HUMPHREY — Class C No. 5 Howells-Dodge pulled away late and R.J. Bayer scored his 1,000th career point in the Jaguars’ 69-47 win over Class D No. 4 Humphrey St. Francis on Friday.
Bayer led his team with a season-high 20 points and was second with six rebounds. Blake Sindelar had 11 points and led with eight rebounds. They were two of five Jaguars to score at least nine points.
“I’ve worked really hard with this in the last four years. I have a lot of teammates to thank for this and for all the teammates I’ve had from four years ago until now,” Bayer said. “It’s been a ride, and it’s been great.”
Bayer is now the second Jaguar to score his 1,000th point in a game this season. Sindelar reached the milestone in the season opener against Pierce.
The Jaguars held onto a five-point lead coming out of halftime, but a layup from Lance Brester and a 3-pointer by Sindelar sparked a 19-6 run that helped widen the gap and resulted in 26 points in the third.
Howells-Dodge kept its foot on the gas to enter the fourth with Bayer and Sindelar combining to score the team’s first eight points of the quarter. Tanner Pfeifer and Colton Wietfeld had three and two 2-point field goals in the period, respectively.
Some motivation at halftime led to the offensive spark.
“We told them at halftime ‘Hey, We are beating ourselves right now. We are missing easy shots inside. We are throwing the ball away,’ ” Howells-Dodge coach Kevin Janata said. “ ‘If we stop beating ourselves, we’re winning this thing by 20,’ and that’s what we did in the second half.”
Just two field goals were made in the game’s first three minutes, both by Howells-Dodge. By the end of the first quarter, the Jaguars would end up scoring 10 more, with four different players contributing.
The Flyers didn’t crack the scoreboard until there was one minute, 51 seconds left in the period, when Pfeifer sank the latter of two free throws.
St. Francis coach Eric Kessler cited an inability to control the glass and take care of the ball as big reasons for their inability to score. The Flyers had 15 turnovers and were outrebounded 31-29.
“They kind of take you out of what you wanted to do, and they’re super physical,” he said. “They’re just a really good team, and to beat someone like that, you’ve got to be able to play as well as you can, and we certainly did not do that tonight.”
Pfeifer did get momentum going in St. Francis’ favor with a 3-pointer with 6:22 left in the second. The teams exchanged baskets to where the Jaguars led 20-16. It expanded when Brittin Sindelar hit his first of a trio of 3-pointers in the contest.
Bayer put two more on the board, but Wietfeld got four of his own to make it a two-possession game going into halftime.
“You’ve got to credit St. Francis. No matter who they put on the floor, they’re going to play hard,” Janata said. “We just had to take that intensity and match it.”
The sideline general was happy to see one of his three seniors reach the 1,000-point mark, which was made more impressive in his eyes given the circumstances.
“It was exciting to see him do it, especially in this gym. This is a tough gym to score in,” It was exciting to see his hard work pay off.”
The Flyers will travel to face Burwell on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Jaguars return home to host Guardian Angels Central Catholic.
Howells-Dodge 14 11 26 18 — 69
Humphrey St. Francis 5 15 16 11 — 47
HOWELLS-DODGE (9-1): Lance Brester 3 0-0 9; Aiden Meyer 2 0-0 4; Colton Klosen 2 0-0 4; Brittin Sindelar 3 0-0 9; Blake Sindelar 5 0-0 11; R.J. Bayer 8 4-4 20; Aandy Dominguez 4 0-0 10; Connor Kreikemeier 1 0-0 2; Total 28 4-4 69.
HUMPHREY ST. FRANCIS (7-3): Devon Baumgart 1 0-0 2; Jaden Kosch 3 2-2 9; Tanner Pfeifer 9 3-5 24; Colin Wietfeld 6 0-0 12; Total, 19 5-7 47.