ARMSTRONG - Despite the Truman/Martin Luther Bluejay Knights leaving home without their visiting blue jerseys, Sam Geistfeld scored 23 points and grabbed eight boards to lead the visitors to a 70-45 nonconference victory over the North Union Warriors on Thursday in Armstrong.
"We left the Truman gym with our white jerseys, and stopped at the Martin Luther gym because we remembered that in Iowa the home and away colors are opposite of here," said Truman/Martin Luther head coach Roland Wendt. "Thankfully we got here and they had their black uniforms so we were ok."
Regardless of jersey color, the BluejayKnights started out the game on a 9-2 in the first quarter.
BLOCKED — Truman/Martin Luther’s Alex Weihe (25) blocks a shot by North Union’s Aric Runge (15) during basketball action Thursday night in Armstrong. TML’s Jeremy Smith (right) and Sam Geistfeld, along with North Union’s Kaleb Olson (21), watch the action. Photo by Leanna Becker
North Union freshman Colin Runksmeier tried to put a stopper in the scoring run, driving into the lane from the wing and flipping the ball up and in for two of his team-leading 12 points and the reverse layup to make it 9-2.
The Warriors kept battling back and Aric Runge managed to even up the game with 40 seconds remaining in the first quarter at 12-12 with two of his 11 points.
DaMarko Thomas took a feed in from point guard Cade Ekstrom on the ensuing BluejayKnight possession, and powered up through the outstretched arms of Shane Mills for the basket and drawing the foul.
Thomas missed the charity toss to give TML a three-point lead, but Geistfeld was there for the rebound and put back basket to make it 16-12 with less than 30 left in the first half.
North Union missed the shot on their final possession of the quarter, but a Thomas rebound for the BluejayKnights gave them one last scoring chance to extend their early lead.
Ekstrom sank a 3 from the win in the final moments to give TML a 19-12 lead after the opening frame.
Unfortunately for the Warriors, the momentum was completely in the visitors hands, as the BluejayKnights opened up a 10-2 in the second quarter and never looked back.
"Well we have a couple kids that our sick, so they went out there and coughed up a lung and played well," said Wendt. "We knew they had played Granada-Huntley-East Chain and we wanted to go out and just play our game. Thankfully we were able to get those guys a break on the bench."
Chandler Greier fired off back-to-back baskets to start the second half for the BluejayKnights, scoring five of his 14 points.
"This is a tough week for us. We played tonight and tomorrow we go to Mankato, then Monday we have a game. It was nice to come away with a win and get a chance to rest some of the guys for the next couple games," said Wendt.
Truman/Martin Luther made 28 of 62 shots from the floor, sinking nine of 24 from the charity stripe.
North Union went 17-for-57 from the floor, making seven of 18 from the free throw line.
Truman/Martin Luther (11-8, 5-4 Valley) travels to Mankato Loyola for a 7:30 p.m. conference game today.
North Union (4-18) opens up Class 2A District 2 playoffs with a 7 p.m. game at Spirit Lake on Monday.
NU 12- 6-14-13-45
Ekstrom 1-9 4-6 7, Smith 3-6 0-0 8, Thomas 3-6 0-4 6, Geistfeld 11-17 1-1 23, Greier 6-12 1-2 14, Weihe 2-6 0-2 4, Neumann 0-0 0-2 0, Wille 2-6 3-5 8, Greiner 0-0 0-2 0. Totals: 28-62 9-24 70.
NO. UNION (45)
Adams 1-8 1-4 3, McConnell 0-9 0-0 0, Runge 5-7 1-2 11, Runksmeier 4-7 1-2 12, Mills 1-7 0-0 2, Braddock 3-7 1-2 8, Olsen 0-2 1-2 1, Vaske 1-2 0-0 2, Umscheid 0-2 1-2 1, Larson 1-2 0-0 2, Ortmann 1-3 1-2 3, Govern 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 17-57 7-18 45.
3-pointers: TML 5-16 (Ekstrom 1-4, Smith 2-4, Thomas 0-4, Geistfeld 0-3, Greier 1-3, Wille 1-2); NU 4-15 (Adams 0-2, McConnell 0-5, Runge 0-1, Runksmeier 3-3, Braddock 1-3, Larson 0-1). Rebounds: TML 36 (Thomas 10 and Geistfeld 8); NU 19 (Runge 5, Mills 4). Fouled out: Mills (NU). Steals: TML 12 (Geistfeld 3); NU 3.