OSCEOLA — Nodaway Valley head coach Darrell Burmeister said he really didn’t want to play the game.
But, at the end of the day, his team came away with an 81-46 win over Clarke here Saturday in a game that featured Burmeister taking on former Nodaway Valley standout James Larson as opposing coaches.
“It’s hard to go against one of your former players on the state championship team, but we got this game over with,” Burmeister said. “It’s a good win, and we were coming off a big win last night (at Pleasantville on Friday), so I wasn’t sure how our guys were going to react.”
Less than 24 hours after holding off upset-minded Pleasantville, 69-61, the Wolverines looked a little shaky at the start on Saturday.
In a scoreless game just 1:23 into the game, Burmeister called a timeout because his team had given up several offensive rebounds to Clarke.
Midway through the first quarter, the score was still just 4-2 in favor of Nodaway Valley. But, the Wolverines finally got into a groove, as the first quarter ended with a TJ Bower rebound, who found Zach Plymesser near halfcourt on an outlet pass, who then passed to Jackson Lamb under the basket for a nifty reverse layup, making the score 15-3.
Clarke was held without a field goal in the first quarter.
After the Indians got a pair of 3-pointers from freshmen Brandyne Olin and Troy Morgan to cut the lead to 15-9, Nodaway Valley ended the half on a 22-8 run.
Caleb Mueller scored seven points in the second quarter, including the final five points of the half. Mueller finished with a career-high 17 points for the game.
“Caleb Mueller, I thought he really had some nice post moves for us,” Burmeister said. “He did that two or three series throughout the game at different points. He works hard at his different post moves. He’s right handed, but he can go just as well to his left.”
Clarke couldn’t close the gap at all in the second half, as Bower scored 12 of his game-high 22 points in the second half.
Bower got to the free throw line on four different occasions in the second half.
“TJ is really good on that first step and breaking kids down,” Burmeister said.
Burmeister also played Lamb on Clarke leading scorer Colin Morris during the second half in a chaser defense.
“I thought we’d mix it up a little bit on them, so he’d get a little different look,” Burmeister said. “We ran that chaser, so we always had two other people helping out on the person who was guarding Morris. I thought that really cut down on his shots tonight.”
Morris entered the game averaging 25.9 points per game, but finished with just 12 points for the contest.
The Indians did manage to knock down five 3-pointers in the second half and eight for the game, which Burmeister said he would like to see cut down.
“A few more threes than we wanted to tonight,” he said. “They had eight threes tonight. We didn’t shoot a lot of threes tonight. They held us to three 3-pointers, and that doesn’t happen too often.”
For Larson, a member of the 2005-06 state championship team now in his second season as head coach of the Indians, coaching against Burmeister was a different experience.
“I was kind of nervous at first,” he said. “I’m used to being on the bench, hearing him yell at me. But it was fun. It was fun to go against the old team and seeing if we can compete with them.”
Nodaway Valley improved to 9-0 overall and 7-0 in the Pride of Iowa Conference with the win, while Clarke fell to 1-9 for the season.
The Wolverines travel to Bedford, 8-2 overall and 5-1 in the POI, on Tuesday before hosting Interstate 35 on Friday.
CLARKE (46) — Colin Morris 4 3-7 12, Matt Blanchard 4 2-5 12, Troy Morgan 2 0-0 6, Jared Jamison 2 0-0 6, Brandyne Olin 2 0-0 5, Justin Adams 1 0-0 2, Brin Evins 1 0-2 2, Kooper Brimm 0 1-2 1. Totals — 16 6-16 46. 3-point goals — 8 (Morgan 2, Jamison 2, Blanchard 2, Morris 1, Olin 1). FG shooting — 16-53 (30.2 percent). Team fouls — 17. Fouled out — Blanchard, Evins.
NODAWAY VALLEY (81) — TJ Bower 7 8-8 22, Caleb Mueller 7 3-3 17, Jackson Lamb 4 3-4 12, Zach Plymesser 4 0-2 9, Delson Grantham 4 0-1 8, Nathan Andrews 2 1-2 5, David Schweitzer 2 1-2 5, Nathan Venteicher 1 0-0 3. Totals — 31 16-22 81. 3-point goals — 3 (Venteicher 1, Lamb 1, Plymesser 1). FG shooting — 31-68 (45.6 percent). Rebounds — 48 (Mason Clarke 9, Bower 8, Grantham 8, Plymesser 6, Lamb 6, Mueller 4). Assists — 13 (Bower 5, Lamb 4, Plymesser 2). Steals — 10 (Bower 3, Clarke 2). Blocked shots — 5 (Grantham 3). Turnovers — 12. Team fouls — 14. Fouled out — None.
Clarke — 3 17 31 46
NV — 15 37 61 81