PREP BOYS' BASKETBALL: Hills-Beaver Creek sneaks past Quasars
WORTHINGTON -- Finding an answer for every challenge Southwest Star Concept threw their way Saturday night, the third-seeded Hills-Beaver Creek Patriots held onto the lead the entire second half and earned a 72-61 victory over the sixth-seeded Quasars in the quarterfinals of the Section 3A South boys' basketball tournament -- capping the annual "Super Saturday" event at Worthington High School.
H-BC (20-5) advances to the South semifinals in Worthington Thursday night, as the Patriots will meet second-seeded Adrian at approximately 7:30 p.m.
"We made some key plays when we needed to, and we're happy to have the chance to keep playing," H-BC head coach Steve Wiertzema said after the game. "We were able to force a few turnovers with our defensive pressure, and when we moved on offense, we got some open looks and were able to score well, too."
Senior Halden Van Wyhe (17 points, three steals) and junior Andrew Scholten (14 points, eight assists, five rebounds) led a balanced offensive attack, as four other Patriots scored between seven and nine points.
SSC, which split the regular-season series with H-BC and finishes with a 17-8 overall record, had three players score in double figures, as senior Kirk McBreen (16 points, four assists), senior William Cranston (11 points, five rebounds) and junior Alex Collin (10 points) led the way.
The Quasars jumped out to a 4-0 lead 1:25 into the game, as senior Ben Scheevel (six points, five rebounds) scored on a sweet spin-dribble drive in the lane on the game's first possession and then took a charge on H-BC's initial possession. Senior Cory Pelzel (five points, four assists) then made a high-low feed to a cutting Cranston for a hoop on the ensuing trip down the court at the 16:35 mark.
H-BC took its first lead with 13:53 left, as Scholten passed to Van Wyhe for a left-wing 3-pointer to make it 8-6 Patriots. Senior Terence Reid (eight points, five rebounds) later scored in the lane to give H-BC an 11-8 lead with 10:56 to go.
SSC countered with a 6-0 run to take a 14-11 lead, as Scheevel passed to senior Logan Glaser (seven rebounds) for a 17-footer on the right baseline, McBreen scored on a hard drive off the glass, and Collin added a hoop in the paint at the 8:12 mark.
A deep 3-pointer in the right corner by Van Wyhe gave the lead back to H-BC (15-14) with 7:35 remaining, and sophomore Heath Van Wyhe (eight points) scored two straight hoops to help the Patriots maintain a three-point lead (19-16) 2:20 later.
Junior Colton Bass converted a steal into a layup, and Scholten supplied a three-point play to give the Patriots a 24-18 lead with 4:07 left. Scholten then had assists to junior Caleb Ellingson (seven points) for a 3-pointer in the left corner and to senior Dustin Verhey for a cutting hoop in the lane during the final 2:24.
SSC stayed in contention behind a 3-pointer and two free throws by McBreen, plus a strong offensive-rebound basket by senior Andrew Rossow (six points, five rebounds), and trailed by four (29-25) at halftime.
A steal and a coast-to-coast basket by sophomore Karic Wiertzema (five points) put H-BC up 31-26 at the 16:18 mark of the second half, but McBreen responded with a pair of nifty transition plays -- first scoring himself and then dishing to Cranston for a dazzling alley-oop bucket -- to pull the Quasars within one (31-30) with 15:28 remaining.
After Reid and Collin exchanged baskets, Halden Van Wyhe fired in a 3-pointer from the left wing, and Scholten slipped a pass to senior Joel Van Batavia (nine points) for a smooth reverse layup to put H-BC up 38-32 with 13:31 left.
Twenty-two seconds later, Scheevel picked up a loose ball and scored on an aggressive drive to make it 38-34. SSC was within three (40-37) with 11:20 on the clock.
Scholten, though, found Ellingson for a 3-pointer, and Halden Van Wyhe for a 12-footer in the lane to push the Patriots' lead to 45-39 at the 10:05 mark. Halden Van Wyhe later took a pass from Ellingson and rifled in a trey from out top to make it 51-42 with 6:34 left.
McBreen banged in a 3-pointer 16 seconds later on the ensuing possession to make it 51-45, but the Patriots scored the next six points and claimed a double-digit lead for the first time.
Scholten scored on the left block and then made a post-to-post pass to Heath Van Wyhe for a hoop. Heath Van Wyhe then scored on a quick baseline move to make it 57-45 with 3:46 remaining.
H-BC, which was 12-for-20 (60 percent) from the floor in the second half, extended its lead to 66-50 with 1:37 to go, but Pelzel helped the Quasars slice the gap to nine (66-57) with a driving basket with 58 seconds left.
Van Batavia sank five free throws in the last 34 seconds to keep H-BC in control. Quasar senior Jeremy Crocker (four assists) scored a pair of baskets in the final 26 seconds, as the score ended up an 11-point margin.
SSC 25 36 -- 61
H-BC 29 43 -- 72
SSC (3PT-2PT-FT-TP): McBreen 2-3-4-16, Pelzel 0-2-1-5, Scheevel 0-2-2-6, Rossow 0-2-2-6, Cranston 0-5-1-11, Glaser 0-1-0-2, Crocker 0-2-1-5, Collin 0-4-2-10. Totals: 2-21-13-61.
H-BC (3PT-2PT-FT-TP): He. Van Wyhe 0-4-0-8, Ha. Van Wyhe 4-2-1-17, Ellingson 2-0-1-7, Bass 0-1-0-2, Verhey 0-1-0-2, Wiertzema 0-1-3-5, Reid 0-2-4-8, Van Batavia 0-2-5-9, Scholten 0-4-6-14. Totals: 6-17-20-72.