New England rolls past Hazen in Region 7 Tournament opener
At halftime, the top-seeded and No. 5-ranked New England boys basketball team quelled its nerves. The Tigers used their calm demeanor in the second half to run away from No. 9 seed Hazen. New England had three players score in double figures en r...
At halftime, the top-seeded and No. 5-ranked New England boys basketball team quelled its nerves.
The Tigers used their calm demeanor in the second half to run away from No. 9 seed Hazen.
New England had three players score in double figures en route to a 71-50 win over the Bison during the quarterfinals of the Region 7 Tournament on Monday at Knights of Columbus Activities Center.
“At halftime, things kind of settled down,” New England head coach Luke Powers said. “We threw the ball away a lot in the first half. We had 10 turnovers at the half. We talked about just playing basketball instead of what the game was or meant. It worked out and we got away from them a little bit.”
Though a majority of the team responded in the second half, New England senior forward Ty Nordby already had a double-double by halftime.
The 6-foot-3 senior forward had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the first 16 minutes. He finished with 20 points 12 rebounds - which included five offensive boards.
“When I see the ball, I just go up and get it,” Nordby said about grabbing offensive rebounds. “Sometimes, I’m little surprised I got it.”
New England senior Daniel Prince supplied a game-high 24 points and five rebounds, while junior Brady Bender scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half.
As a team, the Tigers were 27 of 59 (46 percent) from the field. New England (20-2) shot 40 percent or better between the first and second halves.
Beulah had a tough time finding the bottom of the net. The Bison shot 13 of 51 (26 percent) from the field.
“We came out a little tight,” Hazen head coach Ben Nelson said. “We missed some easy shots. When that happens and as the game wears on, we couldn’t get over that hump.”
New England held a 21-14 lead after the first quarter when John Urlacher hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer. The Tigers managed to extended their lead to nine, 33-24, at halftime.
The Tigers took their first double-digit lead of the contest early in the third quarter on a Brady Bender 3-pointer. The closest Hazen came to the lead was six points, 37-31, when Connor Doll hit back-to-back free throws.
New England outscored Hazen 34-19 from there.
“In the second half, we just got rolling and we really never let up,” Nordby said. “There was a couple times we lost (Wyatt) Carr, but we managed to pull it off.”
Carr supplied a team-high 18 points, four rebounds and three steals for Hazen (15-8). Brian Sitz, Connor Doll and Seth Kreil each scored nine points. Kreil grabbed a team-high six rebounds.
The Tigers play No. 5 seed and No. 8-ranked Hettinger-Scranton during the semifinals at 5 p.m. today. In their lone regular-season game, New England edged the Night Hawks 55-50 in overtime.
“They are an excellent team,” Powers said. “We know we have our hands full. There’s no easy road to the Region 7 championship and there’s no easy road to state. We have to do our best.”
Hazen 14 24 41 50
New England 21 33 55 71
H: Wyatt Carr 18, Seth Kreil 9, Connor Doll 9, Brian Sitz 9, Mason Faut 3, Chase Bruner 2.
NE: Daniel Prince 24, Ty Nordby 20, Brady Bender 14, John Urlacher 7, Cody Holt 3, Christian Kilwein 3.
3-pointers: H 3 (Sitz 1, Faut 1, Carr 1), NE 5 (Prince 2, Bender 2, Urlacher 1). Free throws: H 21-31, NE 12-19. Total fouls: H 19, NE 21. Fouled out: H, Kreil. Rebounds: H 28 (Kreil 6), NE 44 (Nordby 12). Assists: H 6 (Bruner 4), NE 9 (Bender 4). Steals: H 16 (Bruner 3, Carr 3), NE 7 (Bender 2). Blocks: H 0, NE 3 (Holt 2). Turnovers: H 7, NE 16. Records: H 20-2, NE 15-8.