Fenske, Omerza honored

Ely seniors win spots on All-Arrowhead boys basketball team

by Tom Coombe
Dylan Fenske and Eric Omerza formed a potent combination for the Ely Timberwolves.
While their teammates handled the bulk of the outside shooting for Ely high school boys basketball team that reached the Section 7A semifinals, the two seniors were clearly the Wolves’ “bread and butter.”
Arrowhead Conference coaches noticed, naming the pair to the All-Arrowhead Team.
The recognition comes on the heels of a surprising season for the Wolves, who won 23 games and fell to defending section champion North Woods in hotly-contested 7A final four matchup.
Fenske and Omerza were clearly two key cogs in Ely’s success.
A 6-2 forward and the Wolves’ tallest starter, Fenske gave Ely an inside presence and at times was an offensive machine.
That was obvious Feb. 11, when he scored 28 first-half points to reach 1,000 for his career in a home win over Lakeview Christian Academy.
For the year, Fenske averaged 20 points and 7.5 rebounds per contest and finished his prep career with 1,161 points.
“He came a long way as a player over the years and there were games he just dominated for us,” said Ely Head Coach Tom McDonald. “He led us in both scoring and rebounding.”
A three-year starter, Omerza was the quintessential point guard for the Wolves and one of the t op gurard in all of 7A.
While Omerza averaged 15 points per game, his contributions went far beyond putting the ball in the basket.
He handled the ball for the Wolves and excelled on defense while rebounding well for his size, often flirting with a triple-double and having numerous nights where he reached double digits in assists. He averaged about eight assists per game.
“I think he was our glue guy this year and was really consistent for us,” said McDonald. “He was also our best defender.”
Fenske and Omerza were part of an All-Arrowhead group that was also well represented by North Woods, with center Trevor Morrison and guard T.J. Chiabotti making the list.
Mesabi East’s Hunter Hannuksula and Mt. Iron-Buhl’s sharpshooting freshman Asher Zubich were repeat All-Arrowhead honorees.
The group also included Matt Welch and eighth-grader Isaac Asuma of Cherry, Eveleth-Gilbert’s Will Bittman, and Jace Hallin of International Falls.
Gaining honorable mention were Nikolash Jesch (Mt. Iron-Buhl), Darius Goggleye (North Woods), Carter Mavec (Eveleth-Gilbert), Jacob Sickel (Eveleth-Gilbert) and Matt Kennedy (Littlefork-Big Falls).