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|2/23/2013 ||Email this article Print this article |
North Cedar takes over in second half against Rebels
|Northeast senior Ben Hildebrandt attempts a three-pointer during the second half of the Rebels’ district final game against North Cedar. Hildebrandt had a trio of three-pointers during the game and led Northeast with 12 points, but the Knights used a big second half to pull away for a 62-39 win. Photo by Ross Eberhart|
By Ross Eberhart
Sometimes it does not take much to completely alter the course of a game.
In Tuesday night's 2A district 9 final between the Northeast and North Cedar boys basketball teams, a pair of three-pointers did the trick.
An 82-65 loser in the regular season meeting between the two schools, the Rebels stuck right with the Knights through the first quarter of the contest and then used a 10-2 run early in the second quarter to go up 24-18.
North Cedar, though, cut the lead in half with a three-pointer by Marshall Shedeck and, after Northeast failed to answer, tied things up with another three-pointer by Jacob Hay.
The two threes turned out to do more than erase Northeast's once prominent lead, they also kick-started a North Cedar run that proved to be the difference in the game.
The Knights followed up their two threes with six more points to finish the first half on a 12-0 run.
Things only got worse from there for the Rebels as North Cedar outscored Northeast 16-5 in the third quarter and never looked back in a 62-39 rout.
"We started off great," Northeast head coach Travis Eversmeyer said. "We were breaking their press and getting some nice, easy looks at the basket. They made some adjustments in the second quarter and we had some costly turnovers in the last minute of the half, but we were feeling good about where we were at the half.
"The second half they started being more physical and we were not doing a very good job of getting open, taking care of the ball or attacking which led to some empty possessions."
The Rebels used their open looks in the first quarter to hang right with the 10th-ranked Knights and the two teams finished the second quarter tied at 12-12.
A pair of Ben Hildebrandt three-pointers provided the biggest boost for Northeast, who also got individual hoops from Will Hasken, Bo Lingle and Eli Kaczinski.
North Cedar broke the tie with a free throw, but Northeast took the lead right back with a hoop inside by Nick Wall.
The lead swung right back to the Knights after a three-pointer before the Rebels tied things up when Damon Diedrich got behind the North Cedar defense for a lay-up.
The Knights came up empty on their next possession and Northeast brought its large contingent of fans to their feet with a three-pointer by Hasken.
A North Cedar bucket quelled the momentum for a moment, but the Rebels broke the Knight trap again and Lingle was fouled on a hoop inside. The senior added the free throw and the Rebels were up four.
The lead grew to six moments later as Northeast attacked inside again with Diedrich putting in a shot to make it 24-18.
The Knights, though, got their back-to-back three-pointers to tie things up and then took the lead on a bucket in the paint.
North Cedar added a pair of free throws and another hoop as well and it was the Knights, not the Rebels, who were up six at the break.
The Knights carried the momentum of their strong finish right into the second half as North Cedar scored on their first four possessions of the third quarter.
North Cedar added four points to its total before the Rebels got on the board in the second half with two Lingle free throws.
The Knights shrugged off the Rebels' points by scoring five more points to push their lead to 13 points.
Northeast was able to answer as Hildebrandt drained his third three-pointer of the game.
The turnovers, however, began to pile up for the Rebels, who did not score again in the third quarter.
The Knights made the most of the Rebels' scoring funk as they finished the period on a 7-0 run to go up 46-29 heading into the fourth quarter.
North Cedar put the finishing touches on its victory early in the final period, as the Knight opened the stanza with a 9-2 run (Wall hit a pair of free throws for the Rebels).
Hildebrandt scored three more points for Northeast, this time on an old-fashioned three-point play, and the Rebels also got a free throw by Wall and four-straight points from Tyler Moothart, but it was the Knights who cruised to the victory.
Hildebrandt led the Rebels with 12 points, while Lingle added seven and Wall five. Moothart and Diedrich, meanwhile, both scored four.
"We wanted to go farther obviously, but I am so proud of these guys," Eversmeyer said. "Nobody gave them a shot coming in to the season due to lack of experience, but they finished second in the conference, 17-7 overall, and played in the district championship game."
"We had a great group of seniors who worked hard and pulled along our younger, less experienced players all year," the Rebel head coach added. "What really stands out more than anything, though, is the type of young men we have in our program. They are not only good players, but they are outstanding people.
"I am proud to be their coach."
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