KEOSAUQUA — It was a perfect weekend for the Van Buren County basketball teams. The Warriors went 4-0 on Friday and Saturday, sweeping rival Cardinal on Friday night in SEISC South Division play and following that with a sweep of W-MU in a cross-over doubleheader Saturday.
The sixth-ranked Warrior girls team beat Cardinal 59-25 on Friday in the first ever meeting between Van Buren head coach Matt Zeitler and daughter Makenzie Ostrander who is in her first year as Cardinal head coach.
The Warriors had four double-digit scorers, with Madison Bartholomew and Grace Davidson co-leading the squad with 16 points apiece. Isabel Manning had 12 points, 10 rebounds and five steals, and Taryn Scheuermann finished the night with 11 points, nine rebounds and seven blocked shots.
On Saturday, the Warriors’ defense took things to another level. They shut W-MU out 33-0 in the first half and won the game 57-9.
“The defense is pretty good,” said Zeitler after the win. “They’re one of the best defensive teams I’ve ever had. They’re long, their hands are everywhere.”
Scheuermann had 16 points and 13 blocks in the win. Bartholomew finished with 14 points and Manning had 13 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.
W-MU finall scored when Jami Wilkerson banked in a three-pointer in the third quarter. She and Kyndal Townsley had three points apiece. Bradie Buffington scored two points, and Madie Anderson had one.
“It’s fun to watch them play. It’s not always fun to watch them play against you,” Wolves’ coach Mitch Wachs said about Van Buren. “They share the ball nicely, they’ve got inside and they’ve got outside. We haven’t had a team shoot it like that against us in a long time. But the difficulty they give us is, they’ve got length at every position and we don’t.”
The Van Buren boys team beat Cardinal 49-39 on Friday, getting to the line 33 times. Over half of Cardinal’s points came from the combination of Landon Becker and Griffin Greiner, who scored 13 each.
On Saturday, Van Buren outscored W-MU 16-5 in the fourth quarter to score a 51-43 comeback win. Freshman Jackson Manning paced the team with 19 points.
“We had two freshmen on the floor,” said head coach Fred Parsons. “I think the important thing is, from what I saw, that they had enough courage and determination that they were able to do that. That’s impressive when you’ve got young kids that will play hard like that.”
Tony Davidson scored 15 points in the win. Lane Davis had seven. Jonah Heckenberg scored five. Wyatt Mertens scored three, and Owen Loeffler had two.
W-MU was led by Daunte Oepping, who scored 22 poitns and pulled down nine rebounds. Christian Gerot scored six. Ty Yocum had four. John Day and Bryce Wade scored three apiece. Juanito Piper and Jared Arnold had two each, and Dawson Bergthold scored one.
“We started the game off getting some shots and finishing at the rim,” Wolves head coach Klay Edwards said. “Really, we got any shot we wanted, we just didn’t finish. Part of that comes down to a little mental toughness, but I can’t fault their effort. We just couldn’t get shots to fall.”