The Oelwein boys’ basketball team clinched a winning Northeast Iowa Conference season with Monday’s 72-57 home decision over the Decorah Vikings.
Oelwein improved to 7-4 in the conference and 12-5 overall. Decorah is 3-7 in the conference and 7-11 overall.
“This victory gives our kids a chance to finish in the top three in the conference," said Oelwein coach Nick Schauf. "This is something they have definitely wanted. The kids have come to work each day with a lot of energy. Everyone has contributed.
“All of the boys practice so well and really work hard in games and in practice to help each other get better. This game was evidence of that, as we needed both our starters and reserves to contribute against a very physical Decorah team."
Three Oelwein players finished in double digits, led by Dom Robertson with 23 points. Zach Wegner was next with 17 points, while Dillon Arndt tallied 10 points.
Mason Meyer finished with seven points for the Huskies, while Steven Nicolay garnered six, Adam Deaner four, Jacob King three and Cam Palmer two.
Keaton Solberg was the leading point producer for Decorah with 13, while Pat Bockman tacked on 12 points.
Sam Robinson and Matt Franzen each garnered nine points, and were followed by Logan Halverson and Andrew Magner with five each. Charlie Robinson rounded out the attack with four points.
Robertson got the Huskies on the board first by draining a 3-pointer from the left side 30 seconds into the game.
Decorah responded with field goals by Franzen and Magner to take what would be its lone lead of the night at 4-3 midway in the opening stanza.
Meyer’s bucket and a Robertson field goal off a steal put the Huskies ahead to stay in the contest, 7-4.
Oelwein led by as many as five points on two different occasions later in the quarter, before Magner banked in a three-pointer at the buzzer to leave the visitors down, 12-10, entering the second period.
Oelwein put together a 12-4 run to begin the second. Meyer swished one of two free throws to cap the run and gave Oelwein a 24-14 lead.
The teams traded points the remainder of the frame. The Huskies took a seven-point advantage, 29-22, to the locker room at intermission.
The offensive tempo picked up in the third quarter for the Huskies. Wegner provided the early spark with a 3-pointer and a follow-up field goal to help send the Huskies in front, 36-26.
Deaner’s three-point play with 2:30 on the clock boosted the Huskies’ advantage to 47-33.
Wegner and Nicolay hit consecutive field goals in the closing minute of the period to extend Oelwein’s lead to 54-37. Decorah got the last field goal of the frame to climb to within 54-39 entering the final eight minutes.
Robertson’s field goal and a Wegner 3-pointer boosted the Huskies’ advantage to 59-41 in the opening minute of the final stanza.
Oelwein would equal that 18-point margin at 64-46 on Meyer’s bucket with 4:58 on the clock
The Huskies took their largest edge of the evening at 68-49 on Wegner’s field goal with 3:22 remaining.
Both teams cleared their benches at the end, and the Huskies went on to claim the decision.
Monday’s league games
In other conference games Monday, Crestwood (9-2 in the NEIC and 12-7 overall) defeated New Hampton (3-8 and 8-11), 72-42, and Waverly-Shell Rock (8-3 and 9-9) toppled Waukon (1-9 and 5-12), 67-38.
Oelwein will host Wapsie Valley in a Senior Night girls’/boys’ doubleheader on Tuesday. JV competition gets underway at 4 p.m., with the varsity games to follow.
The Oelwein boys will then conclude their league schedule on Thursday with a ninth grade/JV/varsity tripleheader at Crestwood commencing at 5 p.m.