Potter County Battlers place third in State B
With 11 more points on the board than the Ethan Rustlers, the Mighty Potter County Battlers won third place at the State B tournament on March 22 with a final score of 65-54.
The last basketball game of the year for the Mighty Battlers got underway in Aberdeen with the Battlers clad in white but playing red hot. It was the battle of the Bryces, with the two teams meeting on the court under the leadership of coaches Bryce Hall for Potter County coming in with an 18-2 record on the season, and Bryce Roth for Ethan with a 17-3 season.
The Rustlers were on the board first with a basket and a shot from the foul line, but Kole Hawkinson tied it up in one shot from a long way out to tie the game at three points. Mitch Hinckley punched in two more points from the lane, but Ethan tied it up on the next play.
They went to the foul line to give the Rustlers a one point lead, and a three pointer bumped their score to nine points, then another score for 11. Hawkinson put up a pretty swish from the outside to tighten it by three points, then Tanner Heuer hit a layup and drew a foul, which pulled the Battlers up to 10 points. Ethan got a score, then Heuer was fouled again where he knocked down two points, keeping the Battlers within one point. The Rustlers drew a foul and made one, putting them up by two points. With 11 seconds in the quarter, 6’8″ Rease Logan went to the foul line but missed the score, while Ethan popped in two points at the buzzer with the quarter ending with the Battlers down 12-16.
Ethan started the second quarter with a basket before drawing a foul to add another two, so the score spread to 12-20. Logan posted a layup, but the Rustlers went back to the line and added one, so the score was at 14-21. Tanner Storer scored, but the Rustlers drew another trip to the foul line where they put in one. Logan reached up to land another layup, which tightened the game to 18-22. Ethan nailed two points, and Chayce Hall added three. The Rustlers put the next couple baskets up, then Storer added to the score. The Battlers tightened the spread to 24-30, then some free throws brought it to 27-34. That was before the final second of the quarter, when Storer made the net go swish with one of his three pointers. The Battlers went into the locker room down by four, 30-34.
The second half was a fun one. Meinke came out of the halftime break to put two points on the board, followed by a three pointer. The Rustlers had a basket in between, so the score stood at 35-36. Baskets back and forth kept it at a one point game until Heuer put in one to jump ahead of Ethan, 39-38. Chayce Hall put in a three, with two coming back from the Rustlers, then another two, tying it up at 42. Meinke took the lead back for the Battlers with a three pointer before Ethan put in a layup and drew a foul. They couldn’t connect from the free throw line, but Hawkinson found his spot for another three pointer. With 30 seconds in the quarter, Ethan tied it at 48. Logan drew a foul to take the lead by one, and the last eight minutes of play started with a Battler lead of 49-48.
Ethan went up by one point early in the fourth quarter, but Meinke brought it back with a layup. Ethan was fouled but couldn’t change the score. Chayce Hall was fouled and added a point making the score 52-50, then put in a three pointer to make it a five point lead. The Rustlers put in a basket, and the lead with 5:17 left stood at 55-52.
Heuer got a steal and ended up alone under the basket to land a layup for 57-52. Heuer went to the line after an intentional foul under the basket. He made one and the Battlers kept the ball. With 1:13 left in the game, the score was 58-52. Storer was fouled, so another two points were added, barely moving the net. He was sent back to the line to put in two and spreading the Battler lead to 10 with a minute to go. Ethan did make a basket before sending Hawkinson back to the free throw line for another two to bring the lead back to 10 points. Heuer went to the line for another one. With the Battlers up by 11 and 30 seconds left, the Battlers went to the bench and gave the teammates some time on the court. The game ended with the Battlers bringing home the third place trophy by a score of 65-54.
They dominated the second half of the game, outscoring their opponent 19-14 in the third and 16-6 in the fourth quarter. The team nailed 9-14 three point shots, and individually Tanner Storer, Chayce Hall, Kole Hawkinson, Tanner Heuer all had 11 points each, while Caleb Meinke had 12.
ETHAN (21-5): Connor 6-11 0-1 12, Bartscher 8-17 2-4 19, Donovan 1-2 2-4 4, Tillberg 3-4 1-1 8, C.Myers 2-5 0-4 4, T.Myers 1-4 3-4 5. Totals: 21-43 10-20 54.
POTTER COUNTY (23-3): Co.Hall 0-1 0-0 0, Heuer 3-4 5-9 11, Logan 3-7 1-4 7, Drew 0-1 0-0 0, Hawkinson 3-4 2-2 11, Meinke 5-14 0-0 12, Storer 3-6 4-4 11, Hinckley 1-2 0-0 2, Hall-Sundberg 0-1 0-0 0, Ch.Hall 3-6 2-4 11. Totals: 21-46 14-23 65.
Ethan 16 34 48 54
Potter County 12 30 49 65
3-pointers: Ethan 2-6 (Connor 0-2, Bartscher 1-2, Donovan 0-1, Tillberg 1-1), Potter County 9-14 (Hawkinson 3-4, Meinke 2-4, Storer 1-2, Hall-Sundberg 0-1, Ch.Hall 3-3). Rebounds: Ethan 30 (Connor 7), Potter County 29 (Logan 7). Assists: Ethan 7 (3 with 2), Potter County 4 (Ch.Hall 2, Heuer 2). Total fouls: Ethan 19, Potter County 15.