Published On: Wed, Mar 2nd, 2011

Trojans punch return ticket to State


LAUREL — The Cedar Catholic Trojans knew what they had to do Monday.
Cedar went into the District title game here with one goal, shut down the Ponca offense and advance to the State Class C2 Basketball Tournament for the third year in a row.
The Trojans did just that, escaping Monday’s C2-3 District title game with a close  50-45 victory.

Cedar’s offense was led on the night by a balanced attack.
Riley Noecker and Logan Feilmeier both hit for nine Cedar points, while Kyle Klug, Andy Moser and Zach Steffen all got eight.
Ponca was led by Trenton Peterson’s 16-point effort. Even though the Trojans walked away from their first meeting with the Indians carrying an 11-point victory in hand, Coach Matt Steffen knew this would not be an easy game.
“Ponca shot very poorly the first time we played, I knew they wouldn’t shoot that poorly again,” Steffen said.  “Ponca plays very good defense and are fundamentally sound on offense and I had a feeling we would be in for a fight.”
Cedar earned the win by penetrating the paint. The Trojans used a variety of schemes to drive through that defense to the basket. The Big Red ended up using a balanced attack to score 26 points from close in, and yank down 75 percent of the defensive rebounds.
Ponca came out swinging to open the game Monday, taking a quick 5-2 lead. However, all of the Indians early points came on freethrows alone.
Cedar knotted the contest on an Aaron Steffen jumper and Andy Moser’s inside shot and foul shot.
A Trenton Peterson shot from downtown gave the Indians the 8-5 lead, but Cedar used a traditional three with Riley Noecker’s lay-in and foul shot to again tie the game.
The two squads then traded baskets before a Logan Feilmeier layup and an Aaron Steffen jumper off of a Kyle Klug steal and assist gave Cedar the 14-10 first-quarter advantage.
Cedar limited the Indians to just 1-10 shooting from the field and 1-3 from long distance in the first frame.
Ponca opened the second frame with jumpers from Seth O’Neill and Peterson. The Trojans countered with one of Andy Moser’s patented hook shots and a Riley Noecker layup to take an 18-14 lead.
Kyle Klug then nailed his first trey of the night to give the Trojans their biggest lead of the contest, 21-14. Logan Feilmeier followed that up with a nifty play, slicing through the defense as he drove to the basket to give Cedar a nine-point advantage with 4:25 left in the first half.
Feilmeier and Noecker both hit again to close out Cedar’s first half scoring, while Ponca went on a 7-4 late run to cut their halftime deficit to six points, 27-21.
The Indians kept that moementum to start the second half.
Cedar opened the final half with a pair of Riley Noecker freethrows, but the Indians then ripped off an 11-4 run, which concluded with a Trenton Peterson buzzer-beater to pull within one point heading into the final frame.
Ponca quickly took the lead on a Seth O’Neill jumper to open the final frame. Logan Feilmeier drove the lane to lay one in and quickly take the lead back at 35-34, but Ponca again responded with a quick basket to squeeze in front, 36-35.
A pair of Zach Steffen foul shots put Cedar on top for good. The Trojans then built a 6-2 run to take control of the contest. Moser, Feilmeier and Logan Weinandt all hit buckets to fuel the run.
“Our kids responded well when Ponca made a run at us in the third quarter.  We kept our composure and got the win.”
Steffen said the win shows a lot of sweat and hard work can really pay off.
“Going back to State for the third year in a row is a great accomplishment for our team and program.  With only one returning starter in Andy, these kids worked hard this summer to improve and achieved a goal through a lot of hard work,” he said. “I and the coaches are extremely proud of this group. The entire team should be proud of the hard work they put in at practice, regardless of how many minutes they get in games, they all work hard to make our team better.”
Moser said the hard work and a tough schedule led to the return trip to State.
”We’ve been working hard all year and we play a hard schedule, so we know what it’s like to have a close game. We pulled together and got the win,” Moser said.
Ponca    10        11    11    13 — 45
Cedar Catholic    14        13     6    17 — 50
Cedar        Ponca
FG        16-38        13-38
FT        16-22        14-18
3PT        2-5            5-9
Reb        29            25
TOs        14            15
Fouls        17            20

Cedar – Riley Noecker, 9; Logan Feilmeier, 9; Andy Moser, 8; Kyle Klug, 8; Zach Steffen, 8; Logan Weinandt, 4; Aaron Steffen, 4. Ponca – Trenton Peterson, 16; Seth O’Neill, 8; Patrick Watchorn, 6; Tyler Rasmussen, 5; Jesse Walsh, 4; Scott Braun, 4; Shane Husen, 2.
Cedar – Andy Moser, 10; Logan Feilmeier, 5; Logan Weinandt, 4; Kyle Klug, 2; Zach Steffen, 2; Aaron Steffen, 1. Ponca – Seth O’Neill, 6; Shane Husen, 3;  Jesse Walsh, 3; Scott Braun, 2; Tyler Rasmussen, 2; Trenton Peterson, 1.
Cedar – Kyle Klug, 2; Logan Feilmeier, 2; Zach Steffen, 1; Aaron Steffen, 1; Andy Moser, 1; Logan Weinandt, 1. Ponca – Jesse Walsh, 3; Trenton Peterson, 2; Shane Husen, 1.
Cedar – Kyle Klug, 2; Riley Noecker, 2; Zach Steffen, 2; Logan Weinandt, 1. Ponca – Jesse Walsh, 3; Tyler Rasmussen, 2; Scott Braun, 1.