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Photo by Eric Hylden/Forum Communications Co. Beulah junior Cody Nelson, left, and Central Cass senior Jon Lubbers, right, and try to get control of the ball during the Class B state boys basketball tournament quarterfinals Thursday at the Alerus Center.

CLASS B BOYS: Beulah flies to semis, beating previously unbeaten Central Cass

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GRAND FORKS -- Jesse Hettich didn't know the exact numbers for Central Cass. He just knew the Squirrels have put up a lot of points on the scoreboard.

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"We took that as a challenge," Hettich said. "We don't want to let teams score a lot."

The junior guard was the leader on a Beulah defense that dominated Central Cass for a 65-48 victory Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Class B state boys basketball tournament at the Alerus Center.

Beulah improved to 23-3 while handing Central Cass its first loss of the season, dropping them to 25-1.

"At times, we've been a good defensive team this year," Beulah coach Jeremy Brandt said. "This was one of our best games. I don't think we've seen a quick, explosive team before like they are."

Central Cass entered the game with a 77.8 scoring average. It had scored 60 or more points in every game. But it was limited to 16-of-55 shooting from the field while turning the ball over 15 times.

Hettich had team highs of five steals and two blocks. "He's a big kid, but his hands are so quick," Brandt said. "He creates havoc."

Beulah never trailed. The Miners were up as much as 30-16 in the first half before Central Cass closed the second quarter on an 11-2 run to pull within 32-27 at halftime.

The Miners led 47-36 after three quarters and steadily pulled away.

"We didn't shoot very well," Central Cass coach Troy Roesler said. "That's a credit to Beulah and its length. They defended the passing lanes well. Some of the things we've usually done, they didn't let us do.

"We had some open looks. But we couldn't get them to go in. And we've shot well all year."

Roesler said he felt the Squirrels were still within striking distance until Beulah went up 53-39 on Cody Nelson's fast-break layup with 4 minutes, 37 seconds left.

"Then I felt we were in trouble," Roesler said. "We needed a run. But we couldn't get one in the second half."

Beulah's offense was about balance.

Trevor Zacher set the pace with 18 points, with Nelson scoring 12, Hettich 11 and Casey Duppong getting a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Ellery Bresnahan, Josh Roesler and Ben Sundquist each scored 12 to pace Central Cass.

Beulah 17 32 47 65

CC 10 27 36 48

B: Trevor Zacher 7-15 2-2 18, Cody Nelson 5-10 2-3 12, Jesse Hettich 5-14 0-2 11, Casey Duppong 5-11 0-5 10, Tyler Murray 4-8 0-0 8, Noah Iverson 2-6 0-0 4, Hunter Heringer 1-1 0-0 2, Tanner Dolbec 0-1 0-0 0, Erik Ham 0-0 0-0 0, Cole Messerschmidt 0-0 0-0 0, Karson Hintz 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 29-66 4-12 65.

CC: Ellery Breshnahan 3-15 4-4 12, Josh Roesler 5-8 2-3 12, Ben Sundquist 4-6 4-6 12, Matt Zimmerman 3-16 1-1 8, Adam Breske 1-1 0-0 2, Michael Utt 0-1 1-2 1, Garrett Ebach 0-0 1-2 1, Joey Ueland 0-4 0-4 0, Jon Lubbers 0-4 0-0 0. Totals: 16-55 13-22 48.

3-pointers: Beulah 3 (Zacher 2, Hettich 1), Central Cass 3 (Bresnahan 2, Zimmerman 1). Total fouls: Beulah 16, Central Cass 16. Rebounds: Beulah 48 (Duppong 10), Central Cass 31 (Zimmerman 7). Assists: Beulah 9 (Hettich 3), Central Cass 2 (Bresnahan 2). Turnovers: Beulah 16, Central Cass 15.

DeVillers is a sports reporter for the Grand Forks Herald, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.

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