Mother nature cooperated and the SD Venom 17u boys were finally able to get their 2018 spring/summer season tipped off as they traveled to Ames, IA to play in the Midwest Finest Tournament at the beautiful Fieldhouse. The boys were really looking forward to getting things started and it was apparent from the opening tip of the 1st game that these guys were ready. They won there opening round game 69-42 over the Cardinals from Des Moines. Leading the way for Venom was 6’4 junior power forward from Watertown, Solomon Bach who scored game high 23 points including 3-4 from 3 point land. Tea junior Kade Stearns chipped in 11. Dawson Paulsen from RC Stevens had 10. Mason Ritter (Tea) 9 and Jackson Miller (West Central) had 8 points and 9 rebounds. Kaleb Joffer (Tea) added 7 boards. Next up for Venom was IA Intesity 17u. The boys came out a bit sluggish in the 1st half and found themselves in a tight battle. Score was tied 33 all at half, but the boys got it together and pulled away in the second half in dominating fashion and winning going away 80-67. Paulsen led the scoring with 26 points including 50% from 3 point land going 7-14 from behind the arc! Bach had 16 points and 8 rebounds. Miller added 11 points/5reb/6asst/3 steals and a perfect 4-4 from the line. Stearns contributed 10 points and a team high 7 assists. Big Lub Joffer pulled down 10 boards in the win. Venom entered championship Sunday as the #1 overall seed. Wearing Red for the occasion, Venom found themselves in a battle against Shootit in the semifinals. Their name was fitting because they came out firing from 3. Venom was down 33-38 at half. But in the 2nd half, Venom dominated the boards and wore them down, taking the 75-58 win. Ritter led the balanced scoring with 18 including an impressive 4-6 from 3 to go along with 6 rebounds and 4 assists and taking 2 charges. Stearns added 16 points 3-8 from 3 point land. Miller chipped in with 15 points/6rebs. Bach had 11 points/4 steals/4 blks. Paulsen rounded out the scoring with 11 3-7 from 3. 5 guys scored in double figures. It was on to the Championship game vs. AFES. Venom picked the wrong game to play their worst game of the tourney. Missed bunnies and 14 turnovers proved to be the demise and playing without Big Lub due to an ankle injury just made things too difficult. Venom lost 56-60 in a very competitive Championship game. Stearns led with 19 points 5-8 from 3. Ritter added 11 and Miller had 10 in the loss. All in all it was a great first weekend together.
NEXT UP: Battle at the Lakes May 12-13
Scott Stearns / Executive Director