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Besler, Heart River Cougars too much for Richardton-Taylor

The scouting report on Richardton-Taylor is the lack of a true post presence, and Heart River's boys basketball team made the Raiders pay. Heart River topped Richardton-Taylor 65-31 in the opening round of the Roughrider Tournament Tuesday at the...

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Heart River junior Zane Besler, left, attempts a short jumper over Richardton-Taylor’s Abe Axtmann, bottom, Tuesday at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. (Press Photo by Parker Cotton)

The scouting report on Richardton-Taylor is the lack of a true post presence, and Heart River’s boys basketball team made the Raiders pay.
Heart River topped Richardton-Taylor 65-31 in the opening round of the Roughrider Tournament Tuesday at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center.
Cougars junior Zane Besler scored 24 points, ending up as the main beneficiary of Richardton-Taylor’s lack of height. Besler shot 12 of 21 from the field and collected 10 rebounds. Senior Eldon Privratsky scored six points and added five rebounds as well.
“That’s one thing we wanted to establish early, an inside-out game,” Heart River head coach Greg Pruitt said. “We wanted to get some post touches, so we went with that early. I thought Eldon played a good game, but I thought Zane brought a good game himself.”
On the outside part of that inside-out game was junior Dion Madler, who poured in 20 points on 8 of 13 shooting, including four 3-pointers. Madler also led all players with four steals.
“He’s a deep threat. He’s going to get his,” Raiders coach Rob Bartz said. “We’re not very deep, so to chase him all night is tough for one kid to do.”
Heart River’s success in the paint led to good shots on the perimeter, Pruitt said.
“With Zane getting some inside moves and making some baskets, that allows us to have good looks from the outside,” he said. “Anytime you get a post kickout for a 3-pointer, that’s some good basketball.”
The Raiders were limited to 31.7 percent shooting and scored in single digits in three quarters. Junior Jayden Olson and senior Denver Colgrove led the Raiders with eight points apiece.
“We knew we would struggle scoring the ball a little bit this year,” Bartz said. “We’re hoping to get better as the season progresses, and I think we will get better at scoring the ball as the season progresses. We didn’t get out in transition as well as I thought, but that’s a really quick team.”
Heart River senior Cole Olson scored seven points, and senior Seth Keator went scoreless, but he did have a team-high three assists and forced the Raiders’ guards into a few turnovers.
“Seth brings a lot of energy to the floor,” Pruitt said. “That defense, that’s Seth’s job. That’s his role, and he did a good job with it tonight.”
Heart River advances to play New England at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. The Raiders will play Glen Ullin-Hebron at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

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