The St. Ansgar Saints boys basketball team finished the 2017-2018 season one game above the .500 mark, ending the year with an 11-10 record. They finished with a 9-7 record against Conference opponents. The Saints opened their season on November 28 in Manly against Central Springs, with the season ending in Algona at Bishop Garrigan for the district tournament when they faced off against the St. Edmond Gaels from Fort Dodge.
St. Ansgar started their season off on the right note when they took on the Central Springs Panthers in Manly for their season opener. St. Ansgar looked impressive in their first game, defeating Central Springs by 30 points in a 61-31 final. Although, their next game came against their county rivals when they took on the Osage Green Devils in St. Ansgar’s first home game of the season. Osage had St. Ansgar’s number on December 5, defeating the Saints 75-33. St. Ansgar wouldn’t face the Green Devils again until 2018 when they faced off against them in Osage. The Saints were much better prepared the second time around against the Green Devils, forcing the game into overtime. Unfortunately, St. Ansgar couldn’t pull out the win, losing 61-53. But you could tell just how far the team had come since their first game against Osage, developing as a team immensely.
“I knew coming into this season that this group was going to be a fun group to coach,” said Head Coach Jason Squier. “They came in throughout the summer and worked hard and throughout the season, they did not disappoint me. They made it a lot of fun this year and grew a lot as a team.”
Other highlighted games for the Saints over the course of the season came in wins against a tough Rockford team on December 19, defeating the Warriors 69-62 and beating Lake Mills 64-60 in their final regular season game of the season.
St. Ansgar was led this season by Ethan Kirchgatter and Collin Kramer as the top two scorers on the team. Kirchgatter averaged 14.6 PPG on 36.6% from the field and Kramer 13.9 PPG on a team high 48.8% from the field. Kirchgatter finished in 4th and Kramer 5th for points per game in the Top of Iowa Conference East Division, respectively. Kirchgatter had a nice season dishing out passes to his teammates with 82 assists for the year, second in the conference. Kirchgatter was a 1st Team All-Conference selection to the TIC East Division. Kramer averaged 6.6 rebounds per game, 5th in the conference and second on St. Ansgar’s roster. Kramer was a 2nd Team All-Conference selection to the TIC East Division.
Nicholas Bork and Anthony Williams were the two senior’s on this year’s squad. Bork led the Saints in Reb/G with 7.3, second in the conference, and was the conference leader in blocks over the course of the season with 59, 18 above the runner-up Matt Schubert from Rockford. Bork added 5.9 PPG. Bork was selected to the Honorable Mention All-Conference team in the TIC East Division. Anthony Williams finished the year with 10 points and averaged 1.3 Reb/G coming off the bench for St. Ansgar.
Other players that made an impact for the Saints this year were Erik Gerdts, Jack Sievert, and Adam Williams. Gerdts was St. Ansgar’s go-to three point shooter. He finished with 31 made three’s on 36.9% from behind the arc and averaging 5.8 PPG. Gerdts also had 41 assists through the course of the season. Jack Sievert was third on the team in scoring with 7.7 PPG, shooting 45% from the field. Sievert was third on the team in rebounds, averaging 6.4.
Ryan Cole, Braden Powers, Sawyer Smith, Skylar Blunt and Cade Duckert were the other 5 Saints that played variety minutes this season. This group made the most of their opportunities when their number’s were called and made the team better in practice night in and night out.
St. Ansgar’s season ended against the St. Edmond Gaels from Fort Dodge on February 15 at Bishop Garrigan. St. Ansgar put up a fight, but couldn’t hang in, falling 56-42.