Wolves fall in district semifinal
Harris-Lake Park's basketball season came to an end Tuesday, Feb. 20, in a district semifinal matchup with 10th-ranked South O'Brien. The Wolves fell 69-40 to the Wolverines in Paullina.
"We just struggled defensively again against those guys," Harris-Lake Park coach Jeff Sohn said. "We let (Peyton) Brasser and (Carson) Louscher just kind of take advantage of us inside. We really didn't have an answer for them. They exploited us inside again and they were able to really jam the ball inside and finished well. You've got to give them credit, but we didn't execute very well defensively. Offensively, we got stagnant at times and, the next thing you know, a five-point lead turns into a 12-point lead and it got away from us. It was disappointing. I thought we had a really good shot. For whatever reason, things just didn't work out for us."
The Wolves trailed by just two points after one quarter, but South O'Brien opened up a 13-point halftime lead with a 15-4 score in the second quarter. From there, it was all Wolverines, as they outscored Harris-Lake Park 18-12 in the third quarter and 23-13 in the final stanza.
Bubba Sohn led the Wolves with 11 points on the night.
Bret Sohn had nine points. Bryce Perkins had nine points, six rebounds, two steals and a block. Keegan Carpenter had four points, five rebounds and a block for the Wolves, who end their season with an 11-12 overall record despite winning just three of their first 12 games of the year.
"We got off to a slow start in the beginning of the season," Sohn said. "After Christmas, I thought our guys really started to gel together. We got Keegan back in the mix and I thought that was really big. It just made us a little bit tougher, a little deeper, and it definitely led us to be playing our best basketball in the last 8-10 games. Our guys improved as the season went on. We played well as a team for the most part. It was a fun group of guys to coach."
That group includes seniors Bryce Perkins, Trevor Gunderson, Keegan Carpenter and Bret Sohn.
"They're just four guys who have great attitudes and are very coachable," Coach Sohn said of his seniors. "I've been working with these guys, with the exception of Keegan, since they were third-graders. It's been a lot of fun. The parents have been extremely supportive. It's been a great experience. Obviously, you lose four guys who you've been very close to for so long, it's definitely an emotional time. When one of them is your own son, that makes it double. It was a great experience. It was fun. I enjoyed it and I'll miss them."
With no juniors returning next season, the Wolves will rely heavily on underclassmen when they return to the hardwood for the 2018-19 season.
"We've got five guys with a lot of experience coming back," Coach Sohn said. "We're just going to have to get some of those other guys who were mainly JV players to devote some time in the weight room and on the court and to develop and mature into solid basketball players for us. The cupboard is not bare, but it's definitely going to take a lot of work. We're going to be young next year. We're going to have to have some of our sophomores step up and be leaders. It will be a lot of fun and we'll see what we're made of here."