CEDAR RAPIDS — Sure, it allowed everyone the ability to go ‘Whew.’
But Oelwein’s boys’ basketball win two weeks ago against Waukon had to be taken in context. That’s what head coach Nick Schauf kept warning his guys.
“Yeah, it was a relief,” Schauf said. “But if that win against Waukon, if that is our defining moment, we’re going to have a short season of success.”
Oelwein broke a six-year, 76-game Northeast Iowa Conference losing streak against Waukon and will go into the holiday break with a bonafide NEIC winning one. The Huskies beat Decorah and Charles City last week to improve to 3-1 in conference play.
It had won four games in a row going into Thursday night’s non-conference game at Independence. A 5-1 overall record matched last season’s win total.
How victory starved has this program been? Since going 12-10 in 2010-11, Oelwein has not won more than six games in any season and going into this season had a combined record of 27-130.
“This group of seniors we have and some of the other pieces to the puzzle have really meshed well together,” said Schauf, in his 11th season at the school. “These seniors, in particular, played a lot as sophomores, so that kind of experience factor helps out quite a bit. That one or two years of maturity, learning what it takes to compete at the varsity level really helps.”
Schauf felt he had a competitive team last season, but injuries prevented it from jelling. Oelwein went 5-18.
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But so far this winter, the pieces have fit together perfectly. The coach said all of his players have accepted their roles and, obviously, performed them well.
Senior guard Dom Robertson leads the Huskies in scoring (19.3 points per game), with senior guard Dillon Arndt next (11.8). At 6-foot-5, senior Mason Meyer is the only player on the roster taller than 6-2 and averages 11.2 points and 8.7 rebounds a game.
Oelwein’s lone loss was to NEIC juggernaut Waverly-Shell Rock, 73-60.
“We want to approach things that if we win games or lose games, the next day, if we don’t come ready to play or practice, or whatever it is, whatever happened before is kind of obsolete,” Schauf said. “We’ve just got to continue that hunger to get better individually and as a team.
“If we do that, we’re going to like where we’re at at the end of the season. The kids have really bought into that and have worked incredibly hard to this point. Now they’re seeing success.”
The great West escape
A second check Tuesday night showed that Iowa City West’s Patrick McCaffery scored a school-record 42 points in the Class 4A 5th-ranked Trojans’ 68-67 win over Cedar Rapids Washington. McCaffery originally was believed to have scored 41.
That wasn’t necessarily the biggest storyline in the game. Washington held a six-point lead in the final 50 seconds, only to lose it.
West’s Nicholas Pepin stole an inbounds pass under the Washington basket and layed in the winning points with 2.6 seconds left.
It's King Hilmer at North Linn
Outstanding senior guard Jake Hilmer broke North Linn’s school record for career points in a win last week against Maquoketa Valley. With the 24 he added Tuesday night against Ed-Co, the Upper Iowa signee has 1,828 career points.
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Hilmer already has broken the state record for career assists (913) and has 448 career steals as well.
North Linn is 7-0 going into its final pre-holiday game Friday night against East Buchanan and beating opponents by an average of 50.
Trey Shearer helps keep braves rolling
Sophomore guard Trey Shearer poured in 48 points Tuesday night to help Class 1A third-ranked Montezuma past Keota, 83-68. Just for kicks, he added six rebounds, eight assists and a steal.
Shearer averages 24.8 points per game for the Braves (9-0), who play Friday night at English Valleys.
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