Beach defeats Hettinger-Scranton in Region 7 play-in
The Buccaneers outscored the Night Hawks 39-20 in the second half to pull away for the victory.
BEACH, N.D. — As the calendar flips to March, the prep basketball season in North Dakota heats up yet again.
Last week, the girls’ Region 7 tournament wrapped up, with Beulah prevailing over Mott-Regent. This week, it was the boys’ turn to enter postseason play.
The play-in games across Class B Region 7 got underway Tuesday night. Out in Beach, the # 6 Buccaneers (6-5, 14-7) hosted #11 Hettinger-Scranton (1-10, 3-18) for a spot in the last eight of the tournament, which begins on March 7.
The Night Hawks and Buccaneers met in the final game of the regular season just four days ago, resulting in a 69-33 win for Beach.
With more on the line this time around, it was a much closer affair going into halftime. The Buccaneers were up 31-24 and had some trouble navigating the 2-3 zone defense from the Night Hawks.
Ultimately, they made the necessary adjustments and got by the visitors, winning 70-44 to advance in the Region 7 tournament.
Knowing they were at a size disadvantage with 6-foot-4 junior center Trey Swanson lined up on the other side, Hettinger-Scranton tried to mix up their defense on him.
“They were fronting and backsiding him,” Beach head coach Al Swanson said. “Kind of double teaming him the whole time but he still went up and got the rebounds and did the things that not only as a coach but as a dad that’s what I taught him to do. He does a really good job of it.”
One of the adjustments Beach made was putting senior guard Tevin Dietz along the baseline, operating as either a playmaker or cutting to the basket for a layup. The change was evident coming out of halftime. He scored nine of his 16 points in the third quarter.
While the 2-3 zone provided some hiccups for Beach on the night, they eventually found their groove and scored 23 points in the fourth quarter. Swanson finished 28 points, ten coming in the fourth.
Another key contributor to breaking the zone defense was freshman guard Justus Baker. He came off the bench and had 14 points, including four 3-pointers, stretching the defense and providing a key outlet for whoever got the ball in the post.
“When they collapse so hard we have to put Justus out in the corner,” Swanson said. “He rattled the first two or three, then all of a sudden he got hot…He’s just a pure shooter. He’s one of those kids that, that’s what he does...people have to guard him. If they want to do that to us defensively to Trey, you put a shooter like Justus on the floor.”
Not only did the Bucs’ offense open up in the fourth quarter, they held the Night Hawks to just eight points.
It was an 11-9 lead for Beach at the end of the first quarter before going on a 13-4 run, capped off by two 3-pointers from Baker. That stretched the lead to 24-13.
The halftime score was the closest Hettinger-Scranton got to the Buccaneers, managing only 20 points in the second half, compared to 39 for Beach. Hettinger-Scranton freshman forward had a team-high 14 points.
For the Buccaneers, it’s on to the Region 7 tournament at Trinity High School, which will begin Monday, March 7. They’ll match up with #3 Hazen (9-2, 15-6), who they lost to on February 12, 76-61.
In that matchup, the Bison hit 14 3-pointers, something Beach will surely have to clean up going into the game.
“Defensively we have some things to work on. Our press looked lousy tonight. We’re a better defensive team than that. Hettinger did an awesome job of getting to the basket and got some good looks. It was a close game at half and end of the third quarter. If we score, they would answer.”
BEACH: Trey Swanson 28, Tevin Dietz 16, Justus Baker 14, Dane Farstveet, Dylan Szudera 3, Elijah Holkup, Jonas Oech, Adam Trask 2;
HETTINGER-SCRANTON: Blake Larson 14, Forrest Forthun 10, Maddox Pierce 7, Joey Perkins 6, Brian Bartholmy 3, Bennett Jordenson, Ryder Sanford 2
REGION 7 PLAY-IN RESULTS
#5 Grant County-Mott-Regent 70, #12 Richardton-Taylor 40
#7 Heart River 52, #10 Killdeer 45
#9 New England 44, #8 Glen Ullin-Hebron 41