Boys basketball: Benson Braves measure up in section victory

Mar. 4—BENSON — Benson poses a sizable problem in the Section 6A-South boys basketball bracket.

Ortonville found that out first hand in a section play-in game Monday.

Led by 6-foot-7 sophomore center Harold Habben and 6-5 freshman forward Lanadreon Goodwin, the seventh-seeded Braves advanced with a 78-59 win over the 10th-seeded Trojans.

The win sends Benson to second-seeded Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa for a 7 p.m. quarterfinal game Thursday in Brooten.

"We played really well today," Habben said. "If we play how we played today and keep the scoring even throughout the entire team, we could really do well against BBE."

The two young bigs controlled the paint on Monday night with both Habben and Goodwin scoring 21 points. Habben used a flurry of post moves to get quality shots over Ortonville defenders. Goodwin often came from the top of the arc and drove the lane for runners.

Habben also corralled 19 rebounds. Coming off the bench, Goodwin added 12 rebounds and blocked six shots for the Braves.

They're not the only two with imposing size on Benson's squad. There's also 6-4 starting center Joseph Pagel and 6-3 guard Tayte Antolick.

"We want to take advantage of that (size) on the offensive and defensive end," said Benson head coach Mike Felt. "Those two (Habben and Goodwin) play well together and our guards do a good job getting it into the post as well."

The youthful Braves roster has also grown through the season. The team has just two seniors — Pagel and Blake Brehmer — and three juniors. There are seven sophomores and three freshmen also in the mix.

"We've grown a lot as a team; it's really amazing," Habben said. "We've all just developed our game so much."

Benson ended the first half on a 7-0 run for a 47-31 halftime lead. They followed that with a 9-2 run to open the second half for a 56-33 advantage.

On the perimeter, Brehmer (13) and Tayte Antolick (11) also finished in double figures. Jaden McCarter wasn't far behind with nine points off the bench.

"It's pretty sweet because we're taller than everybody else so it's pretty easy for us (to score)," Goodwin said. "We try to get it into the post and let them do the work but if the post isn't there, we've got the shooters on the outside.

"We've got good chemistry because we've been playing together since we were younger."

Ortonville's Ellis Longnecker hit five 3-pointers en route to a game-high 23 points.

The quarterfinals will be a tall task against the second-seeded Jaguars. Benson is ready to stand up to that challenge.

"(BBE's) very aggressive on the defensive end; they'll make you earn every point that you get," Felt said. "Hopefully we're ready to be strong and tough with the ball and get it to where we need to get it on the court."

BENSON — Scoring: Harold Habben 21, Lanadreon Goodwin 21, Blake Brehmer 13, Tayte Antolick 11, Jaden McCarter 9, Landon Skarsten 3 ... 3-point shots: McCarter 2, Skarsten 1, Antolick 1, Brehmer 1 ... Rebound leader: Habben 19, Goodwin 12 ... Assist leader: Habben 6, Brehmer 5 ... Steal leader: McCarter 2 ... Block leader: Goodwin 6