New England hangs on to beat HazenThe New England Tigers were in the Region 7 boys basketball tournament for the first time since 2005.
By: Kyle Smith, The Dickinson Press
The New England Tigers were in the Region 7 boys basketball tournament for the first time since 2005.
The rust and nerves showed. But in the end, the District 13 champions prevailed.
New England beat Hazen 60-50 on Monday night in the quarterfinals at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center.
The Tigers now get Dickinson Trinity in their first region semifinal appearance since 2004, when it lost to the eventual state champion Titans in the region title game.
New England head coach Luke Powers said the Tigers will have to improve on how they played to hang with Trinity.
“We came out flat defensively and offensively,” Powers said. “We were a little tense early.”
The Tigers (17-6) struggled in the early part of the first half, as Hazen feasted on New England turnovers and built a 14-4 lead midway through the first quarter.
The second quarter, however, was another story.
As the Tigers settled down and Bison hot hand cooled, New England began to find some rhythm.
“Second quarter was the biggest quarter of the game,” Powers said. We got a little flow.”
The Tigers outscored Hazen 13-7 in the second quarter. Hazen took a 25-23 lead into halftime after junior Michael Maas made a shot in the waning seconds of the half.
“We didn’t come out to play in the first half,” New England junior forward Kaine Hanson said. “In the second half, we finally stepped it up.”
Hanson led the Tigers with 22 points and five rebounds, while junior point guard Clarence Binstock had 15 points, eight assists and six rebounds. He also had eight turnovers in a rough night moving the ball up the court.
He came through in the clutch though, making 10 of 14 free throws.
“Clarence is a very smart player,” Powers said. “He is our leader.”
Despite Hazen’s struggles in the second half, they were very much in contention for the victory.
With 1:30 remaining in the fourth quarter, sophomore Stetson Carr scored and was fouled on the shot attempt to bring the Tiger lead down to one, 51-50.
The Bison (10-13), who missed numerous “bunny” shots throughout the second half, wouldn’t score again.
Carr missed the free throw and it resulted in Hazen having to foul the Tigers the remainder of the game.
“You have to score points against an offensive team like that,” Hazen head coach Randy Johnson said. “And when you turn the ball over like we did it never helps.”
Sophomore Stetson Carr was the heartbeat for the Bison. He was their to score in double digits. He had 18 points to go along with eight rebounds and six assists.
Nevertheless, the Bison will be back next year. They lose just one senior.
“We have to do our homework in the summer,” Johnson said. “That’s where you find that offensive scoring … the experience in the tournament is crucial though for anyone.”
Hazen 18 25 37 50
NE 10 23 43 60
H: Stetson Carr 18, Jon Doll 8, Collin Lindquist 7, Michael Maas 7, Tyler Parker 4, Josh Rothe 4, Alex Volk 2.
NE: Kain Hanson 22, Clarence Binstock 15, Nick Wolf 13, Avery Krebs 5, Devin Plaggemeyer 5.
3-pointers: H 4 (Carr 2, Doll 2), NE 4 (Hanson 3). Free throws: H 6-9, NE 23-34. Total fouls: H 23, NE 13. Fouled out: Doll, Lindquist. Rebounds: H 37 (Carr 8), NE 35 (Binstock 6). Assists: H 11 (Carr 6), NE 12 (Binstock 8). Steals: H 9 (Carr 3), NE 10 (Wolf 6). Blocks: H 4 (Rothe 2), NE 1 (Plaggemeyer). Turnovers: H 14, NE 14.