Bomber boys grind out overtime win over A-D-M: Ballard crushes Norwalk in opener

Joe Randleman
Tri-County Times
Connor Drew had 19 points and 16 rebounds for Ballard in a 59-55 overtime win over Adel-Desoto-Minburn to open Raccoon River Conference play Friday on senior night in Huxley.

HUXLEY - In its season-opening 71-46 victory over defending Class 3A state champion Norwalk Tuesday the Ballard boys’ basketball team showed it has the potential to make a run at the state title.

On Friday the Bombers found out it won’t be an easy journey to the top.

Ballard had to scratch and claw its way past Adel-Desoto-Minburn in its Raccoon River Conference opener Friday at Huxley. The Bombers prevailed in overtime, 59-55.

  “It was a dog fight,” Ballard senior post Connor Drew said. “I like games like that because later in the season you’re going to need efforts like that. We got the job done tonight.”

The Bombers had to dig itself out of an early 18-5 hole. 

“It felt like all of us were trying to hit a home run and trying to blow it open early a little bit like we did against Norwalk,” Ballard head coach Jeff Schertz said. “When that didn’t happen I think we were pressing a little bit. Shots weren’t falling for us early on.”

The Bombers were still down eight early in the third quarter when they finally found some life, going on a 13-3 run to take a 32-30 lead on a three-point play by Mason Murphy with 50 seconds left in the quarter.

But A-D-M continued to hang around. 

Ballard led 46-42 after two Ashton Hermann free throws with 23.5 seconds left. A-D-M pulled within two on a Grant Garton basket then tied the game on a putback at the buzzer from Samuel Hlas to force overtime.

In overtime Hermann had a chance to give Ballard a four-point lead when he went to the line with 40 seconds left. But Hermann missed both free throws and Hlas followed with a 3-pointer to give A-D-M a 55-54 lead.

Hermann got the chance to atone for his misfires at the line 16 seconds later. He did just that, making both shots with 23.7 seconds left to reclaim the lead for Ballard.

“I had my teammates to back me up after I missed those first two,” Hermann said. “I knocked down those next two. It definitely helped getting the experience coming down the stretch last year.”

Ballard followed with a defensive stop and then Drew sank two clutch free throws of his own to put Ballard up three. Ethan Juergens was intentionally fouled and sent to the line with three seconds left for A-D-M, but he misfired both times - missing the second intentionally - and Ballard got the rebound.

Drew iced the game with another free throw in the final second. To put Ballard at 2-0 and off to a 1-0 start in the RRC.

“I told our guys after that I’m proud of them,” Schertz said. “That’s our first goal is to try and win the league.”

The early cold shooting spell played a big role in Ballard’s struggles to put A-D-M away. The Bombers shot just 33 % from the field for the game.

But the Bombers also found out they need more consistency defending the perimeter. 

“We need to stop dribble penetration more,” Murphy said. “We didn’t do a good job with that and we gambled on some stuff and didn’t get a lot.”

Hermann scored 20 points and Drew 19 to lead Ballard to the victory. Hermann also had two steals and Drew was a monster on the boards with 16 rebounds.

Murphy followed up a career-high 29 points against Norwalk with 14 against A-D-M.

“My teammates are getting me open,” Murphy said. “They were open tonight, I just wasn’t knocking as many down.” 

Murphy also dished out five assists. Kale Krogh had four points and one block, Jacob Ihle pulled down eight rebounds, Isaiah Peasley scored two points and Kade Miller had one rebound and one steal.

Juergens led A-D-M with 18 points. Tate Stine-Smith and Dylan Andreson each scored 10 points and Anderson added 11 rebounds, four assists and three blocks for the Tigers, who fell to 0-2.

Ballard 59, A-D-M 55

ADM   16    6   10   14     9 - 55

B          5   10   17   14   13 - 59

ADM (55) - Ethan Juergens 7-15 0-2 18, Tate Stine-Smith 4-14 1-1 10, Ryan Juhnke 1-2 0-1 2, Logan Krantz 0-1 3-6 3, Dylan Anderson 5-11 0-0 10, Sam Hlas 2-9 0-0 5, Grant 3-5 0-0 7, Matt Dufoe 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 22-57 4-10 55. 3-point field goals (7): Juergens 4, Stine-Smith, Hlas, Grant. Rebounds (39): Anderson 11. Assists (13): Anderson 4. Steals (4): Juhnke, Krantz, Anderson, Hlas. Blocks (7): Anderson 3. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: Juhnke. 

Ballard (59) - Mason Murphy 5-12 2-5 14, Isaiah Peasley 0-1 2-2 2, Ashton Hermann 6-16 6-8 20, Kade Miller 0-2 0-0, Connor Drew 7-22 3-5 19, Jacob Ihle 0-2 0-1 0, Kale Krogh 2-6 0-0 4. Totals: 20-61 13-21 59. 3-point field goals (6): Murphy 2, Hermann 2, Drew 2. Rebounds (38): Drew 16. Assists (8): Murphy 5. Steals (10): Drew 3. BLocks (3): Hermann, Drew, Krogh. Fouls: 16.

HUXLEY - The Ballard boys opened the 2020-2021 season looking in top form after taking out defending Class 3A state champion Norwalk in decisive fashion, 71-46.

Ballard jumped all over the defending champs early. The Bombers led by 14 points after the first quarter and were up 16 at the half.

Norwalk kept within striking distance through the third quarter, but Ballard dominated down the stretch to pull away.

Ballard shot 53 % from the field and held Norwalk to 35 % shooting. The Bombers also held a 27-19 rebounding advantage.

Mason Murphy had a huge game to spark the Bomber victory. The senior point guard made 10 of 14 shots, including 4 of 5 3-pointers, in scoring a career-high 29 points and he added five assists and three steals.

Ashton Hermann also had a big game. He recorded 19 points, six rebounds, six steals and five assists.

Ashton Hermann scored 20 points in Ballard's 59-55 overtime win over A-D-M Friday in Huxley. He also went for 19 points in the Bombers' 71-46 thumping of defending Class 3A state champion Norwalk to open the season Dec. 1 in Huxley.

Connor Drew added 11 points and five rebounds, Jacob Ihle three points and seven boards and Kale Krogh four points and rebounds apiece plus two blocks. Isaiah Peasley chipped in three points and Kade Miller two.

Cole Tunender led Norwalk with 11 points and three assists. Max Juergens also scored 11 points, Ethan Carlson netted 10 and Joe Brown chipped in eight points and six rebounds.

Ballard 71, Norwalk 46

N     9     5    21   11 - 46

B    23    7    21   20 - 71

Norwalk (46) - Grant Larson 0-1 0-0 0, Evan Borst 1-2 1-2 3, Cole Tunender 4-12 2-7 11, Sam Eggers 0-5 0-0 0, Joe Brown 3-6 2-4 8, Ethan Carlson 4-12 0-1 10, Redek Born 1-3 0-0 3, Haidyn Havick 0-0 0-0 0, Max Juergens 3-4 3-4 11, Tyler Wegner 0-0 0-0 0, Vinnie Mauro 0-1 0-0 0, Will Crozier 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 16-46 8-18 46. 3-point field goals (6): Carlson 2, Juergens 2, Tunender, Born. Rebounds (19): Brown 6. Assists (10): Tunender 3. Steals (3): Larson, Tunender, Brown. Blocks: None. Fouls: 17. 

Ballard (71) - Mason Murphy 10-14 5-6 29, Ashton Hermann 7-14 4-5 19, Connor Drew 5-9 0-0 11, Jacob Ihle 1-4 0-0 3, Kale Krogh 2-2 0-3 4, Alex Upah 0-0 0-0 0, Kyler Watson 0-0 0-0 0, Colby Calvert 0-0 0-0 0, Isaiah Peasley 1-5 0-0 3, Kade Miller 0-1 0-0 0, Jacob Ross 0-0 0-0 0, Bryce Haessig 0-0 0-0 0, Jayden Cattell 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 26-49 11-17 71. 3-point field goals (8): Murphy 4, Hermann, Drew, Ihle, Peasley. Rebounds (27): Ihle 6. Assists (11): Murphy 5, Drew 5. Steals (11): Hermann 6. Blocks (3): Krogh 2. Fouls: 20. Fouled out: Drew, Krogh.