Beulah hangs on to beat rival HazenThrough 10 minutes, the Beulah boys basketball team appeared like it was going to breeze into the District 14 championship game. Hazen had different ideas.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Through 10 minutes, the Beulah boys basketball team appeared like it was going to breeze into the District 14 championship game.
Hazen had different ideas.
The Miners staved off a second-half comeback by the Bison for a 70-62 semifinal win Saturday at Knights of Columbus Activities Center.
“Credit to them (the Miners), they came out blazing and played defensively right away,” Hazen head coach Randy Johnson said. “It took the wind out of our sail to start with and we kind of had to regroup.”
Beulah (18-3) and Hazen know each other very well, especially since they are separated by just 11 miles. This was the third time this season the teams had met and now the Miners hold a 2-1 advantage over the Bison.
“It’s pretty tough, because we know each other so well,” said Beulah junior Trevor Zacher, who had 14 points, seven rebounds, six assists and six steals. “We’ve been playing each other since we were fifth-graders.”
For the third straight year, Beulah plays Trinity in the District 14 championship at 7 p.m. on Monday. Meanwhile the Bison play Richardton-Taylor at 4 p.m.
“We’re excited,” Zacher said. “This is our third year in a row playing them. It should be fun.”
Beulah opened up an 18-2 lead and led 21-9 after the first quarter. The Miners led 41-26 at halftime.
They also caused 11 Hazen turnovers while shooting 16 of 31 from the field (52 percent) in the first half.
“We got off to a good offensive start,” Beulah head coach Jeremy Brandt said. “I think that carried us throughout the first half.”
The player that kicked off the first half for the Miners was senior Jesse Hettich. He went 5 of 5 from the field.
Because of foul trouble, Hettich found a comfortable seat on the bench late in the first half. Nevertheless, he finished with a team-high 21 points.
“He sometimes has the tendency to get some silly fouls,” Brandt said. “When he got that second one, he pretty much took himself out of the rest of the first half.”
The Miners led 21-9 after the first quarter and 41-26 at halftime. Despite a weary first half, the Bison didn’t want to repeat the half over again.
“One of the things that we talked is that we didn’t come out with the same intensity, we normally do defensively,” Johnson said. “We let them have things a little too easy on the offensive end.”
Josh Rothe was the player to address that need for Hazen (16-4). The senior finished with a game-high 27 points and added seven rebounds and two blocks.
Collin Lindquist had 11 points and Jon Doll added 10 for Hazen.
Once their offense was in rhythm, the Bison steadily chipped away at the lead and got within four points, 66-62, late in the fourth quarter after a Stetson Carr layup.
However, the effort at the free-throw line was the key difference for the Miners, who were 4 of 6 to close out the game.
“We stepped up and made some big free throws down the stretch to keep that gap,” Brandt said. “Those free throws were big to maintain or extend that lead a little bit.”
Beulah 21 41 54 70
Hazen 9 26 43 62
B: Jesse Hettich 21, Trevor Zacher 14, Cody Nelson 10, Tyler Murray 9, Casey Duppong 7, Noah Iverson 7, Erik Ham 2.
H: Josh Rothe 27, Collin Lindquist 11, Jon Doll 10, Stetson Carr 7, Austin Cieslak 3, Michael Maas 2, Tyler Parker 2.
3-pointers: B 7 (Zacher 3, Nelson 2, Hettich 1, Iverson 1), H 3 (Doll 2, Carr 1). Free throws: B 15-24, H 11-21. Total fouls: B 21, H 22. Fouled out: H, Lindquist, Carr. Rebounds: B 38 (Hettich 7, Zacher 7), H 39 (Lindquist 8). Assists: B 14 (Zacher 6), H 20 (Carr 8). Steals: B 11 (Zacher 6), H 5 (Carr 2, Rothe 2). Blocks: B 1 (Zacher 1), H 2 (Rothe 2). Turnovers: B 10, H 19. Records: B 18-3, H 16-4.