When King’s Way Christian coach Daven Harmeling needed some relief for his boys basketball roster, he went to the bullpen, sort of.
“We have some guys who are baseball guys that haven’t played (basketball) since their freshman year here,” Harmeling said of seniors Ty Mairs and Aiden Pisarczyk. “It was kind of like ‘hey we need some bodies here, fellas.’ So I’ve got thank our baseball coach (Todd Pisarczyk) for giving his blessing to have these guys come out to play. They’ve been a big help.”
Another baseball player, who actually played basketball last season, made a big contribution Thursday as the Knights beat rival Seton Catholic 63-44.
Bryce Dodge had 21 points and 14 rebounds as the Knights improved to 4-0.
And there are straight-up basketball players also showing what they can do, like sophomore Gio Evanson, who also scored 21 points.
“We had some players transfer when COVID hit,” Harmeling said. “So there are a lot of players who have been waiting in the wings who haven’t had a chance yet. And you saw how special Gio is.”
Evanson, who scored 16 of his points in the first half as the Knights mounted a 32-14 advantage, said it’s been a quick adjustment getting to know all his new teammates, but it’s been working well so far.
“I feel like we’ve worked really hard in practice just to learn each other’s role on the team,” Evanson said. “And I think that has helped. I actually really like our new team, and I feel like we’re coming together great.”
Another new face, which is actually an old face, is on the bench along side Harmeling. Former King’s Way standout and University of North Dakota alum Kienan Walter is serving as an assistant coach for the Knights this season.
And Harmeling said he appreciates all the help he can get in this odd season.
“Every coach is fighting the same battle,” Harmeling said. “To what level of detail do you go over certain things because you just don’t have the practice time. I don’t want to say there are things you compromise on, but it’s ‘the easiest coverage is this, so we have to do it this way’ type of thing.”
Seton Catholic coach Aaron Jenniges is dealing with all that, plus the added stress of being a first-time varsity coach with a young Cougars lineup.
“There are times during the game when you say ‘OK, tomorrow in practice that is something we’ll need to work on’ and kind of go from there,” Jenniges said.
Lance Stuck led the Cougars with 12 points. Evan Hernandez added 10 for the Knights.
KING’S WAY CHRISTIAN 63, SETON CATHOLIC 44
SETON CATHOLIC – Noah Carlos 6, Dax Clifton 2, Na’ol Abu 5, Jacob George 2, Jacob Westrick 4, Anthony Mancuso 1, Lance Stuck 12, Cole Jackson 0, Jack Jenniges 6, Liam Holbrook 6. Totals 17 (5) 5-9 44.
KING’S WAY CHRISTIAN – Gio Evanson 21, Ryan Tyler 0, Jackson Moses 0, Aiden Peterson 0, Ty Mairs 0, Bryce Dodge 21, Aiden Pisarczyk 5, Logan Rossman 4, Evan Hernandez 10, Jamison Duke 2. Totals 26 (6) 5-9 63
Seton 11 3 14 16—44
KWC 18 14 20 11–63