BOYS' BASKETBALL: Dragons down RaidersADRIAN — Taking control with an 18-3 surge that turned a five-point deficit into a 10-point lead midway through the first half Monday night, the Adrian Dragons earned an 88-76 victory over the Fulda Raiders in a high-scoring, well-played Red Rock Conference boys’ basketball game.
By: Lucas Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
ADRIAN — Taking control with an 18-3 surge that turned a five-point deficit into a 10-point lead midway through the first half Monday night, the Adrian Dragons earned an 88-76 victory over the Fulda Raiders in a high-scoring, well-played Red Rock Conference boys’ basketball game.
Eighteen players scored in the game (nine for each team), including 12 (six apiece) who netted at least six points. There were also just a total of 25 turnovers (14 for Fulda, 11 for Adrian) in the game.
Adrian (15-3, 11-2) — which remains alone in second place in the league standings (two games behind Ellsworth) — was sparked by the senior tandem of Brian Tjepkes (26 points, three assists) and Danny Parsley (22 points, seven rebounds, six assists), who each fired in three 3-pointers in the first half.
The Dragons, who hit nine 3-pointers in the first half and finished the game 10-for-22 from 3-point range, had a couple of 19-point leads throughout the second half and held off a late surge by Fulda in the last six minutes to seal a 12-point win.
“I’m pleased with how we played overall, but we let up a little bit defensively in the second half,” Adrian head coach Cory Van Briesen said after the game. “We did a lot of things well offensively and scored a lot of points, but we didn’t defend as well as we should have. Fulda, though, played well and deserves a lot of credit.”
Fulda (7-11, 5-9) had a 17-12 lead at the 12:22 mark of the first half, as senior Ben Gehl (14 points) scored eight points in a span of 1:03 to trigger the Raiders early on.
The Raiders earlier led 4-2 with 15:55 to play, as senior Tyler Goedtke (six points) scored two straight baskets in the paint — including one off a quick cut to the hoop and an out-of-bounds bounce pass from junior Devin Kuehne (team-high 15 points, five assists).
Adrian took a 10-7 at the 13:40 mark, as Tjepkes and junior Brendon Kopplow (seven points) each hit a 3-pointer and scored in the paint to account for the Dragons’ first 10 points. Tjepkes scored on a sweet behind-the-back drive down the lane, while Kopplow added a put-back basket.
However, Gehl’s catch-and-shoot 18-footer from the top of the key on a feed from freshman Max Dibble — who later swished a 3-pointer from out top — at the 13:25 mark sparked a 10-2 burst for the Raiders.
Senior Aaron Leinen (eight points) found senior Sam Olsem for a fast-break basket and then passed to Gehl for a transition 3-pointer in the right corner to put Fulda up 14-10, and after two free throws by Dragon senior Jordon Kontz, Gehl’s aggressive driving basket (plus a free throw for a three-point play) gave the Raiders a 17-12 lead with 12:22 remaining.
“We played well tonight, but just not as well as Adrian did,” Fulda head coach Brad Holinka said. “We scored 76 points — which is really good — but we didn’t stop Adrian from scoring as much as we needed to. They are tough to guard, and they certainly showed why they are one of the elite teams in our conference tonight.”
Parsley answered Gehl’s three-point play by bouncing in a 3-pointer from the top of the key 11 seconds later, and Tjepkes meshed a 12-foot pull-up jumper to tie the game at 17 with 10:17 left.
Parsley and Kuehne each nailed a 3-pointer to make it 20-20 with 9:32 to go, but the Dragons scored the next 10 points to go up 30-20 at the 7:43 mark.
Adrian hit a trio of 3-pointers in that sequence, as three different Dragons connected from behind the arc in three separate spots. Parsley — who added a free throw and took a charge in that stretch — drilled a trey from the right corner before Tjepkes (right wing) and senior Justin Weidert (left corner) also dialed in a long-distance shot.
The Dragons continued to lead, and senior Brett Springman (10 points, six rebounds) gave Adrian a 44-29 lead with a 3-point swisher in the left corner at the 1:02 mark.
Fulda scored the last basket of the half, as senior Kyle Jans (11 rebounds, nine points) slipped a pass to Goedtke for a hoop with 45 seconds left to make it 44-31 at halftime. An offensive-rebound basket by junior Nate Fremstad also helped the Raiders late in the half.
Adrian increased its lead to 53-36 by the 15:27 mark of the second half, as senior Jesse Brake hit a mid-range shot along the right baseline, and junior Nate Reyne (12 rebounds, six points) sank two free throws to help the Dragons.
Freshman Kyle Kilgore (six points) later hit a jumper from the free-throw line to give Adrian a 59-43 lead with 12:19 left, and the Dragons had leads of 65-46, 67-48, 69-50, 71-52 and 73-54 during the next five minutes.
The lead never got to 20, though, and Fulda gradually trimmed the gap to 10 (73-63) at the 4:51 mark following two free throws and a basket in the paint from senior Alex Hein, who scored all 10 of his points in the second half and also took a charge with 5:29 left.
Adrian, though, maintained a lead of at least nine points the rest of the way. The Dragons, who went 22-for-30 from the free-throw line in the game, made 11 of 16 foul shots in the last three minutes to secure the victory.
Adrian visits Windom Thursday, while Fulda takes on Red Rock Central in Lamberton Friday.
Fulda 31 45 — 76
Adrian 44 44 — 88
FHS (3PT-2PT-FT-TP): Gehl 1-5-1-14, Kuehne 3-3-0-15, Hein 2-1-2-10, Goedtke 0-3-0-6, Dibble 1-0-1-4, Leinen 0-3-2-8, S. Olsem 0-2-1-5, Fremstad 0-2-1-5, Jans 0-3-3-9. Totals: 7-22-11-76.
AHS (3PT-2PT-FT-TP): Kontz 0-1-2-4, Springman 1-1-5-10, Tjepkes 3-7-3-26, Parsley 4-1-8-22, Weidert 1-1-0-5, Brake 0-1-0-2, Kopplow 1-2-0-7, Reyne 0-1-4-6, Kilgore 0-3-0-6. Totals: 10-18-22-88.