Boys basketball: West beats East in Trojan Holiday Classic

WORTHINGTON -- Sibley East held its own for most of the first half, but a late surge right before half and another to start the second put Mankato West in control.The Scarlets turned a four-point lead with just a little more than five minutes in ...

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TIM MIDDAGH/DAILY GLOBE Sibley East Wolverines guard Connor Kranz (22) breaks through Mankato West defender Hunter Frericks Wednesday night.


WORTHINGTON - Sibley East held its own for most of the first half, but a late surge right before half and another to start the second put Mankato West in control.
The Scarlets turned a four-point lead with just a little more than five minutes in the first half into a 26-point advantage midway through the second. They rode that to an 81-54 win on the second day of the Daily Globe-Trojan Holiday Classic.
“Give Sibley East a lot of credit,” West head coach Tom Boone said. “They did a nice job hanging with us and answering all of our runs early on. I think it came down to the fact that we just have a deeper bench. Coming out in the second half we were able to go on a run and wear them down.”
Collin Pautsch drained a three from the top of the key to put Sibley East on top 3-0 less a minute into the contest. The next three minutes basically belonged to Hunter Frericks of Mankato West.
After a Jake Dale bucket got the Scarlets on the board, Frericks scored the next eight points; two of them coming off a beautiful bounce pass through traffic from Dale. That gave West a 10-0 run to put it on top 10-3.
“We really like playing against a zone (defense),” said Frericks, who finished with a career-high 24 points. “I think we really do a good job of finding the holes in the zone and pass well against it. I was just getting the ball in the high post and they gave me room to drive. We wanted to come out hot and jump on them early.”
The Wolverines didn’t give in. Three-pointers for Austin Weckwerth and Pautsch on back-to-back possessions tied the game at 13-all with East on a 10-3 surge. Eventually, Gavin Bates drove the baseline and extended that run to 14-6, giving his team a 17-16 lead with 10:14 before the half.
Two quick baskets by Scarlets’ junior Noah Boone helped them regain the lead and go up 22-17, but Weckwerth’s second trey of the evening got East within two, 24-22, with 6:06 in the first half.
That’s when Dale took over.
After a relatively quiet start to the game, West’s second all-time leading scorer put in a layup on a tailor-made 2-on-1 break with Jake Makela. Seconds later, he completed an old-fashioned three-point play. He scored nine points in just a little more than a minute to put West up 33-25. A layup by Cole Hunstad as the clock approached three minutes extended its lead to 12.
“Jake (Dale) demands a lot of attention,” Boone said. “If he gets double-teamed he does a great job of finding the open man.”
Tommy Yokiel’s layup at the buzzer gave the Scarlets a 41-29 lead at halftime.
Pautsch drained another from downtown to open the second half, but the Scarlets fired right back. Triples by Trey Burmeister and Makela sandwiched around a Frericks layup extended their lead to 49-32. When their run hit 11-0, they led 51-32 less than three minutes into the second half.
A lot of that can be attributed to a pumped up defense and good transition offense.
“One of the things we write on the board before every game is ‘Block out, rebound and go,” Coach Boone said. “If we can limit the other team to only one shot and get the rebound, all five of our guys can start a fastbreak.”
The West lead grew from there. It led by as many as 26 at 62-36 before Devon Schultz put in a layup that ended a four-minute Wolverines scoring drought. That also started a 6-0 run, but the Scarlets regained control after that.
Frericks led the Scarlets’ scoring effort with a game-high 24 points. Dale added 20 with Makela and Hunstad scoring nine and eight, respectively.
“Me and Jake Dale and Jake Makela have been playing together for a long time,” Frericks said. “We have a lot of chemistry and we just know where each other is going to be at all times.”
Pautsch finished with 19 points for the Wolverines. Weckwerth and Bates tallied 10 each.
Mankato West improved to 6-4 overall after going 2-0 at the Daily Globe-Trojan Holiday Classic. It will get back to work Saturday at Austin. Sibley East fell to 4-7 and is scheduled to host Norwood-Young America on Jan. 7.
“We struggled a little bit early in the season, but we’ve been playing pretty well lately,” Frericks said. “Hopefully this can propel us forward for the rest of the season.”
Sibley East 29 54
Mankato West 41 81
SIBLEY EAST (3PT-2PT-FT-TP) - Pautsch 3-4-2-19, Pauly 0-2-0-4, Weckwerth 2-1-2-10, Homquist 0-0-1-1, Kranz 0-1-0-2, Bates 0-5-0-10, Schultz 0-4-0-8. Totals 5-17-5-54.
MANKATO WEST (3PT-2PT-FT-TP) - Dale 0-9-2-20, Makala 1-1-3-8, Burmeister 1-1-0-5, Yokiel 0-1-0-2, Cooper 0-1-4-6, Boone 0-2-0-4, Hunstad 1-3-0-9, Kolars 1-0-0-3, Frericks 0-12-0-24. Totals 4-30-9-81.

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TIM MIDDAGH/DAILY GLOBE Mankato West’s Jake Dale (1) recovers a missed shot and salvages it for two points as teammates Hunter Frericks (34) and Noah Boone (12) watch.

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