Turnover and rebounding troubles hurt Central boys basketball

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Sophomore Isaac Loan led Central with 10 points in the 69-40 loss to South Winn on Jan. 11. (Photos by Bev Hamann)

Vaughn Zittergruen brings the ball down the court against South Winn. He had seven points and three rebounds in the loss.

By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register


With the weather wreaking havoc on northeast Iowa last week, the Central boys basketball team had to reschedule its Jan. 9 game versus South Winneshiek to Jan. 11. With the cancellation of the following night’s game, on Jan. 12, it was the lone contest of the week. 


The game started off well enough for Central, as the team posted some defensive stops while also controlling the pace early on. They trailed by one point halfway through the first quarter. But that’s when the tide started to turn, as South Winn went on a 12-4 run to close out the quarter, putting the Warriors in a 17-8 hole. 


The second quarter went better for Central, who found close looks at the basket, allowing them to put up 10 points and stay within distance, trailing by 13 points at the half, 31-18. 


Central carried the momentum into the third quarter, scoring 16 points, but an inability to rebound on both ends of the court allowed South Winneshiek to maintain its lead, which was extended to 14 points heading into the fourth quarter. 


South Winn marinated the rebounding advantage in the fourth quarter, giving closer looks at the basket, while also forcing more turnovers out of the Warriors and extending the lead to 29, handing Central a 69-40 defeat. 


Central was out-rebounded 38-22, a differential coach Brady Stramer admitted was “hard to overcome.” The team also turned the ball over 31 times. 


“Offensively, turnovers were once again an issue for us, but beyond that, I thought we showed a lot of improvement in terms of ball movement and shot selection, which shows up in our shooting percentages. I think we played a solid first three quarters, but let things unravel down the stretch. We are still striving to put together a full 32-minute game without a let down quarter,” Stramer said. 


Central shot 35.6 percent from the field and 40 percent on three-point shots. Seven Warriors scored in the game, and the 40 points scored was the third most the team has totaled so far this season. 


Sophomore Isaac Loan led the team with 10 points while also compiling a team-high four assists. Sophomore Carson Ruegnitz led Central with five rebounds. Freshman Owen Hammersland scored seven points along with three rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block, while Vaughn Zittergruen also netted seven points with three rebounds. Sophomore Garrett Burns scored six points and Jake Hertrampf had four points along with two rebounds, two assists and three steals. 


The 3-9 Warriors’ upcoming schedule includes a game Jan. 15 versus Central City (4-8), followed by another home game Jan. 16 against winless West Central.


“We’ve had a lot of weather postponements and days off, which has limited our practice time and will no doubt do the same in the future with game make ups. We will have to maximize the practice time that we do have to continue to focus on improving, specifically in the areas of turnovers and rebounding,” Stramer said. 

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