VerSteeg and Evink headline Hancock in Little Eight Conference awards

The Owls boys’ basketball season was cut a little short of their goal with a loss in the first round of playoffs. Hancock competed well in a tough Little Eight Conference and finished the year 11-15 and were fourth in the conference with a .500 record.

The season was a little up and down to start the year for the Owls. They did have a three game winning streak, but through eight games they had an even .500 record of 4-4/

Hancock the got hot and won five of their next seven games to improve to 9-6. The schedule stiffened up in the second half and the Owls dropped 10 of their final 12 regular season games to finish 11-15. Hancock finished an even 8-8 in the Little Eight Conference to finish in a tie for fourth with Battle Lake and Border West.

The Owls solidified the four seed in the Section 6A-South playoffs and hosted conference rival Border West. The teams split the season series, but the Bucs were able to pull off a 10 point win on the road to end the Owls’ season.

“I thought we had some nice wins against some nice teams and there are always a couple games you feel you could have won but lost. Overall I am very happy with the team’s effort and performance,” head coach Cory Bedel said.

The Owls had two players recognized with Little Eight Conference awards. Hudson VerSteeg was named to the Little Eight Conference First Team, averaging 20.8 points on 50.7 percent shooting and adding 11.4 rebounds per game. VerSteeg also broke a school record this year by shooting 70 percent from two-point range. Chase Evink was named to the Little Eight Conference Second Team and he also averaged a double-double with 14.5 points and 10.0 rebounds per game.

Next year’s team will have a tall task of replacing a large senior class of eight Owls. Those seniors include: Brayden Kisgen, Trey Holm, Rylan Meierding, Blake Lenz, Hudson VerSteeg, Gage Schmidgall and Ralphy Algarate. “We lose eight seniors which is something you don’t see often in Hancock, so losing this senior class will be big. Their effort in practice and games really showed,” Coach Bedel said.

Evink, Preston Kisgen and Jordan Chunn will be the three players returning to the team next year with the most varsity experience. Those three will have a large hand in filling in the shoes of the eight seniors from this year’s team to work to getting to be a .500-plus basketball team.

Hudson VerSteeg20.850.729.358.611.
Chase Evink14.547.833.360.310.
Brayden Kisgen8.6.36.828.345.
Preston Kisgen6.
Trey Holm4.536.126.754.
Jordan Chunn2.743.97.754.
Rylan Meierding2.
Riley Miller1.233.350.0N/A1.
Owen Klefer0.766.7N/AN/A0.
Blake Lenz0.525.033.3N/A0.
Jace Meierding0.450.00.0N/A0.
Brady Luthi0.4100.0N/ZN/A0.
Luca Felix0.314.316.7N/A0.