Varsity Basketball

Basketball notes: Holthaus powers Douglass

Even before Ty Unrau became the Douglass coach this season, he knew about senior Jared Holthaus. Unrau had watched him while a Garden Plain assistant.

And if there's one thing to know about Holthaus, he's difficult to stop.

"What's nice about Jared is he's athletic enough to create his own shot, to get to the basket, and they have to respect his outside shooting," Unrau said. "He can get the three going and get to the rim for quality looks every possession."

Holthaus is averaging 24.5 points. Against Belle Plaine last week, he had 18 points in the first quarter and finished with 31 in three quarters.

"He can hit a tough shot, but he's so much more effective when he gets to the basket," Unrau said. "He's athletic enough to finish. He's had six dunks this year."

At 6-foot-4, Holthaus has moved from point guard, where he played as a junior, to shooting guard. He's Douglass' tallest player and is effective in the team's motion offense.

"There's a lot of space for him in the paint to attack," Unrau said. "And it opens up a lot for others. We've seen box-and-one (defense) and diamond-and-one (defense). We've had six games like that with junk defenses."

When the defenses collapse on Holthaus, his teammates have come through, including Ronnie Sobanek (10.3 points), Jason Piha and Payton Fraley.

"We have guys that can knock down shots and it gets (opponents) out of the junk defenses," Unrau said.

CPL title decided? _ The Central Plains League boys title could be decided in the next week.

Heading into the game between Garden Plain and Trinity Academy on Thursday, four teams were undefeated in the league — Garden Plain (9-5, 3-0), Trinity (11-3, 3-0), Cheney (11-4, 4-0) and Douglass (11-3, 3-0).

Douglass plays host to Cheney tonight, is at Trinity on Monday and at Garden Plain on Tuesday. Trinity plays host to Cheney on Tuesday.

"It will be a tough road for us," Douglass' Unrau said. "But we're ready for the challenge."

Scoring machine — There are many reasons why the Heights boys are undefeated this season. One is their offensive efficiency.

The Falcons are shooting 58 percent from the field.

"Nobody cares who the leading scorer is after the game," Heights coach Joe Auer said. "They just want to get good shots for the team, and they know that what a good shot is changes throughout the game."

Heights has such a variety of scorers that it is hard for defenses to predict where the points are going to come from. Auer, however, pointed out that the team knows to start from the inside out.

Perry Ellis, Heights' leading scorer with 22 points per game, is shooting a staggering 75 percent. And Heights' primary ballhandlers, E.J. Dobbins and Evan Wessel, know how to find the open man.

Dobbins averages six assists while Wessel can be counted on for about five. Their leadership in the backcourt has led to a 2-1 team assist-to-turnover ratio.

Heights will try to keep up its efficiency tonight against West.