PREP BOYS' BASKETBALL: Second-half surge propels Fulda by RRC, 75-55WORTHINGTON — With momentum swinging in Red Rock Central’s favor Saturday afternoon, Fulda senior guard Mic Holinka hit a clutch 12-foot jump shot in the lane, putting the brakes on the Falcons’ surge and getting the Raiders going again.
By: Les Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — With momentum swinging in Red Rock Central’s favor Saturday afternoon, Fulda senior guard Mic Holinka hit a clutch 12-foot jump shot in the lane, putting the brakes on the Falcons’ surge and getting the Raiders going again.
Holinka’s basket gave Fulda a 41-36 lead with just over 11 minutes to play and the second-seeded Raiders finished the contest strong, claiming a 75-55 sub-section quarterfinal victory over seventh-seeded RRC in Section 3A South high school boys’ basketball tournament action in the third game of “Super Saturday” at the packed Worthington High School gymnasium.
“That was a big basket by Mic,” praised Fulda head coach Colby Pack. “Then, Keith Gehl hits a key shot for us and both Mic and Andy Oakland hit free throws, Matt Appel makes a 3-pointer, Max Dibble sinks a couple of free throws, Holinka makes a layup and Appel hits a couple of more 3’s and we pull away.”
Pack pretty well described the action, which turned a slim 39-36 Fulda edge into a 60-45 advantage over a span of just over minutes of the second half.
After Appel’s third 3-pointer, the Raiders held their 15-point lead with 5:29 remaining in the well-played contest, which had many highlights from each team.
“Give RRC a lot of credit,” summed up Pack. “Coach (Brian) Walker always does a great job getting his team ready for tournament play and we expected a battle, which it was.”
Balanced scoring had helped the Raiders claim a 30-21 halftime lead, as Appel, Aaron Tiesler and Todd Peterson each scored six points before intermission, Holinka netted five, Gehl and Dibble each scored three, and Clarke Hein sank a free throw.
RRC, meanwhile, was led by Henry Rogotzke’s nine first-half points, along with four each from Jeff DeCock and Logan Willhite, along with a basket each by Dylan Bunting and Daniel Maras.
Appel, who scored 20 points after intermission and finished with a game-high 26 points, converted a three-point play on a putback to start the second-half scoring.
After a free throw by Rogotzke (21 points, 10 rebounds), Appel scored again (assist Tiesler), giving Fulda a 35-22 lead.
Another basket by Appel was offset by a bucket by DeCock (19 points, 15 in the second half, three steals).
Appel followed with a pair of free throws and with 14 minutes to play, Fulda was in command, leading 39-24.
Falcons respond with 12-0 run, slice Fulda lead to 39-36
DeCock, who had been limited to just four points in the first half, was fouled on a drive to the hoop. He netted both free throws and soon after converted a three-point play, slicing the lead to 39-29 with 13:04 on the clock.
A nifty pass from Bunting to the strong-handed Rogotzke gave RRC another basket 24 seconds later and the score was 39-31.
Getting defensive stops and forcing turnovers, the momentum continued to swing RRC’s way.
A nice move in the lane — after an offensive rebound — by Rogotzke trimmed the lead to six and then on RRC’s next possession, Rogotzke converted a three-point play and with 11:47 to play, Fulda’s lead was just three, 39-36.
“Our kids did a nice job of playing hard and working their way back,” praised Walker. “We had a nice run, which brought us very close. We had it within three, three times, but Fulda has a lot of weapons and real good team speed, which helped them pull away again.”
Holinka’s clutch shot in the lane snapped RRC’s 12-0 run, giving Fulda a five-point edge.
Bunting answered with a pair of free throws and, once again, the Falcons trailed by three, 41-38.
Gehl’s top-of-the-key jumper lifted Fulda up five, 43-38, with 10:08 left.
But DeCock, who was a perfect 11-of-11 at the free throw line, made two foul shots, closing the gap to 43-40.
Holinka, who had made a big defensive play moments earlier, sank two free throws with 9:54 on the clock, putting the Raiders back up five.
Oakland followed suit with two free throws of his own and Fulda had a 47-40 lead.
Willhite (seven points, four steals) netted a 3-pointer for the Falcons and it was 47-43.
A 3-pointer by Appel and two free throws by Dibble stretched Fulda’s edge to nine, 52-43.
A hard drive by Bunting sliced the lead to seven, but the Raiders countered with an 8-0 run, as Holinka (11 points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals) scored on a reverse layup (assist Gehl) and then Appel banked in a long 3-pointer from the right side.
Appel (eight rebounds) connected on a transition 3-pointer from the left side moments later and the Raiders were back in command, leading 60-45.
“We got some defensive stops and were able to play fast again,” declared Pack. “When we play fast, we are fun to watch.”
Oakland drilled a 3-pointer at the 4:16 mark, giving Fulda an 18-point advantage, 65-47.
RRC answered with a 6-2 run, getting a basket from Rogotzke and four free throws by DeCock.
Fulda, however, stretched its 67-53 lead to the final 20-point win by scoring eight of the game’s last 10 points, including a 3-pointer by Peterson and a putback bucket by Nathan Getting.
Tiesler and Gehl had seven and six rebounds, respectively, for the Raiders, who received four steals from Peterson.
Fulda plays third-seeded Ellsworth in the sub-section semifinals Thursday night in Worthington at 7:30 p.m.
RRC, which netted 18-of-22 free throws (82 percent) finishes a fine season with an 11-15 overall record, having been competitive in most games.
RRC 21 34 — 55
Fulda 30 45 — 75
RRC (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) DeCock 0-4-11-19, Maras 0-1-0-2, Bunting 0-2-2-6, Willhite 1-2-0-7, Rogotzke 0-8-5-21. Totals 1-17-18-55.
Fulda (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Holinka 1-3-2-11, Dibble 1-0-2-5, Hein 0-0-1-1, Tiesler 0-4-1-9, Appel 3-6-5-26. Gehl 0-2-3-7, Getting 0-1-0-2, Peterson 3-0-0-9, Oakland 1-0-2-5. Totals 9-16-16-75.