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Prospects are looking up for A/E, H-BC boys basketball teams

On Thursday, Adrian/Ellsworth defeated Hills-Beaver Creek for its third win in its last four games

Hills-Beaver Creek's Jamin Metzger (5) takes a  shot against Adrian/Ellsworth Thursday night in Adrian.
Hills-Beaver Creek's Jamin Metzger (5) takes a shot against Adrian/Ellsworth Thursday night in Adrian.
Tim Middagh/The Globe
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ADRIAN – Strong senior performances, pressuring defense, and clutch free throw shooting all played a part in the Adrian/Ellsworth Dragons’ 54-48 victory Thursday night against Hills-Beaver Creek in boys basketball.

The leading scorer on the night for the Dragons was senior guard Brock Henning, who scored 19 points. Sophomore Aiden Tweet was close to automatic from the free throw line, as he connected on 11-of-12 attempts. And senior Dawson Frodermann played a hard-to-guard game in the post, scoring 11 points in the first half, before foul trouble kept the mighty forward on the bench much of the second half.

“What’s changed for us is we are starting to put complete games together,” said Adrian/Ellsworth coach Shaun Olson.

Adrian Dragon's head Coach Shaun Olson takes advantage of a HBC time out to go over Strategy  with the players during Thursday evening Game.
Adrian Dragons head coach Shaun Olson goes over strategy with the players during a time-out Thursday night.
Tim Middagh/The Globe

The Dragons had a rough start to their boys’ basketball season, as the team dropped its first six games. But, lately things have started to heat up for the Dragons who have won three out of their last four matchups. They are 3-7 on the season.

“It's been a fun journey. Brock Henning and Dawson Frodermann have great leadership skills,” said Olson. “But it is not only those two. The way we look at the whole team is as a family, and the whole team is important. It does not matter if you play or sit on the bench because those guys sitting on the bench are the guys pushing the others in practice and making the team better for game time.”

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The Dragons looked great in both their offensive and defensive play. They were disrupting the interior on both ends of the court, and forced the Patriots into taking several uncomfortable 3-point shots in the first half that failed to convert into buckets.

Aiden Tweet of the Adrian/Ellsworth Dragons leaps to deliver a two point shot right down the center over Hills-Beaver Creek Patriots forward Jamin Metzger (5) during a game Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023, in Adrian.
Adrian/Ellsworth's Aiden Tweet leaps to deliver a shot in the lane against Hills-Beaver Creek forward Jamin Metzger (5).
Tim Middagh/The Globe

The one trouble the Dragons ran into was fouls. Both Frodermann and Alec Murphy fouled out in the second half, while Preston Vortherms and Tweet faced sitting out with four fouls each.

“I'm confident with whoever we put in the game. We tell them to go out there, work hard, play hard, and play smart,” said Olson.

The leading scorer for the Patriots was freshman Jamin Metzger who scored 12 points. Senior Brock Harnack scored eight points, and the trio of Riley Tatge, Elisha Taubert, and Beau Bakken scored six apiece.

“In order for us to play well, we have to play well on the defensive end which we did not do tonight,” said Patriots coach Kale Wiertzema. “Our offense stems from our defense, and when we don’t play well defensively our youth really shows.”

The Patriots have a young team, with two of Thursday night’s starters being sophomores, and one being a freshman.

“Jamin Metzger (freshman) has come a long way from the beginning of the year. We knew his ability was there, he just had to grow in confidence and he is starting to flourish,” said Wiertzema.

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WIth six minutes to go in the game, H-BC trailed 52-39. H-BC ended the game on a 9-0 scoring run before Adrian/Ellsworth clinched in the waning seconds via free throws.

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The H-BC junior varsity won its game against Adrian/Ellsworth, 44-31.

Hills-Beaver Creek (3-7) has enjoyed a strong program in years past. Like the Dragons, the Patriots had a rough start to the 2022-23 season with four straight losses, but they won three of four games prior to the A/E matchup. They had eight players score points on Thursday, five of which were underclassmen.

Adrian/Ellsworth will look to continue its hot streak in a non-conference match against Sleepy Eye on Saturday. The Patriots will play Red Rock Conference opponent Westbrook-Walnut Grove next Thursday.

Adrian/Ellsworth 33 54

H-BC 22 48

Related Topics: BASKETBALL
Dominic Burns is a reporter at the Globe who covers general news and sports.
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