Area boys earn postseason accolades
Dickinson County boys basketball teams combined to go 33-35 overall this past season with just one of the three teams finishing over .500 for the season.
For their efforts, several athletes earned postseason recognition from their respective conferences and one athlete was named all-state by the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association.
Here is a look back at this past season in area boys hoops:
Spirit Lake (17-6, 9-3)
|Points Per Game||60.5|
|Reb. Per Game||26.5|
A year ago, the Spirit Lake boys basketball team reloaded after losing Division 1 recruits Billy Brown (University of North Dakota) and Ryan Kriener (University of Iowa) from a state qualifying team, going 17-6 overall and making a run to the district championship. That year, Spirit Lake was led by mostly sophomores and juniors.
The 2017-18 Indians, behind junior Owen Coburn and seniors Alex Van Dyke, Frankie Ramos and Kyler Olsen, equalled their overall record of 17-6. Unfortunately, for the second straight year, Spirit Lake's season was ended by state-qualifier Sergeant Bluff-Luton in the Class 3A district tournament.
"I thought we played a tremendous game from an energy standpoint, from a defensive standpoint, and even on offense; we made a lot of big shots that game," Spirit Lake coach David Smith said following the Indians' loss to the Warriors. "Sergeant Bluff is one heck of a ball club. They have been the hottest team in northwest Iowa down the stretch. We knew what we were up against. They're big. They're strong. They're athletic. They have guys who can shoot it inside and out. Overall, I was pleased with the way we competed. We had a chance there at the end of the game. They made a few shots and we didn't. That's the way basketball works."
Coburn, Van Dyke, Ramos and Olsen each earned All-Lakes Conference recognition for their efforts.
Coburn, a South Dakota State University hoops commit, led the conference in scoring for the second straight season. His 20.1 points per game placed eighth in Class 3A. The 6-10 junior connected at a 65.3 percent clip — the best field goal percentage in Class 3A among players who averaged more than 17 points per game.
Coburn's 11.1 rebounds per game led the conference and placed fourth in Class 3A. His 50 blocks led the conference and placed sixth in Class 3A.
For his effort, Coburn was an IPSWA Class 3A Second Team All-State, Class 3A Substate 1 All-District and a unanimous First Team All-Lakes Conference selection.
Van Dyke was a First Team All-Lakes Conference selection for the second consecutive season and was named to the Class 3A Substate 1 All-District Team after finishing second on the team and eighth in the conference in scoring (12.6). He also averaged 4.4 rebounds per game and finished with 41 assists, 14 steals and 10 blocks.
Ramos was named to an all-conference team for the third time in his career. The senior was named Second Team All-Lakes Conference after averaging 6.4 points and 2.1 rebounds. His 41 steals were the third most in the conference. His 52 assists were the ninth most in the conference.
Olsen was an Honorable Mention All-Lakes Conference selection and earned the Iowa Basketball Coaches Association Team First Award this season.
Olsen led the Indians and was sixth in the Lakes Conference in assists (61). He was second on the team in steals (32).
"There were so many positives throughout the season," Smith said. "In sports, and life, it's a game of ups and downs. It's not what happens to you. It's how you handle what happens to you. We lost a few games along the way. We've had our share of adversity. One thing that I will take with me is that this is a great group of kids. They're a great bunch of young men who are going to do even bigger and better things in their futures. They come from really good families with supportive people who really care about them."
Harris-Lake Park (11-12, 9-7)
|Points Per Game||57.8|
|Reb. Per Game||24.1|
This season, the Wolves tacked on one more victory to their 2016-17 total despite playing through several injuries suffered during the football season, and finished one win shy of a .500 season.
Harris-Lake Park got out to a rough start, going 3-9 through Jan. 9. However, the Wolves picked it up in the second part of the season, winning eight of their last 10 before losing to 10th-ranked South O'Brien in the Class 1A district semifinal.
"We got off to a slow start in the beginning of the season," Harris-Lake Park coach Jeff Sohn said following the Wolves' loss to the Wolverines. "After Christmas, I thought our guys really started to gel together. We got Keegan (Carpenter) 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."
Two Wolves earned postseason recognition, as Bret Sohn and Bubba Sohn were named Second Team All-War Eagle Conference.
Bret, a senior, averaged 13.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per game and finished with 59 assists and 25 steals.
Bubba, a freshman, led the team and was seventh in the conference in scoring at 15 points per game. Bubba was fifth in the conference in steals (52) and tied for sixth in the conference in assists (81).
Okoboji (5-17, 3-15)
|Points Per Game||49.4|
|Reb. Per Game||24.5|
The Pioneers, under first-year coach Ryan Stumbo, tacked two wins onto their total from a year ago, but suffered a familiar — and heartbreaking — end to their season in the district tournament.
For the second time in the last two years, Estherville Lincoln Central's Jacob Heinrichs put the final nail in the Pioneers' coffin.
Last year, Heinrichs nailed a buzzer-beating three-pointer in Inwood to end Okoboji's season. With his team trailing by two in the first round of the district tournament in early February, the Midgets looked to their senior guard once more.
Following an ELC timeout, Heinrichs tripped on his way through a double screen at the top of the key, caught an inbounds pass from teammate Trey Jacobsen while still on the hardwood, maintained his dribble, popped to his feet, avoided the outstretched arms of a Pioneer defender, and sunk an off-balance three-pointer to give his team the one-point victory — all in the span of 3.2 seconds.
It was the Midgets' first lead of the contest.
The clip made its way from Estherville to Bristol, Connecticut.
The Pioneers headed back to Milford in shock.
"This was obviously a very tough way for us to end our year," Okoboji coach Ryan Stumbo said following his team's loss to ELC, "but the ending and outcome of this game does not define us. We took away many valuable lessons throughout the year, and our guys have become better young men as a result. We were extremely proud of the leadership we received from all of our guys tonight. They all fought so hard. Our defensive energy was great and we supported each other on the floor so well. Give credit to Estherville for their continued fight and Jacob Heinrichs for making a play at the end."
Senior Logan Abrahamson was named Honorable Mention All-Siouxland Conference and Academic All-Siouxland Conference.
Abrahamson averaged 11.3 points and 5.3 rebounds on the year while finishing with 73 assists and 41 steals.
Fellow senior Jackson Ahrens was an Academic All-Siouxland Conference selection.