PREP BOYS' BASKETBALL: Rebels fall in sub-section quarterfinals to KnightsWORTHINGTON — Moving the ball well and crashing the boards hard, the hot-shooting Russell-Tyler-Ruthton Knights built a huge 49-33 halftime lead on Murray County Central Saturday afternoon and cruised to a high-scoring, 93-63, victory over the Rebels in the sub-section quarterfinals of the Section 3A South high school boys’ basketball tournament.
By: Les Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Moving the ball well and crashing the boards hard, the hot-shooting Russell-Tyler-Ruthton Knights built a huge 49-33 halftime lead on Murray County Central Saturday afternoon and cruised to a high-scoring, 93-63, victory over the Rebels in the sub-section quarterfinals of the Section 3A South high school boys’ basketball tournament.
The fifth-seeded Knights (18-8) advance to Thursday’s semifinals and a meeting with top-seeded Southwest Christian, which edged eighth-seeded Hills-Beaver Creek, 61-58, in Saturday’s opening game.
MCC, which was the tournament’s No. 4 seed, finished its season with an overall record of 14-10 and fifth-place (10-7) in the final standings of the 12-team Red Rock Conference.
The Rebels defeated R-T-R at Slayton, 68-65, Feb. 6 in a game which launched a six-game winning streak for MCC.
But Saturday, the Camden Conference Knights played eight players in the game’s first nine minutes and seven of them scored, as R-T-R vaulted to early leads of 5-0, 16-8 and 26-12.
MCC, behind a 3-pointer by Chris Halbur, a basket by Sam Beech (assist Nate Wieneke) and a strong three-point play by Beech tied the score at 8-8 with 13:26 on the first-half clock.
R-T-R then went on an 8-0 run in the next two minutes and later owned a 26-12 advantage after 6-2 sophomore center Brett Vercruysse (11 points, 11 rebounds) scored off an assist from Dylan Kor (14 points, 10 rebounds, three assists), capping a possession in which all five Knights on the court touched the ball.
“We did move the ball well, making the extra pass, and we hit our shots,” summed up R-T-R head coach Ted Kern about his team’s performance. “When you shoot well, it sure helps.”
The Knights sank six 3-pointers in the first half, as 5-9 junior guard Philip Madsen netted three of them, 6-1 junior forward Travis King connected twice and 6-3 sophomore guard Brett Peterson hit one shot from behind the arc.
Peterson, who finished the game with 26 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, scored 12 points in the first half to lead a very well-balanced Knights’ attack, which included at least half-a-dozen baskets following offensive rebounds.
“Peterson is a fine all-around player, who makes things happen for them,” declared MCC head coach Tim Bobeldyk. “R-T-R had a lot of guys really step up. Every time we put some runs together, they equalized it and we never we able to catch them. Giving up 13 offensive rebounds in the first half sure hurt our chances, too. Things just kind of snowballed.”
Wieneke scored eight points for MCC in the first half, while Halbur and Trent Carlson each netted seven.
An offensive rebound putback by Beech and a 3-pointer by Sam Nysetvold helped the Rebels match the Knights early in the second half.
But at the 12:20 mark, Madsen drained another 3-pointer for the Knights and the R-T-R lead was 20, 63-43.
Nystevold scored 11 points for MCC after intermission and finished with a team-high 17 points, while Halbur (14) and Carlson (10) also scored in double figures for the Rebels. Beech and Wieneke added nine and eight points, respectively, for MCC, which made eight 3-pointers in the game.
The Knights, who stretched the lead to spreads of 72-51, 80-54 and 90-57 in the closing minutes, connected 11 times from behind the arc and had five players score in double figures, as Madsen (17) and King (11) joined Peterson, Kor and Vercruysse.
R-T-R 49 44 — 93
MCC 33 30 — 63
R-T-R (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Madsen 5-1-0-17, Vogt 1-0-0-3, Peterson 2-7-6-26, King 2-2-1-11, Dunblazier 0-0-1-1, Kor 0-6-2-14, DeRuyter 0-2-1-5, Wabeke 1-0-2-5, Vercruysse 0-5-1-11. Totals 11-23-14-93.
MCC (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Nysetvold 2-4-3-17, Halbur 2-1-6-14, Erickson 1-0-0-3, Wieneke 1-2-1-8, Dahlgren 0-1-0-2, Carlson 2-1-2-10, Beech 0-4-1-9. Totals 8-13-13-63.