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Closing statement: BP senior hits 1,000 points in final home game as Blossoms move on to Section 1A quarterfinals

Feb. 29—BLOOMING PRAIRIE — Blooming Prairie senior Zack Hein closed out his final home game for the Awesome Blossoms with a lasting memory as he surpassed the 1,000th point mark for his career in a 65-43 win over No. 17 seeded Faribault Bethlehem Academy in a Section 1A Tournament opener Thursday.

Zack scored his 1,000th career point on a three-pointer that put top seeded BP up 8-6 early on and he finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists in the playoff victory.

"Everybody knew I was five points off and it was good to get it out of the way early in this one," Zack said. "We just needed to slow down a little bit and play our game. I honestly don't feel like we played our whole game tonight, and we've just got to come ready to play on Monday.

BP trailed 16-15 with 6:12 left in the first half, but the Awesome Blossoms (26-2 overall) put together an 18-0 run that saw them hold FBA scoreless for a six minute stretch at the end of the first half and a two minute stretch to start the second half to go up 35-18.

Zack, who hit a big three to put BP up 22-18 in the first half, now joins his twin brother Gabe in the 1,000th point club.

"It's a huge accomplishment and we knew coming into the season what each of us would have to average to get to 1,000," said Gabe, who tallied 10 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, five steals and two blocked shots Thursday. "He wasn't really close, and then he had that 50-point game against Alden and that kind of just sparked it."

FBA (7-20 overall) was led by senior Hudson Dillon, who put up 14 points. Dillon, a Minnesota State University at Mankato football recruit, gave BP some problems with his athleticism early on, but the Blossoms stayed steady and continued moving the ball.

"That was our third time playing these guys and we knew we would have to focus on (Dillon). He's a great player. They came out and played hard. It's the playoffs now and no one is going to roll over," BP head coach Cam Rutledge said. "This is how we're going to have to play. We're going to need to share the basketball. It doesn't matter who scores, as long as the ball is going through the rim."

BP will now take on No. 8 Kenyon-Wanamingo in a Section 1A quarterfinal at Mayo Civic Auditorium at 6 p.m. Monday. BP split the regular season series with KW (16-11 overall), with the Blossoms winning 65-57 on Feb. 23.

"Our section is loaded and we have to come ready to play every single night," Rutledge said. "Just because we're the number one seed, does not mean that we're penciled in for the section championship game. Kenyon has played us tough twice already and it's going to be a tough game."

Cooper Cooke had 10 points and eight rebounds for BP and Brady Kittelson added 10 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals.

FBA 18 25 — 43

BP 31 34 — 65

BP scoring: Zack Hein, 17; Brady Kittelson, 10; Gabe Hein, 10; Cooper Cooke, 10; Gabe Staloch, 8; Jacob Pauly, 7; Kolby Vigeland, 2; Bradley Boyd, 1