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PREP BOYS BASKETBALL: Gehrke, Sandbulte lead Hills-Beaver Creek past Fulda

Brian Korthals/Daily Globe The Raiders' Andy Oakland (34) goes up for a shot defended by the Patriots' Dalton Bass (15) during Saturday's game in Worthington.

WORTHINGTON -- Dylan Gehrke and Jeff Sandbulte combined to score 49 points Saturday afternoon, including 14 points apiece in the second half, to help lift the fourth-seeded Hills-Beaver Creek Patriots to a thrilling 72-64 victory over the fifth-seeded Fulda Raiders in the second of four Section 3A South tournament quarterfinal boys' basketball games during "Super Saturday" at Worthington High School.

H-BC (14-10) used a 17-4 burst late in the second half to prevail in a back-and-forth contest which featured numerous lead changes. The Patriots advance to play top-seeded Southwest Christian (24-1) in the sub-section semifinals Thursday (6 p.m.) in Worthington.

"This was a real good game, and we're happy to be moving on," H-BC head coach Steve Wiertzema said. "Fulda can really shoot the 3-pointer and gave us a strong challenge. We played some good defense down the stretch and had kids make some big plays at key times."

Gehrke (25 points, seven rebounds), Sandbulte (24 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals) and Carey Taubert (12 points, 10 rebounds and five shot blocks) each scored in double figures for the Patriots.

Andy Oakland (game-high 26 points, nine rebounds), Todd Peterson (17 points, four assists) and Zach Holt (10 points) had big performances for the Raiders, who finish their season with a record of 9-18.

"That was a game between two pretty evenly-matched teams, and H-BC got hot at the right time," Fulda head coach Colby Pack said. "Each team made several strong runs throughout the game, as our guys came ready to play and gave a great effort like they always do. Give credit to the Patriots."

Fulda's 13-4 burst early in the game was the first major run, as Peterson buried a trio of quick 3-pointers to help the Raiders take a 16-10 lead with 10:07 remaining in the opening half.

H-BC answered with a 12-0 surge to go up 22-16 at the 6:40 mark. Sandbulte, Taubert and Zach Wagenaar (four points) each drilled a 3-pointer, while Gehrke delivered a 3-point play in that sequence.

An 11-2 run by Fulda ensued, as Peterson, Oakland and Nathan Getting (five points) each connected from beyond the 3-point arc. Holt added a bucket to help the Raiders take a 27-24 lead with 4:47 on the clock.

H-BC regained the lead a couple of times and then went into the locker room with a 34-32 edge after Dalton Bass (seven points) banked in a long 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Gehrke opened the second half with another 3-point play to make it 37-32, but the Patriots didn't score another basket until the 9:32 mark.

H-BC did sink some free throws in that span, but Fulda was able to recapture the lead due to that dry spell. Oakland, who poured in 22 points in the second half and finished 11-for-15 from the free-throw line, nailed four 3-pointers to help the Raiders take leads of 42-40, 47-41, 51-43 and 54-49 (with 7:02 remaining).

However, the Patriots started to get going offensively and outscored the Raiders 17-4 over the next five minutes. Gehrke dialed in a pair of long 3-pointers from out top, while Sandbulte and Taubert knocked down mid-range shots to help H-BC build a 66-58 lead with 2:14 to play.

A driving basket by Trevor Ruesch (four points, five assists) and a fifth 3-pointer by Peterson made it 66-63 with 1:51 on the clock, but the Patriots combined a couple of defensive stops with accurate free-throw shooting (6-for-6 late, 24-for-33 in the game) to seal a 72-64 victory.

Fulda was 17-for-22 on free throws and finished with 13 3-pointers. Cole Dierks was the other Raiders' player to score with a driving hoop in the first half.



FULDA (9-18): Dierks 1 0-0 2, Ruesch 1 2-2 4, Holt 3 2-2 10, Getting 1 2-2 5, Peterson 6 0-1 17, Oakland 5 11-15 26. Totals: 17 17-22 64.

HILLS-BEAVER CREEK (14-10): Gehrke 7 8-10 25, Bass 2 2-4 7, Wagenaar 1 1-2 4, Sandbulte 7 8-9 24, Taubert 3 5-8 12. Totals: 20 24-33 72.

Fulda 32 32 -- 64

Hills-Beaver Creek 34 38 -- 72

3-Point Goals: Fulda 13 (Peterson 5, Oakland 5, Holt 2, Getting); Hills-Beaver Creek 8 (Gehrke 3, Sandbulte 2, Bass, Wagenaar, Taubert). Turnovers: Fulda 13, Hills-Beaver Creek 7.