Is it early in the boys’ basketball season? We just finished the first week, so you bet we do. Still, if you’re a Union Knights fan, you must be very happy with the start of this year.
The Knights are currently 3-0 with a resounding win over BCLUW in Game 1, a fierce 58-46 win over Vinton-Shellsburg on Thursday and a 58-50 comeback victory over East Marshall on Friday. They did it with a solid overall team effort.
That being said, anyone on the Knights would tell you it helps when you have TJ Freeland on the team.
The 6-foot-2 senior currently has 20 points, 6.3 rebounds and three assists per game this season. He was in great shape Friday night against the Mustangs when he dropped 21 points, a season high, and had nine rebounds, a season high, with three steals and four blocks. Head coach Corey Lorenzen couldn’t help but smile as he spoke of Freeland following Friday night’s win.
“He’s just a leader,” Lorenzen said. “He works hard in training and leads these kids on and off the court. He’s going to give us 100% night and night. He’s a better kid than he’s a basketball player and I’m extremely proud. of him. You can see his leadership on the pitch and that motivates the rest of our team. We’re lucky to have him. “
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Of course, no player can do it all on their own. Junior Ty Lorenzen entered Friday averaging 17 points and three assists per game while Grant Behrens scored 12 per game. Lorenzen had a quiet night on Friday with just four points, but Behrens nearly pulled off a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds. Leading rebounder Logan Rosauer (eight per game going into Friday) had six against the Mustangs while scoring nine points. Danny Petersen (seven boards per game) had four boards to go on Friday with 11 points.
All of these contributions from so many different players made Corey Lorenzen feel very confident about the Knights’ situation after three games. The coach admitted, however, that there was always room for improvement.
“We couldn’t ask for a better place,” he said. “We’re 3-0, but we’ve got a lot of work to do. We have two tough games coming up next week (against Oelwein and Sumner-Fredericksburg) and we have to let the guys rest, but at this point we’re exactly where we want to be and hope to be. “
Ball control, said Lorenzen, is the area most in need of improvement for the Knights. They made 28 turnovers on Thursday and hit double the numbers again on Friday.
With a senior squad, however, Union is in the best position he could ask for right now. It’s a better place than many others right now.