Hot-shooting Tigers top Devils

BOWMAN -- The New England boys basketball team has been riding an up-and-down wave all season. The Tigers opened the season by winning the Roughrider tournament, but lost to the Dickinson Trinity junior varsity on Monday. Well, the Tiger tsunami ...

Avery Krebs
Press Photo by Dustin Monke New England senior Avery Krebs, left, puts up a shot over Hettinger junior Justis Caldwell on Friday during the quarterfinals of the District 13 boys basketball tournament at Solberg Gymnasium in Bowman.

BOWMAN -- The New England boys basketball team has been riding an up-and-down wave all season.

The Tigers opened the season by winning the Roughrider tournament, but lost to the Dickinson Trinity junior varsity on Monday.

Well, the Tiger tsunami may be building again -- and Hettinger can attest to that.

New England shot 67 percent from the field as it captured a 71-47 victory over the Black Devils during their District 13 tournament quarterfinal game Friday night at Solberg Gymnasium.

"That is how we're capable of playing," New England head coach Luke Powers said.


Tigers junior Nick Wolf scored a game-high 24 points on 10 of 13 shooting, including 14 in the decisive second quarter.

New England took a 16-11 lead into the second quarter and turned it into a 42-25 halftime advantage.

"We got easy shots and played great defense," Wolf said. "Defense led to fast-break layups and easy shots."

While the fifth-seeded Tigers never really went on a run, they were quietly explosive in the transition game as they built what turned out to be an insurmountable lead.

As New England (14-6) turned on the jets, the fourth-seeded Black Devils (8-11) had troubles getting in a flow.

"The problem tonight was our defense. They didn't show up," Black Devils head coach Dustin Laufer said. "You can't give a team 42 points in a half, not in Class B ball anyway, and not in this district."

The Tigers face No. 1 seed Mott-Regent at 6 p.m. today in the semifinals.

A pair of back-to-back 3-pointers from New England point guard Clarence Binstock increased the Tigers' lead to 32-19 with 4 minutes left in the second quarter.


Wolf, who was 4 of 4 from the free-throw line, scored five straight in a span of 18 seconds to make it 37-21 and closed out the quarter with five unanswered points.

"He (Wolf) was tremendous all game," Powers aid. "He did a nice job of penetrating to the basket. ... Twenty-six points in the second quarter goes a long way."

Kaine Hanson had 10 points and seven rebounds for New England while playing through foul trouble. Binstock had 10 points, eight assists, five rebounds and three steals.

"Clarence Binstock was the floor general tonight," Powers said.

Hettinger, meanwhile, leaned on forward Justis Caldwell in the first half.

The 6-foot-2 junior scored 21 points and had a game-high 13 rebounds as he helped the Black Devils control the boards early on.

"Justis Caldwell stepped up and had a good night," Laufer said. "That's not out of the normal for him. The second quarter, we failed to get on the boards. The first quarter we were crashing hard."

Hettinger outrebounded New England 33-30 and had 17 offensive rebounds.


"Seventeen too many," Wolf said. "We knew they'd crash the offensive boards hard."

Ben Laufer and Stephen Kristy each had 10 points for the Black Devils, who have a bye today and face the loser of the Heart River vs. Bowman County semifinal game at 4:30 p.m. Monday in a region-qualifier game.

"Once we settled down and executed, it looked better, but it was too late," Laufer said.

NE 16 42 55 71

Hettinger 11 25 38 47

NE: Nick Wolf 24, Kaine Hanson 10, Clarence Binstock 10, Mark Frank 8, Avery Krebs 8, Devin Plaggemeyer 6, Austin Fitterer 3, Levi Hollinger 2.

H: Justis Calwell 21, Ben Laufer 10, Stephan Kristy 10, Cory Christman 6.

3-pointers: NE 2 (Binstock 2), H 0. Free throws: NE 13-23, H 13-22. Total fouls: NE 16, H 20. Technical fouls: Plaggemeyer. Rebounds: NE 30 (Hanson 7), H 33 (Calwell 13). Assists: NE 20 (Binstock 8), H 10 (Laufer 6). Steals: NE 7 (Binstock 3), H 6 (Ander Thompson 2). Blocks: NE 2 (Hanson 1, Wolf 1), H 0. Turnovers: NE 10, H 13.


Bowman County 54, Scranton 47

What might have been the final game ever played between the Bulldogs and Miners came down the final minutes.

But, balanced scoring and tough defense by second-seeded Bowman County helped it secure a spot in the semifinals.

"That's always a battle with them because it's such a close rivalry with the two towns," Bowman County head coach Gary Ballard said. "It was a battle. We hung on and won. That was good."

Tate Wallman had 12 points and eight rebounds to lead four Bulldogs who scored in double figures.

Trevor Smolnikar and Cole Heimer both scored 11 points. Mike Palczewski added 10 points and six rebounds.

Smolnikar also had the task of guarding Scranton's leading scorer, Justin Benischek. He held Benischeck, who averages around 18 points per game, to three points.

"Smolnikar, he worked his tail off defensively," Ballard said. "He did a really nice job on (Benischeck)."


Caleb Larson had 21 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Miners. Nevada Turbiville had 14 points.

"Larson was a pretty physical post," Ballard said. "He's hard to play against, he's a tough kid."

Scranton 10 16 33 47

BC 14 26 40 54

S: Caleb Larson 21, Nevada Turbiville 14, Shawn Sanford 4, Justin Benischek 3, Nate Pierce 3, Dalton Mellmer 2.

BC: Tate Wallman 12, Trevor Smolnikar 11, Cole Heimer 11, Mike Palczewski 10, Andy Hansey 8, Colter Braaten 2.

3-pointers: S 4 (Turbiville 2, Pierce 1, Larson 1), BC 2 (Smolnikar 2). Free throws: S 7-10, BC 16-22. Total fouls: S 21, BC 11. Fouled out: Benischek. Rebounds: S 29 (Larson 11), BC 34 (Wallman 8). Assists: S 11 (Turbiville 3, Sanford 3), BC 11 (three with 3). Steals: S 6 (three with 2), BC 7 (Palczewski 3). Blocks: S 2 (Benischek 1, Mellmer 1), BC 0. Turnovers: S 17, BC 19.

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