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Bearcats rumble by Cougars

Heart River senior guard Cauy Shypkoski charges into Bearcat territory in the opening round of the Roughrider tournament on Tuesday, Dec. 11 at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)1 / 2
Glen Ullin-Hebron senior guard Braden Zuroff aims for the net in a contest against Heart River during the Roughrider Tournament at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center on Tuesday, Dec. 11. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)2 / 2

Three times in the first three minutes, senior Braden Zuroff collected a rebound and tossed the ball across the court to a wide-open senior Mason Gerving for the score. The outlet passes helped the Glen Ullin-Hebron boys basketball team build a 17-0 to start the game against Heart River.

The Bearcats' brisk pace was too much for the Cougars to counter, as Glen Ullin-Hebron earned the 68-53 victory in the first round of the Roughrider Tournament on Tuesday, Dec. 11 at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center.

"Our focus was to come out and get our transition game going and I thought the guys did a superb job of pushing the ball," Glen Ullin-Hebron head coach Greg Pruitt said. "The one thing is, of course as the game goes on, our legs got tired. Our transition kind of faded away at the end of the game there."

The Bearcats scored 21 points in the first eight minutes, and 19 points in the next two frames, but in the final quarter, they netted just nine points.

Zuroff led the team with 19 points, while Gerving followed with 14 and sophomore Grant Gerving added 13.

"Those two are going to keep getting better and better," Pruitt said of Zuroff and Mason Gerving. "I think they've been starting for the Glen Ullin-Hebron program for probably three or four years so they know each other well. The key thing with those two, is we're looking for improvement and they're buying in. I think we're going to see a better game from them each game."

The younger Gerving shot 4-for-7 from behind the three-point line, bolstering the lead to 55-35 with back-to-back makes from behind the arc in the third quarter.

With two minutes and 30 seconds left to play in the opening quarter, the Cougars got on the board with a layup from senior guard Jett Mattson. Heart River ended the frame with an 11-4 run, aided by a three-point play from sophomore guard Preston Walter and a bucket from sophomore forward Tyler Kastrow.

"I liked our perseverance," Heart River head coach Erik Klein said. "We've been talking to kids about this a lot this year leading up to our first game here: We don't have a lot of experience coming back. ... I kind of expected this to happen. I just wanted our kids to stay strong. If a team made a run on us, we just wanted to keep chipping away."

Helping his team 'chip away,' Walter contributed 12 points as well as four rebounds and two steals, but it was senior Cauy Shypkoski who paced the Cougars.

The 6-foot-1 guard sunk a pair of deep threes as he netted 18 points. He also collected five rebounds.

"We're leaning heavily on Cauy's experience right now," Klein said. "Until we can get some more kids developed and more comfortable in that role of playing in a varsity game, we're gonna have to rely on Cauy."

With both teams under new management, there is a time period of adjustment as the players buy in to what their new head coach is asking of them.

Pruitt, who previously coached Heart River, runs an uptempo offense and a man-to-man defense, which the Bearcats clearly took to.

"I think that's more of our style of basketball anyways, so it's kind of an easy transition," Zuroff said. "We just got to get used to it, play hard on defense every possession and finish."

Glen Ullin-Hebron 68, Heart River 53

GUH 21 19 19 9

HR 11 12 17 13

GUH: Braden Zuroff 19, Mason Gerving 14, Grant Gerving 13, Garret Soupir 11, Chase Remboldt 6, Braxton Rolle 4, Dawson Zuroff 1.

HR: Cauy Shypkoski 18, Preston Walter 12, Tyler Kastrow 6, Triston Gregory 6, Jett Mattson 4, Tanner Obrigewitch 4, Logan Quimby 2, Caden McCormick 1.

3-pointers: GUH 5-13 (G. Gerving 4-7), HR 2-9 (Shypkoski 2-4). Free throws: GUH 9-21, HR 5-10. Total fouls: GUH 15, HR 18. Fouled out: HR, Mattson. Rebounds: GUH 30 (Soupir 7), HR 29 (Kastrow 6). Assists: GUH 13 (Soupir 4), HR 7 (McCormick). Steals: GUH 8 (B. Zuroff 3), HR 7 (Kastrow 3). Blocks: GUH 2 (M. Gerving, G. Gerving), HR 1 (McCormick). Turnovers: GUH 8, HR 11. Records: GUH 2-0, HR 0-1.