Nodaway Valley/O-M’s boys basketball squad celebrated their eight seniors in stunning fashion last Friday, Jan. 27 with an 89-61 win over visiting Southeast Warren.
The Wolverines lost 82-45 last Tuesday to Bedford, so a win that all of the seniors contributed in was a nice way for the team to finish off the school week. They followed it up with a 65-55 win at Earlham Saturday.
“You always want to send out your seniors on a good note. My theory is that I’m still trying to win the game and put my guys in a position to win the game, but I tried to get everybody in,” NV/O-M head coach Jeremy Blake said. “I thought our press was really good tonight. It sped them up and got them into a lot of rushed things they probably didn’t want to do.”
Blake said he was particularly pleased with how his team defended the Warhawks’ 6-foot-7 forward, Jack Williams. He finished with eight points, but Blake said “we made him work hard enough to score 30.”
Key in an early-game flurry of scoring was junior Dawson Nelson, who scored 34 on the night, hitting 6-of-9 3-pointers he attempted. Senior guard Boston DeVault scored 18 and had 11 assists.
Senior guard Doug Berg had nine steals in the game, tying the school record for steals in a game set by Kirk Sidey. Senior guard Mason Wilson had a nifty second-half layup. Jase Davidson, another senior, led the team with three offensive boards. Bryant Kuster came off the bench and sank two 3-pointers in the closing minutes.
Senior guard Avery Phillippi, who has missed four games recently after he took a physical charge in a recent game, was back in the lineup for the game and scored 12 points off the bench. He said this group of seniors is a fun group to play with. They lost Bryce Berlau before high school, but he is having a strong senior season at Carroll and was able to come to a game the Wolverines played awhile back.
“We all grew up with Bryce through elementary and middle school, so when high school came and he had to leave, it was tough,” Phillippi said. “We knew he’d be a great player at Carroll. We wished he could’ve played, but he’s doing great things.”
DeVault sank three consecutive treys in the opening frame against Earlham to give the Wolverines a 16-7 lead through just four minutes of play. Earlham answered and NV/O-M led 21-18 at the first quarter break.
The Wolverines mounted a 15-4 run in the third quarter to build a 48-39 lead before they were able to finish it off.
DeVault finished with 26 and Nelson 20 in the win.
Nodaway Valley/O-M played Tuesday at home against Mount Ayr, then hosts Red Oak in a non-conference boys-only contest on Thursday. Friday the Wolverines travel to Lenox.
“This is the time when we’ve gotta be putting our best basketball together to make a run in that postseason,” Blake said. “After Earlham we’re only away against Lenox.