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PREP BOYS' BASKETBALL: Patriots pounce on Raiders

WORTHINGTON -- Countering an opening 8-0 run with a 14-0 surge of their own Saturday night, the third-seeded Hills-Beaver Creek Patriots gradually pulled away and earned an 81-57 victory over the sixth-seeded Round Lake-Brewster Raiders in the la...

H-BC's Wiertzema
Brian Korthals/Daily Globe Patriot senior Karic Wiertzema (15) goes to the basket over Round Lake-Brewster's Mitchel VanWesten (20) during Saturday's Sub-Section 3A playoff action in Worthington.

WORTHINGTON -- Countering an opening 8-0 run with a 14-0 surge of their own Saturday night, the third-seeded Hills-Beaver Creek Patriots gradually pulled away and earned an 81-57 victory over the sixth-seeded Round Lake-Brewster Raiders in the last of four quarterfinal-round high school boys' basketball tournament games during Section 3A South's "Super Saturday" event at Worthington High School.

Four players scored in double-figures for the Patriots, who are now 21-6 overall and will move on to meet second-seeded Southwest Christian in the semifinals Thursday night in Worthington at 7:30 p.m.

"We got off to a slow start against a hard-playing, aggressive team in the Raiders," H-BC head coach Steve Wiertzema said after the game. "But we got some things going and played very well after RL-B's initial burst. We started to play better defense and we got the ball inside with good passing and penetration."

Travis Helgeson (11 rebounds) scored 18 of his game-high 24 points in the second half to help the Patriots extend a 36-27 halftime advantage into a lead as large as 28 twice (74-46 and 76-48) in the final five minutes.

But it was RL-B that had the upper hand in the beginning of the game. Marty Schmitz (16 points) and Brandon Bosma (13 points, five rebounds) each scored twice in the initial two minutes and 22 seconds, as the Raiders struck with the first eight points and led 8-0 at the 15:38 mark.

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Tim Kennedy (14 points, three assists) and Mitchel VanWesten (four points, five rebounds) had the assists to Schmitz cutting inside for a pair of hoops, while Bosma scored on a pair of strong interior moves.

H-BC, though, answered quickly with 14 straight points to take a 14-8 lead with 11:36 on the clock. Helgeson scored three times in the paint during that stretch, while Karic Wiertzema (13 points, five assists and five steals), Jordan Larson (six points, five steals), Seth Nuffer (12 points, nine rebounds and three assists) and Cory Tilstra (five points) added a basket apiece.

The Patriots' Jeff Sandbulte (16 points) knocked down a pair of right-wing 3-pointers to help make it 24-17 with 8:02 remaining, but RL-B trimmed the gap to 26-24 with 6:28 left following a pair of assists by Jake Walker (eight points, seven rebounds and six assists) to Kennedy and Schmitz for hoops and then a 3-pointer by Schmitz from the left corner.

H-BC scored 10 of the next 13 points, as Helgeson passed to Nuffer for an interior basket, Larson dished to Wiertzema for a fast-break layup, and Tilstra fired in a right-wing 3-pointer to help the Patriots build a 36-27 halftime lead.

Bosma scored the first basket of the second half to make it 36-29, but Nuffer scored twice underneath to make it 40-29 before Helgeson took over down low. Helgeson scored 12 points in a four-minute span and his offensive-rebound basket at the 12:28 mark lifted the Patriots to a 55-39 lead.

Wiertzema followed with a driving basket and free throw (3-point play) to make it 58-39, and after two straight buckets by Schmitz cut it to 58-43 with 10:33 remaining, the Patriots went on a 16-3 burst to go up 74-46 at the 5:05 mark.

Sandbulte hit a 12-footer in the lane, Wiertzema passed to Larson for a transition basket, and both Nuffer and Helgeson added a pair of baskets in the paint to highlight that 13-point burst for the Patriots.

"H-BC is an athletic team with lots of quickness and depth," RL-B head coach Lon Eichenberger said. "We competed very well in the first half, as our guys worked hard to get good shot opportunities. We may have run out of gas a little bit, but I am proud of the effort that we put forth."

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RL-B's Ben Cunningham scored a basket at the 4:50 mark, while Kennedy sank two free throws, and Bosma scored inside. Walker completed the Raiders' scoring with a reverse layup and a 3-pointer 38 seconds apart, as RL-B finishes its season with a record of 11-14.

Joe Streeter and Taylor Reese each scored a basket for the Patriots in the closing minutes, while Brady Vaughn netted a free throw.

RL-B 27 30 -- 57

H-BC 36 45 -- 81

RL-B (3FG-2FG-FT-TP): Walker 1-2-1-8, Cunningham 0-1-0-2, Schmitz 2-5-0-16, Bosma 0-6-1-13, VanWesten 0-2-0-4, Kennedy 2-3-2-14. Totals: 5-19-4-57.

H-BC (3FG-2FG-FT-TP): Larson 0-3-0-6, Wiertzema 0-4-5-13, Tilstra 1-1-0-5, Vaughn 0-0-1-1, Sandbulte 2-5-0-16, Reese 0-1-0-2, Helgeson 0-9-6-24, Nuffer 0-6-0-12, Streeter 0-1-0-2. Totals: 3-30-12-81.

Related Topics: BASKETBALL
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