KINGMAN — Heading into the 2019-2020 basketball season, the Inman High School boys were faced with uncertainty.
The Teutons graduated all-state selections Mason Thiessen and Payton Froese from last year’s third-place state finish. After defeating Kingman 59-34 Friday night, Inman is 4-1 entering the Christmas break.
“One thing I’ve learned about my team is that they have a heart and a will and determination, and they play so hard,” Inman head coach Brett Froese said. “What you saw tonight, that’s the way they play in practice.”
Kingman senior Peyton Price, a 6-6 All-Central Plains League selection last year, missed the game due to an ankle injury. Price’s height and skill was greatly missed against a fired-up Inman squad.
“Obviously, his injury made a difference. He’s a good player, he would have given them an inside presence,” Froese said. “Our pressure on their guards really disrupted a lot of their timing. I thought we did a great job of getting in transition when we should have, and not trying to force things.”
Inman’s Derick Johnson and Kyler Konrade both knocked down early 3-pointers as the Teutons scored the first 11 points of the game. The Inman lead was as large as 13 in the first half after another Johnson 3-pointer, but Kingman closed the first half on an 8-3 run to cut the lead to 25-17 at halftime.
The Teutons kept it going in the second half, outscoring the Eagles 34-17 in the final two quarters. Johnson and Jace Doerksen each finished with 15 points, while Kolby Blank added 14.
Nine different Teutons scored, including cross county standout Nicholas Martisko at the end of the game. Martikso’s bucket sent an already rowdy crowd to its feet. The Inman student section was fun and lively the entire night.
“Our crowd has been awesome,” Froese said. “It absolutely makes a difference. When you come out and it’s that loud, we feed off of that, especially a young group like ours that loves to fly around anyway.”
The Teutons return from break on Jan 3. when they host Marion.