Landon Geary got his first start of the season and made the most of it, with a career game – 19 points and 7 rebounds. His performance led the boys to their first win of the season, as they beat Irene-Wakonda 59-44 on the road Jan. 12.
The Huskies started hot, using a 12-0 run in the first quarter to take a 24-8 lead. The combination of Geary, Tyler Goehring and Nathan Buenger, at 6’1, 6’3 and 6’4, dominated in the paint. EPJ had 40 total rebounds, 16 of them on their own glass. The Cougars could not get the ball inside, settling for long-range jumpers – and they were cold.
“Landon Geary got his first start of his career and answered the call in a big way, scoring 19 points to go with 7 rebounds, 2 assists, a block and a steal,” head coach Jake Otkin said. “Very proud of Landon in answering the call and stepping up when we needed him to.”
Andrew Nearman also hit double-digits with 16 points and had 4 assists. Buenger led the team with 9 rebounds. Canon Kempf had 2 steals and drew a charge.
“We didn’t play our best all-around game, but we did enough to get the win,” Otkin said. “Our kids believe in what we are teaching and are really starting to believe on any given night they can win regardless of the opponent and that is half the battle is belief in ourselves and our team. We executed well in the first half and that fell off in the second half, but our guys are also starting to realize if we execute the things we have installed, good things happen.
“We’re continuing to move in the right direction,” Otkin continued. “We just must not get down when we don’t play our best, keep that energy and focus the rest of the year and we’ll be just fine.”
The boys were scheduled to host Ponca Friday, Jan. 15, but the game was postponed by weather. A make-up date has not yet been determined. They hosted Vermillion Tuesday, Jan. 19 and go to Akron-Westfield Thursday, Jan. 21 and Dell Rapids Saturday, Jan. 23. Their next home game is against Lawton-Bronson Tuesday, Jan. 26. All the games are double-headers with the girls.