PATCH GROVE – Two days before his 17th birthday, the River Ridge basketball community gave senior Joseph Hamann and his family a celebration they’ll never forget.
The Timberwolves hosted Belmont on Tuesday, Dec. 20, and held #joeystrong Night in honor of Hamann, who was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer, at the start of the basketball season. Through various auctions and raffles held throughout the night, over $14,000 was raised for the Hamann family to help cover the costs of his treatments.
To top off the night, the T’Wolves gave their teammate another gift by rolling over the Braves by a final score of 73-29 in their Six Rivers West meeting.
Hamann, who recently finished up his first round of chemotherapy treatments in Rochester, Minn., was in the starting line-up for the Timberwolves (2-5 overall, 2-1 SRW) to open the game. After his team won the opening tip, they turned the ball over on purpose to allow Hamann to leave the game to a standing ovation.
Then, the ‘Wolves went to work on the Braves. Freshman guard Cole Crubel poured in 21 of his game-high 30 points in the opening half, sinking three of his five treys along the way, to lead an emotionally-charged River Ridge squad out to a 42-12 halftime lead.
Ben Ertz netted seven of his 13 points in the first half, while Gavin Steiber added six of his 10 points in that half as well.
Junior forward Jake Wedig scored nine points for the Braves (0-9, 0-4), while sophomore guard Colin Austin chipped in with seven points.
At Wauzeka, on Thursday, Dec. 22, Zach Loman sank four 3-pointers and scored a game-high 20 points to lead the host Hornets over Belmont, 69-38, in a non-conference contest.
Jake Wedig netted 15 points with a pair of treys and pulled down a team-high seven rebounds to lead the Braves on the night. Colin Austin finished with 12 points, while Jake Amenda and Brady Wedig grabbed four rebounds each for Belmont.
Belmont is off until Friday, Jan. 6, when they play host to Black Hawk in a non-conference game. The Braves also host Juda on Monday, Jan. 9.
Belmont…………….. 12 17 – 29
River Ridge………… 42 31 – 73
Belmont – Ethan James 4, Colin Austin 7, Justan Ernst 3, Riely Cutler 2, Jake Wedig 9, Jake Amenda 4. Totals – 11 4-9 29.
River Ridge– Ertz 13, Bloom 7, Moravits 5, Guerrero 2, Redman 6, Crubel 30, Steiber 10. Totals – 31 4-11 73.
3-point goals– B 3 (James 1, Austin 1, Ernst 1), RR 7 (Ertz 1, Bloom 1, Crubel 5). Total fouls– B 11, RR 12. Fouled out– none.
Belmont…………….. 0 0 – 38
Wauzeka-Steuben… 0 0 – 69
Belmont – Connor Wiegel 1, Luke Kamps 2, Colin Austin 12, Justan Ernst 3, Riely Cutler 4, Jake Wedig 15, Brady Wedig 1. Totals – 13 9-21 38.
Wauz-Steub – Lomas 20, Lomen 3, Byrne 6, Na. Benish 2, Reichmann 2, Folbrecht 11, Zimmerman 6, Stenner 6, Ni. Benish 5. Totals – 26 10-20 69.
3-point goals– B 3 (Austin 1, J. Wedig 2), WS 7 (Lomas 4, Lomen 1, Stenner 1, Ni. Benish 1). Total fouls– B 15, WS 17. Fouled out– none.