Heavy-hearted Wagner leads CougarsSOUTH HEART — Friday night inside the South Heart High School gymnasium, senior forward Channing Wagner stepped on the court with a heavy heart and a mind full of memories.
By: Kyle Smith, The Dickinson Press
SOUTH HEART — Friday night inside the South Heart High School gymnasium, senior forward Channing Wagner stepped on the court with a heavy heart and a mind full of memories.
Lead by Wagner’s game-high 18 points, the Heart River boys basketball team took down District 13 opponent Mott-Regent, 78-66.
“This game really speaks to the character of that young man (Wagner),” Heart River first year head coach Greg Pruitt said. “I for one am really proud of him.”
After receiving a hug from each of his teammates, the Cougars dedicated the game to Wagner’s grandmother, Kay Armbrust, who passed away on Wednesday.
“It felt great to have the guys behind me,” Wagner said in a somber, yet proud tone.
Mott-Regent, however, was going to make them earn the victory and every point leading up to it.
The Wildfire jumped out to an early seven-point lead, kicked off by senior point guard Luke Honeyman’s 3-pointer from the corner and a technical foul call on Heart River’s Jared Schoch, which allotted the Wildfire two uncontested free throws.
The first half was controlled by Mott-Regent and 6-foot-2 forward Chad Mosbrucker, and it lead 19-14 at the end of the first quarter.
Mott-Regent lead by as many as seven points numerous times in the first half before Heart River applied a full-court press.
“We pride ourselves on being a 84-foot defense that uses the whole court,” Pruitt said.
The change proved to be what Heart River needed, as they regained the lead early in the third quarter and never trailed again.
“Give them credit,” Mott-Regent head coach Donald Schaible said. “They forced us into some bad
situations and took us out of our game.”
Jordan Strecker had 16 points for the Cougars. Daniel Mehrer added 15 and Dalton O’Brien had 10.
Mosbrucker lead Mott-Regent with 15 points and Honeyman had 14. The Cougars limited Honeyman to just four second-half points.
Sophomore McCahen Schweitzer gave the Wildfire a bit of hope in the fourth quarter as he hit three 3-pointers, the last of which cut Heart River’s lead to 76-66 with 59 seconds left. However, Mott-Regent never scored again.
With the victory, Heart River improved to 6-6 overall and 3-1 in the district.
Mott-Regent dropped to 0-3 in District 13 and 7-6 overall.
“It was extremely important for us to play well tonight,” Pruitt said. “We knew we had to bring it and give it all we had.”
MR 19 35 43 66
HR 14 30 55 78
MR: Chad Mosbrucker 15, Luke Honeyman 14, McCahen Schweitzer 9, Nate Fries 8, Jon Carlson 7, Tanner Vesledahl 6, Justin Herner 3, Jonah Honeyman 2, Aaron Keller 2
HR: Channing Wagner 18, Jordan Strecker 16, Daniel Mehrer 15, Dalton O’Brien 10, Jared Schoch 7, Sean Johnson 4, Jordan Zarak 2, Zach Krivoruchka 2, Eric Taylor 2, Seth Ewoniuk 2.
3-pointers: Schweitzer 3, Honeyman 1, Schoch 1, O’Brien 1, Mehrer 1. Free throws: MR 13-25, HR 13-21. Total fouls: MR 17, HR 22. Technical fouls: Schoch. Fouled out: Johnson.