Clearwater/Orchard Tops EPPJ at NVC East Tourney

ELGIN — Facing Clearwater-Orchard in the second round of the NVC Tournament Tuesday night, Elgin Public-Pope John was hoping to secure a spot in the East finals.

Only one thing went wrong, Clearwater-Orchard wanted the same thing and outplayed the Wolfpack to claim a 62 to 42 victory.

The Wolfpack were outscored in all four quarters of the contest.

“This was our chance to have a breakthrough game,” Coach Tory Gilson said. 

“We had an opportunity to beat an ‘a’ caliber team. This game would have been a big success in the Wolfpack Program. Clearwater/Orchard is one of those teams that if you can pull off an upset, you will see instant success.”

Gilson said the Wolfpack matched their opponent basket for basket in the early going. “We missed a lot of easy buckets that could have possibly given us a decent lead. However, our inability to capitalize off of Clearwater/Orchard mistakes made it tough on us when they made adjustments within the game.”

One particular problem was the Wolfpack’s inability to contain Logam Hoffman. 

“We couldn’t stop Hoffman, their best player this night,” Gilson said. “He is a good player and we will have to play him extra close next time we play them.”

Hoffman led his team with 15 points, Ethan Thiele had 12, Dillon Finch and Travis Kester each had nine.

“They were a very balanced team and they were more aggressive than we were when it mattered and we had trouble rebounding against them,” Gilson said.

EPPJ was led in scoring by post player Jeff Starman and point guard J.J. Reestman, each with 11 points.