For Lincoln Prep Sports.com
D.J. Thiel scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds as the Jets picked up their first road win of the season 59-51 at Dorchester last Thursday night.
With the win, the Jets moved to 3-3 on the year heading into the Parkview Christian Holiday Tournament, where they will face College View Academy Thursday. The win at Dorchester was big for the young players.
"We needed that one badly, because we’d been so close in our last two road games" said head coach Jimmy Motz. "I told the kids afterwards I was proud of the fact they found a way to get the job done, but we have some areas in which we need to get better at. Part of that is my fault for not addressing those areas."
A scrappy Dorchester team didn’t shy away, as they kept the game close most of the night. The Longhorns trailed at the half 30-26, after Sterling’s Wade Hunt knocked down a jump shot right before the buzzer.
The Jets led after three quarters 44-38, but couldn’t put the Longhorns away. Shooting woes continued for the young Jet squad, as they converted on only 9 of 22 free throws in the last quarter. For the game, Sterling shot 19 of 36 from the foul line.
"Most of the kids got going too fast. We had chances to put that game away early and we missed freebies. It seemed like for awhile we may not make one, but we hit them when it mattered. We just need to improve and continue to work" Motz said.
Thiel, a senior, sparked the offense most of the night. Dorchester played a box and one on Sterling post player Zach Lempka. Lempka ended up with 8 points, but fouled out early in the fourth quarter.
William Wirthele added 10 points, a season high for the junior, and Devin Heusman off the bench scored 7 points. Overall, Motz is pleased where his team is at the holiday break.
"I’m very pleased with the progress we’ve made as a team and as a program. We got things going in the right direction, and it starts with playing hard and competing. It’s fun to watch these kids go out and lay it on the line."
"Most importantly though, the community and school has rallied around our basketball team. We’ve packed our gym in both home games and our support on the road has been fantastic."
Sterling’s game with College View is set for 2pm at Parkview Christian December 27th.
Sterling 12 18 14 15 59
Dorchester 12 14 12 13 51
Sterling- Salberg 3, J. Wirthele 4, Nieveen 2, Saathoff 6, W. Wirthele 10, D. Heusman 7, Lempka 8, Thiel 17, Hunt 2
Dorchester- Zoubek 6, Sherman 7, Morris 10, Leeper 8, Bruha 17, Kotas 3