April 10, 2021

Grant County Herald

Community news from the prairie to the lakes

Knights claim Pheasant Conference title

The Knights won the Pheasant Conference title for the second year in a row. This time, they shared the title with Hancock.

The Knights’ boys basketball team ended its regular season in fine fashion with three more wins to run its record to 13-4. They got an impressive home win, 69-50, over Barnesville (AA) on Monday night, then easily took care of CGB, 83-38, at home on Senior Night on Friday, and went on the road to Hillcrest Lutheran Academy on Saturday late afternoon and beat the Comets, 63-58. With the win at Hillcrest on Saturday, the Knights became Pheasant Conference Champions for the second year in a row. Last season, they were the sole champs and this year they share the title with Hancock with each team having identical 11-1 records in conference play. This week, the Knights will take their five-game winning streak into the Section 6A playoffs. They’re seeded number four in the tournament and will host fifth seeded W/H-N on Thursday night in Barrett. The winner of that game will most likely take on top-seeded Ashby in Ashby on Saturday, provided the Arrows win their opening-round match-up against the eight seed.    Knights – 69   Trojans – 50 The Knights built a 22-point lead and finally claimed a 69-50 win over the Barnesville Trojans in Barrett last Monday night. The Knights led 28-20 at the half and dominated the second half on their way to the win. “It was a complete game by our boys tonight. Solid defense, solid rebounding, poised offense and some lights out shooting,” said Knights’ coach Kraig Hunter.  The Knights hit 51 percent of their shots from the field (26-51) which included 8-20 threes for 40 percent. They made 9-14 free throws. Their defense held Barnesville to 38 percent shooting (22-58) including 4-20 threes.  The Trojans made 2-7 free throws. Hunter said about the Knights’ defense, “I thought our guys really did a good job taking away the strengths of their personnel. We did a good job knowing where shooters were and made a lot of their shots contested.” The Knights turned in a dominating rebounding performance grabbing 40 boards compared to 26 for the Trojans. The leaders for the Knights were Brady Reeve with 23 points, seven rebounds and three assists; Grant Beuckens had 15 points, four rebounds, four assists, and two steals; Ryder Staples had 13 points, seven rebounds, and four assists; Tate Christenson had eight points, 10 rebounds, four steals, and two assists; Cole Anderson added four points, three rebounds, and two assists; Jacob Strunk had four points, four rebounds, and two assists; and Nasir Dotts rounded out the scoring with two points. Xander Bontjes contributed a rebound, an assist, and a steal, and Cam Anderson also had a rebound, and assist, and a steal. Adam Tonsfeldt led the Trojans with 23 points, Ryan Rustad had seven, Kaden Zenzen had six points, Jack Nielson had five, Payton Pauna had three, and Cam Heng, Noah Krause, and Tate Inniger each had two points.     Knights – 83 Wolverines – 38 On Friday night, the WCA Knights honored their five seniors Grant Beuckens, Xander Bontjes, Tate Christenson, Nathaniel Junker, and Brady Reeve. The seniors led the Knights to an 83-38 win over the CGB Wolverines. WCA hit 33-53 shots for 62 percent from the field and they were hot from the three-point line with six different players hitting threes going 9-20 overall for 45 percent.  The Knights held CGB to 14-39 from the field for 36 percent and the Wolverines hit 7-24 threes. Coach Hunter said, “It was a very special night honoring five special individuals. We’ve been blessed over the years to have a community that raises such good people. These five guys are exceptional people, exceptional students in the classroom, and great role models. It’s easy for fans to pull for people like them. They really set the tone and led us tonight.” The Knights had a balanced attack led by Beuckens who scored 23 points, grabbed three boards and had three steals; Christenson added 13 points, four rebounds, five assists, and four steals; Reeve had 12 points and three rebounds; Ryder Staples scored 11 points, had four rebounds, four assists, and two steals; and Bontjes had a strong game scoring nine points, four rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Others contributing for the Knights were Cam Anderson with three points, four assists, one rebound, and a steal; Jacob Strunk had two points, led the team with seven rebounds, and had two steals; Cole Anderson had two points, three rebounds and an assist; Nas Dotts scored two points and had a rebound; Peyton Hanson had two points, one rebound and an assist; Isaac Kreft had two points, Damon Sanstead had two points, Nathaniel Junker had a rebound, Roman Mihailovschi had a steal, and Tyler Biss had one blocked shot.  Scoring for CGB were Cole Gilsdorf with 16 points, Chuck Kleindl had seven points, Nate Moberg had five points, Jans Jorgenson had five points, Lucas Wulff had four points, and Isaac Haanen had one point. The Knights won the rebounding battle, 31-19, and only turned the ball over five times compared to 17 for CGB. The Knights hit 8-12 free throws and CGB hit 3-5.    Knights – 63   Comets – 58 After a back and forth first half with Hillcrest leading 21-18, the Knights went on a 33-3 run to take a 51-24 lead at one point in the second half. In the first half, they went on a 14-3 run to take a 32-24 halftime lead and then scored the first 19 points of the second half. Hillcrest cut the lead to 57-39 and then went on a flurry, making four consecutive threes mixed in with some free throws to make a valiant comeback in the final minutes. Coach Hunter said, “First off, hats off to Coach Garvin and the Hillcrest players. Coach Garvin does a good job and their players buy in. It was a game that had a playoff intensity as the kids from both teams played extremely hard. We knew they were going to make a run. They have multiple three-point threats and when they were down, they were shooting with nothing to lose. The game was very physical and I give credit to our kids for handling the tough atmosphere and the poise we had at the end.” “Every guy on our team brought some kind of energy tonight. Whether it was on the bench or on the court. We’re proud of our kids. They played the game the right way. ‘We above me’ – that’s Knights’ basketball, being unselfish. This group has become the hard work, everyday guys. It pays off, the game was extremely physical but we’re used to playing this way every day in practice.”   The Knights shot 46 percent, hitting 21-46 shots including 7-19 on threes for 37 percent. The Knights also made 14-21 free throws for 67 percent. The Comets hit 19-56 shots for 34 percent and made 9-25 threes for 36 percent and made 11-15 free throws. WCA held a 38-32 edge on the boards and they turned the ball over 10 times compared to seven for the Comets. Grant Beuckens led the Knights with 22 points, five rebounds, two assists, and a blocked shot. Brady Reeve added 15 points and eight rebounds. Reeve connected on 10-11 attempts from the charity stripe. Ryder Staples was also in double figures with 11 points, seven rebounds, five blocked shots and two steals. Tate Christenson played his normal all-around game with eight points, six rebounds, three assists, and three steals. Also contributing for the Knights was Xander Bontjes with four points and four rebounds; Jacob Strunk with two points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal, Cole Anderson with one point, three rebounds and three assists, and Cam Anderson with one rebound. Hunter also noted Beuckens’ defense. “Grant can score the ball, but most importantly Grant can guard. We’ve seen how multi-talented Micah Foss is with a combination of shooting and quickness and Grant was able to hold him to 10 points.  I also like our balance on offense, we’re having multiple guys score and step up each night.” Sam Brumfeld led the Comets with 19 points, Zeke Ihrke had 11 and Foss had 10. Also scoring for the Comets were Noah Brumfeld with eight points, Caden Fisher with seven, and Yuchan Ha with three.