PREP BOYS' BASKETBALL: AHS knocks out EdgertonADRIAN — Kyle Kilgore and Kody Henning combined for 43 first-half points Thursday evening, as the sixth-seeded Adrian Dragons rolled to a 49-17 halftime lead on 11th-seeded Edgerton in a Section 3A South high school boy’s basketball play-in game.
By: Les Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
ADRIAN — Kyle Kilgore and Kody Henning combined for 43 first-half points Thursday evening, as the sixth-seeded Adrian Dragons rolled to a 49-17 halftime lead on 11th-seeded Edgerton in a Section 3A South high school boy’s basketball play-in game.
The Dragons started the second half with a 13-5 run and opened up a 62-22 advantage with 11 minutes left, as they advanced to “Super Saturday” with a 73-38 victory over the Flying Dutchmen.
“We came out in both halves with a lot of energy and intensity,” declared a satisfied Adrian head coach Dean Schnaible, who is no stranger to tournament competition. “When we play well in each half, we can compete with most teams.”
“I was especially happy for our three seniors (Kilgore, Henning and Brandon Weidert), as one of our goals at the beginning of the season was to get these boys a chance to play Saturday in the quarterfinals at Worthington We accomplished that and I am very proud of these kids and their effort. We played very good defense and passed the ball well. This was a team win for us, no doubt about it.”
Schnaible, who coached the Dragons to a trio of District 8 championship games in a four-year span from 1982-1985 (winning the title in ’85), returned to the AHS head coaching position this season after having coached in various other capacities over the last two decades.
“He’s been the difference this year,” exclaimed Henning, a hustling 5-11 senior guard, who scored 16 points — all in the first half — and dished off nine assists, while claiming seven rebounds for the Dragons.
“Coach Schnaible put in our zone defense (1-3-1) and introduced us to a lot of new offensive ideas, which has really helped. We are more efficient this year.”
Indeed, the Dragons (11-14) only won two games last season, but have competed well in the Red Rock Conference all winter, including a pair of three-game winning streaks.
“I had four starters returing,” downplayed Schnaible about this year’s improvement. “The kids have worked hard and improved together as a team, which has been enjoyable for (assistant) Coach (Tom) Sandager and myself.”
Thursday’s one-sided victory earned Adrian a chance for a rubber match with rival Ellsworth, the tournament’s No. 3 seed.
The Dragons defeated Ellsworth at Adrian (Jan. 28), 69-58, but lost to the Panthers at Ellsworth (Feb. 27) by an 85-56 final earlier this week.
The Adrian vs. Ellsworth matchup is scheduled for a 4 p.m. tipoff as the fourth game Saturday at the tournament-rich Worthington Senior High School gymnasium.
Kilgore hits five first-half 3-pointers, Henning scores 16 points
Edgerton’s Isaac Heard scored the game’s first basket, but Adrian quickly countered with a 3-pointer by Kilgore and a three-point play by Henning to take a 6-2 lead a minute and 39 seconds into the contest.
Weidert followed with a basket and Heard (16 points, three assists) responded with a 3-pointer for Edgerton.
But, 3-pointers by freshman Taylor Recker (eight points, two steals) and Kilgore gave Adrian a 14-5 lead at the 13:50 mark.
Effectively containing Edgerton with its 1-3-1 zone defense, the Dragons forced turnovers and missed shots, while running the floor well and opened up leads of 24-7 and 31-10 before the Dutchmen had a brief 5-1 run which sliced the gap to 34-15.
Adrian finished the first half on a 15-2 run to take a 32-point halftime advantage.
Kilgore netted five three-pointers in the first half and scored 27 of his game-high 38 points prior to intermission.
Kilgore completed a huge double-double by claiming 22 rebounds — 17 on the defensive end — and had a trio of steals and a pair of assists for the Dragons.
Henning scored in a variety of ways for Adrian, including a couple of “floaters” in the lane, as he finished the first half with 16 points.
“It was one of my better halves, that’s for sure,” summed up Henning about his first-half performance. “I like playing on the top of our zone defense, as it allows me some fastbreak chances, which were there tonight with Kyle getting so many defensive rebounds.
“This was really a fun night for our last game at home.”
Weidert (six rebounds) scored six of Adrian’s first 13 points in the second half as the Dragons cruised to a pair of 40-point leads (69-29 and 71-31) before a basket by freshman Cody Polzine (assist Henning) stretched the margin to 73-31 with six minutes left.
Edgerton, which finished its season with a 2-21 overall record, scored the game’s last seven points.
Wade Gunnink and Johnny Menning had nine and eight rebounds, respectively to lead the Dutchmen, who had seven players score and made seven of 11 free throws.
Heard scored nine of Edgerton’s first 12 points in the second half, while Blake Jouwstra netted four of the team’s final six.
A 3-pointer by Menning and a sensational long bounce pass by sophomore Nathan Paulsen to Derek Voge for a bucket were among Edgerton’s first half highlights.
Edgerton 17 21 — 38
Adrian 49 24 — 73
Edgerton (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Jouwstra 0-1-2-4, Lopez 0-1-0-2, Menning 1-1-2-7, Heard 2-5-0-16, Voge 0-1-1-3, Mertens 0-1-1-3, Gunnink 0-1-1-3. Totals 3-11-7-38.
Adrian (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Henning 0-6-4-16, Reyne 0-0-1-1, Polzine 0-1-0-2, Kilgore 5-9-5-38, Weidert 0-3-2-8, Reker 2-1-0-8. Totals 7-20-12-73.