Helping themselves to an early Holiday present, the Eden Valley-Watkins boys’ basketball team won the St. John’s Prep Christmas Tournament Saturday, Dec. 21. Following an opening round victory over Milaca, the Eagles ultimately faced Browerville in the semifinal game on Friday. Bret Mattice led Eden Valley-Watkins to a 68-61 victory, tallying 24 points and seven rebounds. Jared Streit had a double-double with 21 points and 10 boards for the victorious Eagles. EV-W’s win earned them the right to take on a tough St. John’s Prep squad on Saturday night.
Defeating the Johnnies, 58-45, in the championship game at the McNeely Spectrum, the Eagles improved their record to 7-3 on the young season. Jared Streit scored 17 points and pulled down eight rebounds en route to EV-W’s capturing the tournament trophy. Impressive performances by Eagles’ Jared Streit, Nick Pauly, and Bret Mattice, earned them all-tournament team honors.
Closing in on the holiday break, Eden Valley-Watkins looked to improve on its .500 overall record. The Eagles got past Pierz at home on Tuesday, Dec. 17, 66-49. Junior guard Bret Mattice recorded a season-high 29 points, and junior Jared Streit posted a double-double, scoring 10 points and grabbing a dozen boards. Despite EV-W’s nine-point halftime advantage and ultimate 17-point margin of victory, Coach Adam Langer was a little concerned. “The game was much closer than the score. It was a 6-to-10-point game for most of the contest. Bret Mattice made some big shots and free throws down the stretch to give us the victory.”
Bret Mattice knocked down 29 points, on 5-for-9 from downtown. Jared Streit finished with 10, and Jacob Streit had 9 points and hit 4-for 4 from the charity stripe. Nick Pauly had 8 points, Reese Jansen scored 6 points, and Alex Nesenson had 4 points. The Eagles are slated to participate in the Holiday tournament at St. John’s Prep, Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 19-21.
Freshman Reese Jansen gets put in the game. Photo by Nick Block.
The Eden Valley-Watkins grapplers traveled to Bulldog country Thursday, Dec. 12, for the Paynesville Triangular. Coming out on the short side and wrestling with a number of open slots, the Eagles dropped both of their matches; 46-19 to Rocori and 45-28 vs. Paynesville. EV-W coach Dan Berg knows the difficulty in wrestling with so many open weight divisions. “Well, overall we wrestled well, but with five forfeits it’s tough to win a dual. Matt Schindler had a good night with two big wins, along with Hunter Mathies’ two pins, and Luke Kuechle’s two pins.” Cain Renner had two wins and a come-from-behind win against Paynesville. “Down 5-0, he battled back and pinned his opponent in the third period. It was a gutsy performance by Cain to battle back and win,” added Berg. “Now we’ll take a little break until Tuesday, when we go battle Rockford and Pierz.”
The EV-W Eagles hit the road Tuesday, Dec. 10, and beat the Huskers of Holdingford in a good contest, 53-49. Eden Valley-Watkins found themselves down a dozen at the half, but they turned up the defense and the sharpshooters came alive, outscoring the Huskers by 16 points in the second stanza. Eagles’ coach Adam Langer is happy to get that first conference win. “We really struggled with our shooting in the first half. In the second half, we made it a priority to get the ball inside and things started to turn around. Alex Nesenson had two big three-point field goals in the last two minutes of the game to give us the lead, and Jared Streit sealed the game with two free throws in the last five seconds. It wasn’t pretty, but we battled through shooting struggles to get our first conference win.” The Eagles were led by junior forward Jared Streit, with 17 points. Junior guard Bret Mattice poured in 13, and hit three-for-three from the charity stripe. Senior Alex Nesenson finished with 9, and junior Austin Schlangen posted a double-double, with 10 points and 17 boards. Senior Nick Pauly had 4.
The Eden Valley-Watkins girls’ basketball team smothered the visiting Benson Braves Tuesday, Dec. 10, by a commanding 48-14 final. Eagles’ senior forward Dani Nelson scored 17 points to lead the Eagles to the easy non-conference win over a struggling Braves club, who are still seeking their first win of the year. After an overwhelming 31-point halftime advantage, EV-W added just a dozen more in the second half and cruised to the finish line.