Boys end basektball season with banquet

This article submitted by Michael Jacobson on 3/29/00.

Senior guard Luke Trees and senior post Ryan Wall were honored recently by the West Central Conference. Their selection to the All Conference team was announced at the boys' basketball banquet on Sunday at Hill Top Restaurant.

Trees, who averaged 17.5 points per game this season in leading the Bulldogs in scoring, was named to the All Conference team. Wall, who was second on the team with 13.4 points per game and led the team with 9.7 rebounds per game, was named Honorable Mention.

The Bulldogs finished the season with a 3-20 record. Head coach Barry Strand told the parents and players at the banquet that he was proud of the team's effort throughout the season and was pleased that the conference coaches had recognized two players from Paynesville despite the team's losing record. Quoting Michael Jordan, Strand said that losing was acceptable but a lack of effort was not.

The Bulldogs started the season 3-5, but ended the year with a 15-game losing streak, in large part due to their conference schedule. In the West Central Conference North this year, two teams were rated in state: Litchfield, the eventual Class 2A champion, and Long Prairie-Grey Eagle. Strand noted that Litchfield defeated St. Cloud Cathedral, another WCC North team, in the state semifinals.

Paynesville's district also contained three state-rated teams: Litchfield, Annandale, and Howard Lake-Waverly.

The Bulldogs averaged 55.8 points per game this year and yielded 77.3 per game. In addition to Trees and Wall, scoring leaders were junior posts J.T. Koehn and T.J. Schultz with 9.2 points per game and 5.3 points per game respectively.

The Bulldogs made 44 percent of their two-point shots, but only 25 percent from behind the three-point line. On all field goals, their percentage was only 40 percent. Wall led the team by shooting 54 percent from the floor.

He also led the team in free throw percentage at 71 percent. Senior Nathan Schutz made 69 percent and Trees made 64 percent of his free throws. As a team, the Bulldogs shot 54 percent from the free throw line.

In addition to Wall's 9.7 rebounds per game, Koehn grabbed five caroms per contest. Wall had 38 blocked shots and Koehn had 34.

Trees led the Bulldogs with 32 three-pointers and 43 steals. He was second in assists with 61, behind junior guard Logan Louis with 85.

The team on a whole, though, had 295 assists and 398 turnovers.

Lettering on the varsity this year were: seniors John Brady, Steve Gilk, Troy Schmidt, Nathan Schutz, Luke Trees, and Ryan Wall; juniors Davis Hoekstra, J.T. Koehn, Logan Louis, Nathan Martinson, and T.J. Schultz; and sophomores Nic Glenz, Andy Jones, and Wes Lieser.

Earning numerals on B-squad were sophomores: Nic Glenz, Ryan Johnson, Andy Jones, Aaron Lang, Wes Lieser, Dan Pearson, Eric Rausch, Danny Savage, Jonnie Schefers, Pat Spooner, Scott Thompson, Josh Trees, and Ryan Whitcomb.

The B-squad finished the season with a record of 3-19. Coach Michael Jacobson said the team lost a number of close games at the start of the season and then faced a tough conference schedule. The highlight of their season was sweeping two games against Albany.

Jacobson praised the team's hustle and defense, which limited foes to 53 points per game. The Bulldogs, though, averaged only 39 points per game. Wes Lieser led the team in scoring with 11.5 points per game.

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