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PREP BOYS' BASKETBALL: Flying Dutchmen rally past Red Rock Central

WESTBROOK -- Utilizing a combination of strong inside play, some timely 3-point shooting and increased defensive intensity, Edgerton overcame an eight-point halftime deficit Thursday night and claimed a 59-44 victory over Red Rock Central in an opening round game of the Section 3A South high school boys' basketball tournament.

The victory vaults the seventh-seeded Flying Dutchmen (10-14) to Saturday's quarterfinals in Worthington, while the season ends for the 10th-seeded Falcons (6-19).

"We played a nice first half," said RRC head coach Brian Walker. "But we went a long time in the second half without a basket, and Edgerton became much more aggressive."

That aggressiveness resulted in a 13-0 run over a four-minute stretch of the second half that turned out to the difference in the game.

"We played a lot better defense in the second half, that's for sure," Edgerton head coach Doug Van Kley said. "Then when we got the lead we really played with a lot of confidence. We had a lot of players that contributed and that balance off the bench really helped."

Trailing 36-27 with 14:44 to play in the second half -- after RRC scored on a slick pass from Jake Fredrickson (five assists, eight points, three steals) to Aaron Furth -- the Dutchmen began to score in a variety of ways.

Alex Elgersma, who had powered his way to 10 first-half points, scored in the paint at the 14:30 mark, trimming the Falcon lead to seven.

A minute later, Alex Van't Hof sank a 3-pointer and 36 seconds after that Alex Heard connected from three feet beyond the arc -- his second trey of the second half -- and the Dutchmen were within one (36-35) with 12:57 to play.

After getting another defensive stop, Edgerton took its first lead since early in the game when Pat Kleinjan scored his only basket of the night -- a hard drive that gave EHS a 37-36 edge.

After a free throw by Jordan Gunnink, Heard dished one of his five assists to Chace Hulstein (10 points, eight in the second half), capping the 13-0 surge and putting the Dutchmen on top, 40-36, with 10:52 to play.

RRC, which had built an early 20-13 lead and had earned a 32-24 halftime advantage, never recovered, as Edgerton continued to go inside effectively to Hulstein, Elgersma (16 points, nine rebounds) and Codi Gunnink (14 points, 10 rebounds).

RRC's Bevern Wani (six points, three assists, four steals) made several stellar plays to help spark the Falcons, but Edgerton -- which outrebounded RRC by a commanding 40-15 margin -- extended its leads to 48-40 and 54-42 by the 6:11 and 3:43 marks, respectively.

Brian Benedict (12 points, three assists, four steals) and Tyler Erickson (12 points, three 3-pointers) had combined for 23 of RRC's first-half points, as back-to-back 3-pointers by Erickson had extended a 14-13 lead to a 20-13 bulge with 7:03 left in the half.

Benedict, who scored seven of the Falcons' first 11 points, drilled an open 3-pointer with seven seconds remaining to give RRC its 32-24 advantage at intermission.

But EHS, keyed by better ball movement and Marty Van Peursem's defensive pressure on Erickson, rallied with its strong second half.

"Marty really did a great job of guarding Erickson in the second half," praised Van Kley. "All of our guys just played so much better after halftime."

Edgerton had 19 turnovers in the game, but only five after intermission.

The Flying Dutchmen, who were 25-of-47 from the field (14-of-23 in the second half), play second-seeded Adrian Saturday in the third game, scheduled for a 4:30 p.m. start.

RRC 32 12 -- 44

Edgerton 24 35 -- 59

RRC (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Erickson 3-1-1-12, Fredrickson 2-1-0-8, Fox 0-1-0-2, Furth 0-2-0-4, Wani 0-2-2-6, Benedict 2-3-0-12. Totals 7-10-3-44..

Edgerton (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Kleinjan 0-1-0-2, Van Peursem 0-0-2-2, J.Gunnink 0-1-1-3, Heard 2-0-1-7, T.Hulstein 0-1-0-2, Elgersma 0-8-0-16, Van't Hof 1-0-0-3, C.Hulstein 0-5-0-10, C.Gunnink 0-6-2-14. Totals 3-22-6-59.

Section 2A ML/B-O 60, ML 42

MOUNTAIN LAKE -- Steven Herrig scored 19 points to lead Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin past Martin Luther in the opening round of the Section 2A boys' basketball tournament Thursday night.

Doug DeFrance added 10 points, while Issac Hildebrandt scored eight points to go along with five assists and five steals.

Beau Herrig scored eight points and pulled down eight rebounds for the Wolverines (5-20), who will now travel to face top-seeded Granada-Huntley-East Chain Tuesday.

ML 15 27 -- 42

ML/B-O 25 35 -- 60