Jeff Yoder Photo / iagameday.smugmug.com
By Pat Harty
IOWA CITY – The Jared Galpin head coaching era started in impressive fashion on Tuesday, especially if you like defense.
The Regina boys basketball team outscored Mid-Prairie 16-0 in the first quarter and then cruised to a 66-44 victory in Galpin’s first game as the Regina head coach.
“I was pleased with the effort because that’s what our focus is every day in practice is our defensive intensity and then maintaining the discipline and being fundamental with our defense,” Galpin said. “So I was very pleased with the effort.
“Obviously, you’re going to give up baskets. But I want these guys to take pride in it for 32 minutes. We did it for 16. We’re not quite there yet. But these guys have the right attitude and they’re going to get better.”
Galpin said he started to relax when Tuesday’s game finally tipped off. He already was familiar with the Regina program and with the players on the team after serving as an assistant coach for 11 seasons.
So when the game started, it was sort of like business as usual, but with Galpin now making the final decisions.
“Honestly, I think everything leading up to coaching was more nerve-racking then actually coaching because once you get going with coaching, I just kind of fall back on what I’ve done, whether it was varsity coaching when I was in western Iowa or even (junior varsity) coaching here," Galpin said. “You just kind of get into the flow of the game and you don’t really think about all the other things that lead up to it.”
Regina used the size and strength of 6-foot-8 sophomore center Even Brauns and the long-range shooting of senior Jocoa Kerschen to seize the momentum almost immediately.
Brauns scored 20 points and only missed two shots, while Kerschen made five of Regina’s 11 3-pont baskets, including four in the first half.
Regna’s perimeter shooters repeatedly found open looks in Tuesday’s game, largely because Mid-Prairie had to pay so much attention to Brauns in the paint.
“It definitely helps,” Kerschen said of Brauns’ presence on offense. “He’ll draw four guys and still score with ease. So it’s definitely going to help us, especially later in the year when we get to tougher games.”
Regina started its season later than most teams in the state, so the excitement that goes with playing in a season opener had been building.
Combine that with Galpin making his head coaching debut and there was a lot emotion surrounding Tuesday’s game at the Regina gym.
“It was just kind of like a waiting period for us,” Brauns said. “I was pretty anxious, all of us were pretty anxious to get back on the court. And it was a really nice crowd today and a really good feeling to start off the way we did.”
Brauns and Kerschen combined to score 13 of Regina’s 16 points in the first quarter. Kerschen made three of his five treys in the opening quarter, while Brauns scored his second basket in the first quarter on a dunk.
Sophomore point guard Masen Miller also chipped in with nine points on three 3-point baskets.
“All those guys are great three-point shooters so it just makes my job as a big a little easier because everyone is pushing them off the line and that leaves me in one-on-one situations where I can score,” said Bruans, who already has a scholarship offer from Northern Iowa and is hearing from Iowa.
Mid-Prairie 0 11 13 20 – 44
Regina 16 21 15 14 – 66
Mid-Prairie (44) – Brad Tornow 2-6 0-0 5, Cary Schaefer 2-3 1-2 5, Cale Robertson 4-8 0-0 9, Dominick Pickard 1-4 1-1 3, Kyle Miller 2-3 0-2 4, Thomas Butters 3-9 2-4 8, Ryan Slaubaugh 1-3 2-4 5, Chazlee Patterson 1-2 0-0 2, Ethan Trimpe 1-2 0-1 2, Grant Boyse 0-2 0-0 0, Joshua Slaubaugh 0-0 0-0 0, Collin Gingerich 0-0 0-0 0, Jacob Busch 0-0 0-0 0, Terrhyn Jacoby 0-0 1-2 1.. Totals 17-43 7-15 44.
Regina (66) – Zachary Seaman 2-6 3-4 7, Masen Miller 3-9 0-0 9, Jocoa Kerschen 5-11 0-0 15, Jake Phillips 0-1 1-2 1, Even Brauns 8-10 4-6 20, Blake Berns 1-4 0-1 2, Bryce Barnett 0-1 4-4 4, Luke Stein 1-4 0-0 3, Jacob Sueppel 1-1 0-1 3, Brady Wallace 0-2 0-1 0, Jacob Clark 0-1 1-2 1, Steven Sehl 0-0 0-0 0, Alex Moore 0-2 0-0 0, Michael Conlon 1-1 0-0 3. Totals 22-53 13-22 66.
3-point goals – Mid Prairie 3 (Tornow, Robertson, R. Slaubaugh); Regina 11 (Keerschen 5, Miller 3, Stein, Sueppel, Conlon). Fouls – Mid-Prairier 19, Regina 15.