MASON CITY — Gunnar Myers’ journey at NIACC has been an interesting one so far to say the least.
Myers, who was a standout at West Fork, arrived at NIACC to play basketball last year, but due to some injury complications, he was unable to see the floor. The injury, a tear on his quadriceps tendon, limited his ability to jump and run, so a medical redshirt was in order.
Working his way back into playing shape has been the bumpy part as he’s averaged 3.4 points per game in 19 contests this year, but maybe Monday’s night’s performance was enough to get him over the hump.
Myers poured in a career-high 19 points as NIACC was able to take care of the Luther College junior varsity 76-66.
“Last year I suffered that injury and that was a setback for me not being able to play basketball for a long time, but it’s been really good,” Myers said. “Like the coaches said, I’ve got to get that rust off from taking that year off, but it’s starting to get better.”
Meyers was about the only thing that worked for the Trojans in the first half of Monday’s game as his nine points kept keep them afloat in a tight contest. The Trojans had to use a 13-2 run at the end of the half to take a 33-28 lead into half.
The second half saw a much better NIACC team as Myers stayed on his game, and fellow forward Jaycob Payne had a nice performance of his own as he finished with a game-high 22 points while grabbing nine rebounds.
Myers scored 10 in the second half and finished the game 8 for 9 from the field with 19 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots.
“He’s just such a great kid,” NIACC coach Mark Mohl said. “I think with Gunnar, most of the time it’s just him getting over his confidence. He’s so hard on himself that just getting him to believe in himself and do the things he knows he can do, it obviously paid off tonight. It was tremendous.”
For Myers, whose previous career high was 12 points, it was just what he needed in the confidence department.
“It helped a lot because even lately I’ve been struggling putting shots in, so tonight was a real good confidence boost,” he said.
Orrington Hamilton tossed in 16 points and Nick Wurm added 10 points and eight rebounds for the Trojans.
Jadyn Torres led Luther with 14. Former Lake Mills prep Josh Peters scored three and West Fork grad Travis Fekkers added two.
NIACC (13-7) hosts Iowa Lakes on Wednesday.
“It’s a huge confidence boost,” Myers said of the victory. “We just have to keep building off of it and keep doing our thing. We’re on a good roll and we’ve got to keep it going.”