DENISON, Iowa — With all-state caliber post players Cole Neary and Sam Brincks averaging more than 15 points per game, backcourt and bench points for Carroll Kuemper are normally just icing on the cake.
But the Knights (19-4) knocked down nine 3-pointers — five of which came from bench players — in their 62-37 win over IKM-Manning on Tuesday in the Class 2-A, District 16 final.
Ben Hicks hit three 3-pointers and scored 11 points and Cooper Kanne knocked down a pair in Kuemper’s 29-10 run to open the game.
“They were doubling Cole and Sam, so that opened up shots for us, and we knocked them down,” Kanne said. “That double threat is great to have, and we got momentum going and just kept rolling.”
Neary and Brincks had 16 and 12 points, respectively, along with 11 rebounds apiece. Knights coach Tyler Edwards said the seven first-half treys opened up his team’s power game in the second half.
“Our bench has been there for us all year, and they step up and know when it’s their time,” Edwards said. “That added to the flavor, and our defense was outstanding tonight, too, holding them 30 points below their season average.”
Kyle Wagner, who scored 15 points to lead IKM-Manning (20-3), spurred a 9-0 response to the Knights’ blitz, but Kuemper scored 10 of the final 12 points of the half to stretch its lead to 39-21.
“When they make 3s, we had to start extending, and then it’s hard to rebound because they are so big and have such good athletes,” IKM-Manning coach Keith Wagner said. “They did about everything right, and were making shots on top of it.”
Kuemper advances to a Class 2-A Substate 8 final matchup with Treynor on Saturday in Harlan. The Cardinals defeated Council Bluffs St. Albert in overtime Tuesday.
“We will enjoy this one tonight and worry about that one tomorrow,” Edwards said.
IKM-Manning (20-3) .............. 7 14 7 9—37
Carroll Kuemper (18-4) ........ 20 19 11 12—62
IKMM: Colten Hacker 2, Ridge Muhlbauer 2, Sam Wegner 9, Kyle Wagner 15, Cody Eischeid 7, Jared Vollstedt 2.
CK: Chase Rupiper 3, Alex Drees 3, Cole Neary 16, Alex Gunnerson 9, Sam Brincks 12, Cooper Kanne 6, Ben Hicks 11, Josh Tigges 2.