a double-double scoring 16 points to go with 10 rebounds. Springville got a lot of play off their bench as well as Dylan DeMean scored nine as the bench tallied 19 points overall in the game with Tommy Hagensick coming through with six more.