Beulah beats Hazen in high-scoring semifinalTake a breath Beulah. You’re going to the Region 7 championship game.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
Take a breath Beulah.
You’re going to the Region 7 championship game.
The No. 8-ranked Miners needed one of their highest-scoring games of the season to escape a test from their biggest rival Tuesday night.
Jesse Hettich had team highs of 24 points and 10 rebounds to lead four Beulah boys basketball players who scored in double figures of an 84-81 victory over Hazen in a wildly paced region tournament semifinal game at Knights of Columbus Activities Center.
“You don’t really expect anything different when we play because that’s kind of the way it is when we play each other,” said Beulah head coach Jeremy Brandt, whose team has a date with Dickinson Trinity at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the region title game.
From the opening tip, the teams went after each other.
Beulah (20-3) led 29-23 at the end of the first quarter before letting Hazen climb back and tie it at 35 following seven unanswered points by Stetson Carr and Jon Doll with 3 minutes, 52 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
“It was a little out of control right away,” Beulah senior Casey Duppong, who had 12 points and nine assists. “We weren’t getting back on defense. We’d like to play a little more controlled, but it’s a little tiring when you’re out there running back and forth.”
Hazen (18-4) took its only lead, 40-38, on a Doll 3-pointer with 2 minutes left in second quarter.
Beulah regained the lead on a Cody Nelson 3-pointer just seconds later and led 45-40 at halftime.
“The whole game was back and forth,” said Hettich, a 6-foot-3 junior who also had five assists and five steals. “Everybody was making every shot.”
Beulah benefitted from a couple three-point plays late in the third quarter to establish a 61-54 lead.
Hazen chipped away though, cutting Beulah’s lead to 69-66 when sophomore Austin Cieslak came off the bench and made a pair of free throws and a layup within 30 seconds of each other. Cieslak had 10 points.
Beulah never let up though.
Tyler Murray got fouled on a layup in the post and converted the three-point play, Hettich hit a pair of free throws and Doll was called for a technical just seconds after picking up his fourth foul on a charging call. He finished with 12 points and five steals.
“Those are kids we rely on to do that and they answered the call for us tonight,” Brandt said.
Trevor Zacher tacked on two free throws to put Beulah ahead 76-66 with 2:45 remaining and the Miners hung on from there despite a valiant effort by Carr, a 6-foot-2 junior who scored 16 of his game-high 28 points in the fourth quarter and dished out nine assists.
“The one key thing is we let them get a little bit too large of a lead on us,” Hazen head coach Randy Johnson said. “We needed to do a little bit better job executing on offense tonight and making them play defense for a little longer, especially early in the game. We took some ill-advised shots. We talked about that early in the game and we just couldn’t quite get over the hump to get the lead again.”
Hazen cut it Beulah’s lead to four, 80-76 after a Collin Lindquist 3-pointer and a drive to the hoop by Carr. But, the Bison lost a rebound out of bounds, gave Hettich a wide-open layup and missed a shot, allowing Zacher to slam home a reverse dunk with 23 seconds left as icing on Beulah’s victory.
Carr scored five points in the final 10 seconds — a 3-pointer and a driving dunk — to reach the final score.
Beulah was 31 of 59 (53 percent) from the field and Hazen was 32 of 64 (50 percent). It was both teams’ fourth-highest scoring game this season and only time either reached the 80s against a team with a winning record.
The teams played four times this season and Beulah won the final three meetings.
Collin Lindquist had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Bison, who take on Heart River at 6 p.m. in the third-place game. Josh Rothe added 10 points and six rebounds.
Zacher had 15 points for the Miners, who shot 15 of 23 from the free-throw line and 7 of 23 from 3-point range. Cody Nelson had 12 points and Murray tacked on nine points and eight boards.
“Whenever you play Hazen, it’s always going to be a good one,” Duppong said. “It’s fun to come out and compete, get prepared for Thursday.”
Hazen 23 40 54 81
Beulah 29 45 61 84
H: Stetson Carr 28, Collin Lindquist 17, Jon Doll 12, Josh Rothe 10, Austin Cieslak 10, Tyler Parker 2, Michael Maas 2.
B: Jesse Hettich 24, Trevor Zacher 15, Casey Duppong 12, Cody Nelson 12, Tyler Murray 9, Erik Ham 5, Tanner Dolbec 4, Noah Iverson 3.
3-pointers: H 7 (Carr 3, Lindquist 2, Doll 2), B 7 (Iverson 2, Ham 1, Duppong 1, Zacher 1, Hettich 1). Free throws: H 10-19, B 15-23. Total fouls: H 22, B 16. Fouled out: Doll. Technical fouls: H, Doll; B, Hettich. Rebounds: H 33 (Lindquist 9), B 35 (Hettich 10). Assists: H 16 (Carr 9), B 20 (Duppong 9). Steals: H 11 (Doll 5), B 9 (Hettich 5). Blocks: H 4 (Rothe 2), B 3 (Hettich 2). Turnovers: H 13, B 15.