Class B No. 9 Elkhorn Mount Michael's energetic start leads to victory over Wahoo Neumann

Elkhorn Mount Michael sophomore Joseph Chouinard scored 11 points for the Knights.

WAHOO, Neb. — Derrik Spooner couldn’t have asked for a better start from his Elkhorn Mount Michael boys basketball team Tuesday night.

It made all the difference against Wahoo Neumann.

The Knights, ranked ninth in Class B, scored the first 11 points and went on to a 49-32 victory over Neumann, ranked third in C-1.

“We just had a lot of energy,” said Spooner, whose team led 20-5 after one quarter and maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way. “We had a ton of energy and we were focused.”

Mount Michael hit nine of its first 14 shots in the opening quarter, and on the other end of the court, it forced Neumann into nine first-quarter turnovers.

“Derrik’s team played with an edge in the first six, seven minutes,” Neumann coach Mike Weiss said. “They brought way more energy in the first quarter than we brought.”

Neumann was coming off Friday’s overtime loss to Gretna, and Weiss said his team played with good energy that night.

“But you got to learn to come with it every single night,” he said.

Mount Michael, which starts five sophomores, scored twice in the first 30 seconds and was up 11-0 with 4:25 left in the first quarter. Brad Bennett, who led the Knights with 17 points and seven rebounds, scored six in the opening quarter.

The Knights relied on their defense from there. They forced 19 turnovers for the game and held Neumann to five field goals through the first 22 minutes.

Spooner said his team’s defense has been good in all three of its games.

“We just sat down and guarded,” Spooner said. “And our communication was probably the best it’s been all year.”

The Knights, who are without forward Kaleb Brink after he tore his labrum last Friday, also got 11 points from Joseph Chouinard — he had eight after halftime.

Trey Ahrens led Neumann with 11 points, 10 coming in the fourth quarter.

Elkhorn Mount Michael (2-1)...........20 6 9 14—49

Wahoo Neumann (0-2)..................5 11 4 12—32

EMM: Parker Hottovy 0-2 0-0 0, Joe Bruggeman 1-1 0-0 3, Drew Thornton 1-1 0-0 2, Clifford Roepke 2-2 1-2 5, Airan Lopez 2-3 0-2 6, Joseph Chouinard 5-8 2-4 12, Brad Bennett 6-18 4-5 17, Kyle Pelan 2-2 0-0 4. Totals 19-37 7-13 49.

WN: Trey Ahrens 4-8 2-3 11, Eli Vedral 3-5 3-6 9, Joe Fisher 1-2 0-0 2, Kobey Simons 1-7 2-3 5, Trey Miller 2-6 1-2 5, Kolten Cada 0-1 0-1 0, Teagan Ahrens 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 11-32 8-15 32.

3-pointers: EMM 4-15 (Lopez 2-3, Bruggeman 1-1, Bennett 1-10, Chouisard 0-1); WN 2-11 (Trey Ahrens 1-4, Simons 1-7).

Gene covers a variety of sports beats for The World-Herald. Follow him on Twitter @geneOWH. Phone: 402-444-1038.

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