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Press Photo by Royal McGregor New England junior Daniel Prince, right, passes to sophomore Brady Bender on a breakaway against Bowman County during the Roughrider Tournament on Tuesday at Knights of Columbus Activities Center.

Chalking up a win: New England handles Bowman County in Roughrider Tournament

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Chalking up a win: New England handles Bowman County in Roughrider Tournament
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Due to the lack of experience, the New England boys basketball team are going to make mistakes.

But for a team made up for mostly juniors and sophomores, the Tigers didn’t make too many bad decisions on Tuesday.

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New England used a strong trio performance of Daniel Prince, Brady Bender and John Urlacher — which combined for 57 points — to a 73-51 win over Bowman County during the 43rd annual Roughrider Tournament on Tuesday at Knights of the Columbus Activities Center.

“On the offensive end, we were in a lot of good situations, but we are still throwing some sloppy passes and kind of being lazy with the ball,” New England head coach Luke Powers said. “We have to decide between good and bad shots. We moved the ball well at times and ran the floor well at times. The big thing we are looking to do is try to get our defense to set up our offense and get the tempo to where we want to play. Overall, it was a nice well-rounded effort for everyone. We did a lot of good things, but we still have a long ways to go.”

The first quarter between the Bulldogs and Tigers was close until the final two minutes of play when Urlacher knocked down a 3-pointer and a jumper back-to-back for a quick five points. Prince added a layup to extend the run to seven points.

During the second quarter, New England put Bowman County in a hole it could never climb out.

The Tigers outscored the Bulldogs 23-8 in the second quarter in large part to Prince, Bender and Urlacher. Prince and Bender each posted 20 points, while Urlacher added 17. Prince also had a game-high nine rebounds. Bowman County head coach Steve Shahan said it’s tough to guard each of those three players.

“They legitimately have three inside-out scorers,” he said. “Prince, Bender and Urlacher can all shoot the 3, they can all hit pull up jumpers and they can either penetrate or post. When you got three guys like that, it really limits what you can do defensively. I think that’s going to be a challenge for a lot people. I don’t think we are going to be the last team that gets beat by 20 or more by them.”

New England (2-0) took a 42-20 lead at halftime, which was a 22-point advantage the Tigers kept at the end of the next two quarters.

Bender said the team’s main goal in the second half was to play hard-nose defense.

“You can ever overlook any team,” he said. “We didn’t come out too sharp on defensive right away, but we changed some things up in the second half. Defense is key.”

For the game, the Tigers were 29 of 60 (48.3 percent) from the field and 9 of 15 (60 percent) from the free-throw line. Powers said the six missed free throws are the furthest thing from his mind.

“We are going to put a lot of stress on it, because we are going to make them when it counts,” Powers said. “The kids are shooting them the right way. I’m confident when they are going to fall when it matters.”

This game marked the Bulldogs’ first game of the season. Shahan said there are plenty of positives to pull out from this game.

Bowman County had two players in doubles figures as Tanner Fischer had a team-high 15 points, while Chandler Braaten added 12. Hunter Lanchbury supplied six points and six rebounds.

“We talk about getting better every day and we needed a baseline,” Shahan said. “You got to know where you are at, before you can know where you are going. New England provided a real good test for that. They are going to one of the better teams in the region.”

New England continues the Roughrider Tournament against Killdeer in the semifinals at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, while Bowman County plays Heart River in the consolation semifinals at 4:30 p.m.

“We are learning from our mistakes,” Powers said. “You can learn a lot from mistakes whether you win or lose. We’re trying to improve on everything.”

BC 12 20 37 51

NE 19 42 59 73

BC: Tanner Fischer 15, Chandler Braaten 12, Alex Bartholomay 8, Hunter Lanchbury 6, Ryan Sime 4, Cole Osendorf 2, Erik Bloomgren 2, John Yale 2.

NE: Daniel Prince 20, Brady Bender 20, John Urlacher 17, Ty Nordby 8, Mason Stang 4, Gavin Fitterer 2, Casey Molitor 2.

3-pointers: BC 4 (Braaten 2, Lanchbury 1, Bartholomay 1), NE 6 (Urlacher 3, Bender 2, Prince 1). Free throws: BC 5-13, NE 9-15. Total fouls: BC 14, NE 17. Rebounds: BC 31 (Lanchbury 6), NE 35 (Prince 9). Assists: BC 0, NE 2 (Urlacher 1, Bender 1). Steals: BC 7, NE 13 (Nordby 3, Bender 3). Blocks: none. Turnovers: BC 13, NE 7. Records: BC 0-1, NE 2-0.

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Royal McGregor
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