Dragons doom Patriots, 75-67ADRIAN — First building a 13-point lead and then withstanding a strong second-half rally from Hills-Beaver Creek Thursday night, the Adrian Dragons claimed a 75-67 victory over the Patriots in a key early-season Red Rock Conference boys’ basketball game.
By: Lucas Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
ADRIAN — First building a 13-point lead and then withstanding a strong second-half rally from Hills-Beaver Creek Thursday night, the Adrian Dragons claimed a 75-67 victory over the Patriots in a key early-season Red Rock Conference boys’ basketball game.
Adrian (2-1, 2-0) jumped out to an early 9-2 lead and later extended its 42-33 halftime advantage to 50-37 at the 15:38 mark of the second half. H-BC, though, trimmed the gap to two points three different times in the final three minutes before Adrian went 6-for-6 from the free-throw line to hold on for an eight-point victory.
“This is a big win for us, as we played really well in the first half to build a nice lead,” Adrian head coach Cory Van Briesen said after the game. “We showed good patience offensively and had good shot selection in the first half. We passed the ball well and had very few forced shots.”
H-BC (1-2, 0-2) turned up its defensive pressure and came up with several steals in the second half. Layups from sophomore Heath Van Wyhe and senior Joel Van Batavia (11 points) off steals, followed by an offensive rebound and 3-point play by junior Andrew Scholten (15 points), brought the Patriots to within four points (65-61) with 4:20 remaining in the game.
Sophomore Karic Wiertzema then came up with a steal, was fouled and made two free throws to make it 65-63 at the three-minute mark, but Adrian answered with a basket from junior Nate Reyne (21 points) off a nifty drive-and-dish by junior Adam Diekmann.
Senior Halden Van Wyhe (15 points) and Heath Van Wyhe each made a free throw to pull the Patriots back to within two at 67-65 with 2:05 left. Senior Brian Tjepkes, though, hit a 10-foot running jumper in the lane with a minute to go put Adrian up by four.
Van Batavia scored after grabbing a loose ball to make it 69-67 with 37 seconds to play, but Tjepkes (23 points, 15 rebounds, six assists) hit four free throws over the next 17 seconds, and Reyne added a pair from the line with 2.6 seconds left to account for the game’s final six points.
“H-BC gave us some problems with their quickness in the second half,” Van Briesen said. “We were able to hold on, though, as we got good contributions from all nine players that played tonight.”
Adrian jumped out to an early 9-2 lead by the 14:39 mark of the first half, as senior Danny Parsley (15 points, eight rebounds) sparked the Dragons by scoring on a post-up move and draining a 3-pointer from the right corner on a penetrate-and-kick from Tjepkes.
Halden Van Wyhe scored two straight baskets to help H-BC cut the lead to 11-8 with 12:16 left. A post-to-post pass from Scholten to Van Batavia for a bucket made it 13-10 a minute later.
Adrian stretched its lead to eight on four separate occasions over the next eight minutes and pushed it to 10 (32-22) with 3:38 left on an isolation drive from Parsley, who scored all of his points in the first half.
Parsley had earlier scored in the paint on feeds from Diekmann and seniors Justin Weidert and Brett Springman before using a smooth spin move and scoring on the right block to help keep the Dragons in command during that span. Also contributing was Tjepkes, who fired in a long 3-pointer from the left wing and found Reyne for a basket with an inbounds pass.
H-BC was scoring well, too, as Wiertzema hit an 18-footer from the right wing, junior Caleb Ellingson nailed a 3-pointer from the right corner, and both Scholten and Halden Van Wyhe scored in the lane to help slice the lead to four (35-31) with 1:25 to go.
The Dragons increased their lead to 42-33 by halftime, as Reyne scored on a pick-and-roll feed from Tjepkes with 45 seconds left. Tjepkes then canned another long 3-pointer from the left wing — this one with two seconds left — to give Adrian a boost heading into the locker room.
An offensive-rebound basket by Diekmann opened the second-half scoring, and Parsley later passed to Reyne for a hoop. A putback bucket from Tjepkes gave the Dragons a 50-37 lead with 15:38 left.
Scholten followed with two straight baskets, including one off an assist from Halden Van Wyhe in transition at the 15:02 mark to make it 50-41.
H-BC continued to chip into the lead, with senior Terence Reid (12 points) providing a couple of driving buckets. A nifty finish in transition by Reid with 10:04 to play brought the Patriots to within five (57-52).
Adrian went back up by nine a couple more times before the Patriots rallied and created suspense in the final 4:20 — following Scholten’s 3-point play to make it 65-61.
Adrian is back in action tonight with a road game in Luverne. H-BC also plays tonight against McLaughlin, S.D.
H-BC 33 34 — 67
Adrian 42 33 — 75
H-BC (3PT-2PT-FT-TP): He. Van Wyhe 0-1-1-3, Ha. Van Wyhe 0-5-5-15, Ellingson 1-0-0-3, Bass 0-1-0-2, Wiertzema 0-2-2-6, Reid 0-6-0-12, Van Batavia 0-5-1-11, Scholten 0-7-1-15. Totals: 1-27-10-67.
AHS (3PT-2PT-FT-TP): Diekmann 0-2-2-6, Springman 0-3-0-6, Tjepkes 3-5-4-23, Parsley 1-6-0-15, Brake 0-1-0-2, Kopplow 0-1-0-2, Reyne 0-8-5-21. Totals: 4-26-11-75.