BOYS BASKETBALL: Patriots earn road victoryFULDA — Starting the second half on a 9-2 run to go up by 11 points and later going on a 12-1 surge to take a 17-point lead Thursday night, the Hills-Beaver Creek Patriots claimed a 75-68 victory over the Fulda Raiders in a well-played Red Rock Conference boys’ basketball game.
By: Lucas Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
FULDA — Starting the second half on a 9-2 run to go up by 11 points and later going on a 12-1 surge to take a 17-point lead Thursday night, the Hills-Beaver Creek Patriots claimed a 75-68 victory over the Fulda Raiders in a well-played Red Rock Conference boys’ basketball game.
Fifteen players scored in the game, with 10 players scoring at least five points and seven players notching double-figure point totals. There were also just 21 total turnovers (11 for Fulda, 10 for H-BC) in the fast-paced, up-and-down contest between the evenly-matched squads.
Senior Halden Van Wyhe (five 3-pointers) popped in 17 of his game-high 28 points in the first half to lead H-BC (6-4, 2-3), and four other Patriots scored in double digits.
Junior Devin Kuehne (three assists) also knocked down five 3-pointers and scored a team-best 19 points to pace Fulda (5-5, 3-3), while senior Alex Hein produced 16 points in his eighth game back from a knee injury suffered prior to the football season.
“This was a good game, and I thought we got after it better defensively in the second half,” H-BC head coach Steve Wiertzema said after the game. “We also got the ball inside better in the second half, and we made some nice passes that led to points in the paint for us.”
The first half was full of action and scoring, with the Patriots taking an 11-6 advantage at the 14:29 mark following a 3-point play by sophomore Karic Wiertzema (11 points, six assists) off a transition pass from Van Wyhe.
Wiertzema, who scored all of his points in the first half, added a 3-pointer from the right corner on a skip pass by Van Wyhe to help H-BC early on, while senior Terence Reid (14 points, eight rebounds, six assists, three shot blocks) scored on a feed from Van Wyhe, as well.
Fulda, though, scored eight straight points and had a 14-11 lead at the 13-minute mark. Kuehne banged in a 3-pointer from the left wing to start that burst, while senior Ben Gehl (five points) followed with a nifty pass to sophomore Alex Olsem for a transition basket before swishing a 3-pointer in the left corner.
A catch-and-shoot 3-pointer from the right corner by Van Wyhe tied the game at 16 with 11:27 left, but Fulda regained the lead on another left-wing trey by Kuehne. The Raiders pushed their lead to five (23-18) with 9:44 to go following a high-low basket (junior Nate Fremstad to Hein) and a fast-break bucket by senior Aaron Leinen (nine points) off a sweet one-handed bounce pass from Kuehne.
“I was pleased with the way we matched their speed in the first half,” Fulda head coach Brad Holinka said. “We ran the floor well, and we also did a good job on the boards and finished the game with 18 offensive rebounds.”
Wiertzema scored on a nice reverse layup along the baseline to make it 23-22 with 7:21 to play, and the Patriots were up 26-25 after Van Wyhe stroked a 3-pointer from the left wing at the 5:56 mark. Twenty-six seconds later, H-BC scored on a slick fast-break (Reid to senior Joel Van Batavia to Van Wyhe) and went up 28-25.
However, Fulda — which held a 41-34 rebounding advantage —came back with six straight points to regain the lead (31-28) with 5:07 remaining. Kuehne found Leinen for a 3-point swisher and later came up with a steal and made a lead pass to Hein for a layup and a free throw (3-point play) to spark the Raiders.
H-BC outscored the Raiders 15-8 the rest of the half, as Van Wyhe fired in two more 3-pointers and took a charge to trigger that sequence. Junior Colton Bass (10 points) dropped in a 3-pointer from the right wing with 15 seconds remaining to give the Patriots a 43-39 halftime lead.
The Patriots then scored nine of the first 11 points to open the second half, extending their lead to 11 (52-41) by the 15:21 mark. Another long-range shot from Bass and a putback bucket by junior Andrew Scholten (10 points, eight rebounds) gave H-BC a lift in that stretch, while Van Wyhe had a driving basket and netted an 18-foot jumper on the right wing.
Back-to-back offensive-rebound baskets by Fremstad (11 rebounds, seven points) and freshman Max Dibble sliced the gap to seven (52-45) a minute later, but Van Wyhe answered with a 3-pointer to again make it a double-digit spread.
It was again a six-point game (56-50) with 10:37 left, as Leinen hit a mid-range jumper, and Hein passed to Kuehne for a 3-pointer to fuel the Raiders.
But that’s when the Patriots pulled away, using a 12-1 run to go up 68-51 with 6:20 to go. Scholten, who scored eight second-half points, had three straight baskets in the lane on three consecutive possessions to spearhead that run, with Reid getting the assist on the third hoop.
Reid added a pair of buckets inside during that span, and Van Wyhe meshed a jumper from the left elbow to key the Patriots.
Another 3-point play by Hein helped stop that run and made it 68-55 with 4:42 left, but Wiertzema dished to Reid for a layup to put the Patriots up 70-55 a minute later.
Fulda scored 13 of the game’s last 18 points to make it a seven-point final margin. Senior Tyler Goedtke hit a 3-pointer, and Kuehne dialed in two more shots from behind the arc — including one with four seconds left — as Fulda finished strong.
H-BC visits West Lyon Saturday, and Fulda plays at Murray County Central Tuesday.
H-BC 43 32 — 75
Fulda 39 29 — 68
H-BC (3FG-2FG-FT-TP): Ha. Van Wyhe 5-4-5-28, Bass 2-0-4-10, Wiertzema 1-2-4-11, Reid 0-6-2-14, Van Batavia 0-1-0-2, Scholten 0-5-0-10. Totals: 8-17-17-75.
FHS (3FG-2FG-FT-TP): Gehl 1-1-0-5, Kuehne 5-2-0-19, Hein 1-4-5-16, Goedtke 1-0-0-3, Dibble 0-1-2-4, Ruesch 1-0-0-3, A. Olsem 0-1-0-2, Leinen 1-3-0-9, Fremstad 0-3-1-7. Totals: 10-15-8-68.