H-BC, R-T-R winners in boys Section 3A South semis

Mar. 8—WORTHINGTON — Hills-Beaver Creek handled its business in the early game against Murray County Central in the Section 3A South tournament in Worthington on Thursday night, while third seeded Russell-Tyler-Ruthton came out on top of their matchup 74-62 against Southwest Minnesota Christian.

The top seeded Patriots, who won 50-39 over MCC will play the Knights, winners over SWC, Saturday on the SMSU campus in Marshall for the south sub-section championship.

The winner of that game will play the winner of the North subsection title game between Minneota and Central Minnesota Christian March 14 for the right to go to state.

Here is a recap of how Thursday's South subsection semifinal games went.

Hills-Beaver Creek 50, Murray County Central 39

The Hills-Beaver Creek boys basketball team is young, but also incredibly disciplined with its talent. The Patriots 3-2 zone defense was throwing the Rebels offense into fits, with senior 6-foot-9 center Bryce Hoekman being kept out of the circle, and the driving lanes filling up fast with Patriot blue jerseys.

That left MCC to kick their offense to outside shooting, but the Rebels simply did not connect enough on open looks.

With just under four minutes left in the first half, the Rebels did begin to close the 17-12 score gap. A 7-3 scoring run put MCC down just one point, 20-19, but H-BC was able to move the needle to 24-20 by the sound of the halftime buzzer.

The Patriots' offense was a three headed attack. Sophomore Jamin Metzger and junior Beau Bakken attacked the rim and cleaned up shots from the interior for the Patriots, while guard Micah Bush handled the rock and got to the free throw line often.

Of Bush's 11 points, seven of them came from free throws, where he was perfect on seven attempts.

Metzger led the Patriots in scoring with 13 points, and Bakken had a dozen. Sawyer Bosch and Riggins Rheault had six each. Rheault had the lone 3-pointer for the Patriots.

The Patriots also started the second half by doubling down on not allowing easy buckets. They forced several uneasy MCC shots and went on a 7-2 run before MCC coach Tim Cariveau called timeout.

As for the Rebels, the timeout breathed new life as they responded with a 5-0 run. By game's end, Hoekman scored 14 points, most of which came on hard to guard fadeaway jumpers. Gavin Gillette had eight points, Hudson Schryvers had six points and Carter Lewis had five points.

The Rebels committed 11 fouls in the second half, and the Patriots attempted 18 free throws in that half and 25 on the game. The Patriots made 19 free throws total.

The Rebels attempted 14 free throws and made nine in the game.

By the end of the game, both teams had substituted their bench onto the court, and MCC junior Dylan Kluis booked the buzzer with a 3-point shot off rim. Giving the Patriots a 50-39 win.

The Patriots (19-8) avenge their playoff loss to MCC (15-13) from a year ago, with the Rebels defeating H-BC 57-39 in Worthington in the subsection quarterfinals last year.

Russell-Tyler-Ruthton 74, Southwest Minnesota Christian 62

It was a game of runs between the Knights and Eagles for the nightcap. It started off with R-T-R draining a bucket and forcing a turnover for a quick 4-0 lead.

But Aiden Schaap had an answer with a a nothing-but-net 3-pointer for SWC.

The early part of the game belonged mostly to R-T-R, with the high energy play bringing out the most from the packed lower bowl at the Worthington High School gym.

Drew Werkman, a key contributor to the Knight's state title winning season a year ago, was a force. He made it look easy from anywhere with a pair of treys and several cleanup baskets under the rim. He led all scorers with 23 points.

The Knights lead was quickly 10 points at 17-7, when SWC coach Jamie Pap called his first timeout.

Immediately after, the game began to swing in favor of the Eagles, who had before that struggled to shoot and rebound. A Harlem Globetrotters-esque rebound train from Ryan Pap to Gavin Rieck and Trevin Prins capitalized a 7-0 run following the break in the action, and cemented the Eagles place in the game.

For much of the first half, the Eagles trailed closely but at 27-21, Prins hit three consecutive shots to tie it up at 27-27.

The lead was returned to the Knights as senior guard Blake Christianson got hot with a pair of treys and 12 first-half points. He finished with 20 in total.

But SWC hung on, and regained the lead for good for the rest of the half with a corner trey from freshman starter Ryan Pap to take a 38-35 lead.

In the second half, the Knights and Eagles once again traded baskets, and leads.

Until once again the Eagles shooting went cold, while the Knights' work stayed consistent. The Knights worked an eight point lead at 58-50, and the Eagles' opportunities in the game were quickly going with the clock.

Down nine points, Gavin Rieck connected on a trey for the Eagles to move the score to 68-62 before a timeout.

But the veteran Knights were cool under pressure, making their free throws and moving the ball away from defenders ready to foul to work the clock down to zero. Thanks to that, their lead expanded to 74-62, which would be the final margin.

Prins led the Eagles in scoring with 16, Schaap had 15 , Rieck scored 12 and Pap had 11.

For R-T-R (21-7), it is the school's first win over SWC (18-9) this season, having lost the previous two regular season matchups. But it is the Knights' second straight win over the Eagles in the playoffs, having defeated them 98-57 in the South subsection title game on their run to the state title.

SWC 38 24 — 62

R-T-R 35 39 — 74