Hazen wins rivalry gameThe eight-mile stretch that separates ACC-basketball powers North Carolina and Duke is known as Tobacco Road. In southwestern North Dakota, there’s a road that draws small, yet similar comparisons.
By: Chris Aarhus, The Dickinson Press
The eight-mile stretch that separates ACC-basketball powers North Carolina and Duke is known as Tobacco Road.
In southwestern North Dakota, there’s a road that draws small, yet similar comparisons.
Eight miles separates the Hazen and Beulah boys basketball teams and the rivalry between the two creates for good atmosphere and competitive action.
“You could call it a mini-Tobacco Road,” Beulah coach Jeremy Brandt said. “There’s no doubt there’s something there.”
Though they happened to meet in Dickinson on Saturday, it was another one for the books as Hazen senior Joe Westman scored the final five points of the night as Hazen held off the hard-charging Miners with a 73-65 win in the semifinals of the District 14 tournament at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center.
With the win, Hazen (14-6) assures itself a spot in the Region 7 tournament and moves on to face Dickinson Trinity in the championship game at 7:30 p.m. on Monday.
Beulah (10-11) drops into a region-qualifier game where it meets Killdeer at 4:30 p.m. Monday. Hazen held a 39-17 lead at halftime and fans piled out of the gymnasium toward the exits.
The fans that left may be wishing they had stayed.
Beulah used a 24-10 run to climb back within striking distance at 68-65. Beulah senior Josh Schank hit a pair of 3-pointers to help spark the run. Beulah was led by senior Gabe Goetz’s 16 points.
“I’d be a millionaire if I knew how to hit a switch and turn that on,” Brandt said. “Once we got our offense going, our defense picked up.”
Westman, calm and cool, finished the Miners off with a pair of free throws, a layup and another free throw in the final minute. Westman had 17 points and teammate Chad Marshall had a game-high 28 points.
“I recognize the moment, but I don’t think about,” Westman said, referring to his free throws. “When I start thinking about it, it gets to me.”
Though Hazen struggled to break Beulah’s full-court press in the second half, the Bison held on with the help of a tremendous first half that saw Hazen take a 20-point lead.
“We used the post to go from the inside out,” Hazen coach Randy Johnson said. “We got the high-percentage shot.”
Beulah 8 17 41 65
Hazen 17 39 58 73
B: Gabe Goetz 16, Kasey Schmidt 13, Josh Schank 12, Casey Duppong 12, Jon Langeliers 6, Logan Kessler 2, Denver Unruh 2, Andrew Just 2.
H: Chad Marshall 28, Joe Westman 17, Clay Brinkman 12, Brent Sorensen 10, Baylee Carr 4, Ryan Miller 2.
3-pointers: B 6 (Goetz 4, Schank 2), H 4 (Sorensen 2, Westman 2). Free throws: B 17-20, H 9-16. Total fouls: B 15, H 18. Rebounds: B 32 (three with 5), H 34 (Brinkman 9). Assists: B 9 (three with 2), H 17 (Westman 5, carr 5). Steals: B 9 (Schank 3), H 6 (Brinkman 2, Carr 2). Blocks: B 0, H 7 (Brinkman 6). Turnovers: B 14, H 21.