Mott-Regent Wildfire claim early lead, down Beach in Region 7 play-in game

MOTT - In a crowded and noisy Mott Armory, Nate Zachmann's voice was distinct -- he called out for one shot with time winding down in the third quarter.

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Mott-Regent senior Chance Roth, left, drives the baseline while being defended by Beach senior forward Sam Stoveland at the Mott Armory Tuesday in their Region 7 Tournament play-in game. (Press Photo by Colton Pool)
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MOTT – In a crowded and noisy Mott Armory, Nate Zachmann’s voice was distinct - he called out for one shot with time winding down in the third quarter.

But his boys basketball team shot a 3-pointer with 15 seconds left and it rattled in, and the Mott-Regent head coach couldn’t help but smile.

The fifth-seeded Wildfire were firing on just about all cylinders and took a 62-35 win over the No. 11 seed Beach Tuesday night in their Region 7 Tournament play-in game.

“You talk about being loose,” Zachmann said. “I think the kids played loose but were focused, and sometimes when everything is going your way, you have those shots that roll in. Then the bench gets excited. That’s exactly what we need.”

Mott-Regent junior guard Brady Wegh led his team with 13 points, but deflected all credit to his teammates, most of whom also found the scoring column, after the game.


“It feels great when everybody steps up and plays,” Wegh said. “We all play together, and we all show our athleticism, but we all work together. It feels good to have a team to play with, and we all have good chemistry playing together.”

Senior guard Chance Roth (eight), senior forward Brett Messmer (eight), junior guard Sean Hertz (seven), sophomore guard Tanner Zentner (seven), sophomore forward Hunter Crist (six) and senior guard Carter Honeyman (five) all scored five points or more, but Wegh was the only one in double-digits. The Wildfire also made 9 of 12 free throws and made five total 3-pointers.

“That balance that we’ve developed, it’s crucial,” Zachmann said. “Especially going into the regional tournament and you’ve got to play back-to-back, you’ve got to have depth and balanced scoring. There isn’t really one person that one team can take out on us.”

That balance was clear from the very beginning when the Wildfire took a 17-8 lead by the end of the first quarter. Wegh scored on an and-one and then hit another driving layup that he was fouled on within the last 30 seconds of that opening frame to get the home-town crowd excited.

“In a game like this, that was a huge start,” Wegh said. “It helps when coach is yelling at us and getting us motivated in the locker room, but for games like this it’s huge. It just gets us fired up when we get a good lead on the opponent. It helps throughout the game and keeps us going for the whole game.”

Mott-Regent (13-8) used a stifling defense to gain more separation with a 29-16 lead at halftime. The Buccaneers (2-20) would only score in double-digits in a single quarter with their 10-point third.

“Just take it quarter by quarter and chip away little by little,” said Beach sophomore center Gunnar Farstveet. “You’re never going to get it on one sweep. You’ve just got to work as a team and work back what you lost.”

Farstveet led Beach with 10 points, and senior guard Ty Farstveet was right behind him with nine.


“We just went in thinking it might be the last game we play. We just wanted to go out with a bang,” Gunnar said. “I was happy to have all the leadership from the seniors this year. I guess we’ll have to come back next year, rebuild and see if we can do a little better.”

Gunnar admitted that his team knew it would have to rebound well - a lesson learned in Mott-Regent’s 75-44 win on Feb. 2 at the Mott Armory in the regular season.

Though neither team allowed a favorable amount of second-chance opportunities, the Wildfire found a way to convert on theirs.

“We knew we had to work harder and push ourselves harder,” Wegh said. “If we found the open man and got good shots, the game would go our way.”

The win extends Mott-Regent’s season into next week when the Wildfire will play the No. 4 seed Heart River in the quarterfinals of the Region 7 Tournament. That game is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Monday at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center.

“Everybody just needs to play together,” Zachmann said. “That’s what it comes down to. … Moving forward, we need to build on from this win and then move on with that.”


B      8      16    26    35


MR  17    29    48    62

B: Brandon Schulter 1, Cole Erickson 1, Josiah Orluck 6, Ty Farstveet 9, Scott Lund, 2, Gunner Farstveet 10, Sam Storeland 6.

MR: Tanner Zentner 7, Brady Wegh 13, Hunter Crist 6, Josh Wallace 1, Carter Honeyman 5, Chance Roth 8, Brett Messmer 8, Brodie Ambers 3, Sean Hertz 7, Dylan Ambers 4.

3-pointers: B, 1 (T. Farstveet 1), MR 5 (Zentner 1, Honeyman 1, Hertz 1, D. Ambers 1) Free throws: B, 8-23, MR 9-12. Total fouls: B 14, MR 23.

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