Strong Start, Hot Shooting Helps Regina Roll Past Monticello

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Photo by Norv Coblentz

Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

CASCADE – When he’s not playing point guard Masen Miller makes a pretty solid relief pitcher for the Regina baseball team.

Miller came up with the basketball version of a perfect game on Thursday.

The sophomore guard hit all seven of his field goal attempts and poured in a game-high 22 points as Regina race to a 70-35 win over Monticello (11-12) in a Class 2A, District 8 semifinal in Cascade.

Miller was 5-of-5 from 3-point range and connected on all three of his free throw attempts to lead an efficient Regina offensive performance that saw the Regals shoot 63 percent from the floor.

“We had really good ball movement,” Miller said. “My teammates were driving gaps and getting me open looks and once you get a rhythm and start feeling it then it’s just playing in the flow of the game.”

Miller and the Regals are definitely flowing in the right direction at the most important time.

Regina (18-3) brings a 10-game winning streak into the District 8 title game with No. 6 Cascade (21-1) on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Maquoketa.

Cascade advanced with a 61-51 win over West Branch on Thursday in its first game since a loss to Northeast in its regular season finale.

The Cougars won the regular season meeting with Regina 69-50 back on December 19.

“It’s going to be a really emotional game and we will be ready,” Miller said. “Getting to play them again is a really fun challenge for us. I think we’ve really progressed through the year so I think it would be a very good game for us.”

Miller has been a big part of the Regina surge in the second half of the season.

The 6-foot point guard has scored in double figures in seven straight games and is averaging 15 points per contest during that stretch.

He was at his best on Thursday.

Miller had seven points during a 19-0 Regina run to open the game that put things out of reach less than seven minutes in.

“That’s been key for us getting off to a good start, when we get off to a good start we play really well,” Regina coach Jared Galpin said. “We were off for almost a week and I’m not going to lie I was nervous but our guys weren’t they we were ready to play.”

Jocoa Kerschen and Jake Phillips hit 3-pointers on the Regals first two offensive possessions as Regina took a 6-0 lead 70 seconds in.

Regina was just getting started.

The Regals held Monticello without a point for nearly seven minutes as the Panthers missed their first nine field goal attempts.

Monticello finally got on the board on a free throw by Just Recker with 1:10 left in the opening quarter.

By that point the damage was done.

“The fundamentals of their defense are just really good right now,” Galpin said. “Obviously we have some breakdowns here and there but their defensive fundamentals take care of a lot of things that we are trying to accomplish.”

While Monticello couldn’t get anything going Regina got offensive contributions from everyone.

Miller was the only player in double figures for Regina but 10 different Regals scored and seven hit 3-pointers.

Regina was 5-of-7 from 3-point range in the first half while building a 35-15 halftime lead and finished 13-of-21 from beyond the arc.

“We have multiple guys that can shoot well from the perimeter so it really helps us out to stretch the floor,” Galpin said. “Even (Brauns) helps with that because he draws a lot of attention inside and when our shots are rolling we are a tough guard.

Freshman Ashton Cook had nine points on 3-of-3 shooting while Bryce Barnett and Kerschen each had eight.

“We have really good chemistry and we know we can play any group of guys and there will be no drop off,” Miller said. “We can still continue to move the ball and lock teams up.”

Regina                        19  16  19  16  –  70

Monticello                    3   12   8   12  –  35

Regina (70) – Zachary Seaman 1-5 0-0 3, Michael Conlon 0-1 0-0 0, Bryce Barnett 3-3 1-2 8, Masen Miller 7-7 3-3 22, Jacob Sueppel 1-2 0-0 3, Jocoa Kerschen 3-5 0-0 8, Brady Wallace 1-1 0-0 3, Jake Phillips 2-4 1-4 6, Ashton Cook 3-3 2-2 9, Even Brauns 1-3 2-4 4, Nick Wagner 2-3 0-0 4, Blake Berns 0-1 0-0 0, Team 24-38 9-15 70.

Monticello (35) – Jacob Manternach 3-11 0-4 7, Luke Lambert 2-3 0-0 4, Avery Martensen 2-4 0-0 5, Justin Recker 1-6 3-4 5, Alexander Nealson 2-8 0-2 4, Gavin Cooper 0-1 0-0 0, Kyle Sperfslage 1-9 4-4 6, Ryan Manternach 1-1 1-2 3, Tyler Nealson 0-1 1-2 1, Team 12-44 9-18 35.

3-point field goals – ICR 13-21 (Seaman 1-3, Conlon 0-1, Barnett 1-1, Miller 5-5, Sueppel 1-2, Kerschen 2-4, Wallace 1-1, Phillips 1-3, Cook 1-1); MON 2-10 (J. Manternach 1-2, Martensen 1-2, Recker 0-2, Cooper 0-1, Sperfslage 0-3). Rebounds – ICR 29 (Phillips 5); MON 24 (J. Manternach 6). Turnovers – ICR 9; MON 11. Total fouls – ICR 13; MON 10. Fouled out – None. Technical fouls – None.