Jaguars ground Blackhawks

LOFTY JUMPER — Truman/Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain’s Isaac Johnson (20) elevates to shoot a jumper over Madelia’s Cornell Ayers (50) during basketball action Thursday night in Northrop. The Jaguars’ Carter Spear (2) and the Blackhawks’ Ja’Sean Glove (right) watch the shot. (Photo by Greg Abel)

NORTHOP — It was a big night for the seniors.

Truman/Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain beat the Madelia Blackhawks 57-35 during the Jaguars’ final regular-season game Thursday night in Northrop.

Before the game, the Jaguars honored seniors Mitchell Prafke, Jaiden Cook, Paxton Gravlin, Clay Gieseke and Isaac Johnson.

The Jaguars entered the second half up 18-16, but quickly began to expand their lead.

Johnson started the second half with a layup off an Owen Wolter assist for two of his eight second-half points and game-leading 13 points.

Wolter followed with a layup after using a screen from Gravlin at the top of the key.

Adam Heckman made the most of his time on the floor in the second half, scoring all 10 of his points and grabbing six of his seven rebounds.

In the first 5:30 of the second half, the Jaguars went on a 13-2 run to widen the score to 31-18. During the run, Johnson and Adam Heckman each scored four points, while Matt Heckman converted a traditional three-point play after Wolter turned a steal into an assist and Wolter scored two of his own.

The Jaguars rolled through the rest of the second half, outscoring the Blackhawks 39-19 in the segment.

With 2:29 remaining, a foul sent Madelia’s Jessi Ramirez to the free throw line and gave Jaguar head coach Adam Walker a chance to get his five seniors back into the game.

The five stayed in for one minute, which included Cook making a layup off a Johnson assist on a backdoor cut through the lane, and a Prafke free throw.

Most of the seniors left the floor to a large cheer from the crowd when Prafke was sent to the charity stripe.

Walker said after a quick start, the team needed to make some changes in the second half and after having the five seniors since they were playing C-squad together, it was good to end their final regular-season game with a win.

“It was a good win,” Walker said. “We got off to a very fast start early, but we allowed them back in the game and went back and forth in the first half. In the second half, we came out and really played well. We got the ball inside more, we were 2-for-12 from 3 at half and I told them we just needed to get some touches inside and we did that. Our transition breaks were really good. Owen (Wolter) played outstanding in the second half. We had a great half out of Matt (Heckman) and Isaac (Johnson), they stepped into big roles tonight.

“Senior night, we got all the seniors in to start and they jumped ahead 8-1 early and they got to play all together in the second half, that was pretty special, too. Overall a great night.”

The five seniors got the start for the Jaguars and jumped out to a seven-point lead in the first four minutes, with Gieseke sinking a left-wing 3 off an assist from Johnson, Cook taking a pass from Gieseke in the high post and turning it into a layup, and Prafke powering through a foul to convert a traditional three-point play.

Prafke ended with five points, two steals, one rebound and an assist; Cook scored four and grabbed two rebounds; Gravlin scored dropped two points and grabbed two rebounds; Gieseke drained a 3, grabbed a rebound, dished out an assist and pocketed one steal; and Johnson scored 13 points, brought down five boards, collected two steals and dished out two assists.

Adam Heckman led the Jaguars with seven rebounds to complement his 10 points, while Wolter scored eight points and dished out a game-high five assists.

Ja’Sean Glover was the lone Blackhawk in double-digit scoring with 11 points, while Kurt Logo grabbed six rebounds and pocketed four steals.

The Jaguars shot 22 of 43 from the field, including 4-for-14 from behind the 3-point arc, and sank 9 out of 16 free throws.

Madelia shot 11-for-38 overall, including 3 of 20 from 3, and made 10 of 18 at the charity stripe.

The Jaguars end their season with a record of 14-11 overall and 7-2 in the Valley Conference. The Jaguars will play Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton in the first round of the Section 2A, South Sub-Section tournament on Thursday.

Madelia (7-15, 2-7 Valley) plays host to Buffalo Lake-Hector Stewart today.

Madelia 16-19–35

TMLG 18-39–57

TMLGHEC (57)

Johnson 1-2 6-9 0-2 13, A. Heckman 1-1 3-4 3-4 10, Wolter 0-1 4-6 0-0 8, Prafke 0-1 1-2 3-5 5, Cook 0-1 2-5 0-0 4, Fischer 0-1 1-3 3-4 4, Gieseke 1-1 1-1 0-0 3, M. Heckman 0-1 1-3 1-1 3, Benes 1-1 1-1 0-0 3, Gravlin 0-1 1-2 0-0 2, Spear 0-1 1-2 2, Balcom 0-1 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 22-43 9-16 57.

MADELIA (35)

Glover 1-7 3-11 4-6 11, Uhde 0-0 3-3 0-3 6, Alvarenga 0-0 1-5 2-3 4, Ayers 1-5 1-6 1-2 4, Anderson 0-2 1-3 1-1 3, Wihlm 1-5 1-5 0-0 3, Lugo 0-0 1-3 0-1 2, Ramirez 0-0 0-0 2-2 2, Sletta 0-0 0-1 0-0 0, Altenburg 0-1 0-1 0-0 0, Holmgren 0-0 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 11-38 10-18 35.

3-pointers: TMLGHEC 4-14; Madelia 3-20. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: TMLGHEC 32 (A Heckman 7, Johnson 5); Madelia 19 (Lugo 6, Alvarenga 5). Assists: TMLGHEC 14 (Wolter 5); Madelia 5. Steals: TMLGHEC 10; Madelia 11 (Lugo 4).

COMMENTS