Clips, Mustangs to meetThey hadn’t played against each other on the basketball court all season, but District 6 champion Strasburg-Zeeland had a good idea what to expect inside the Jamestown Civic Center on Monday night. Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal likes to shoot the 3-ball, and that’s what the Clippers witnessed from the Rebels in the opening game of the Region 3 Boys Basketball Tournament.
By: By Michael Savaloja, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
They hadn’t played against each other on the basketball court all season, but District 6 champion Strasburg-Zeeland had a good idea what to expect inside the Jamestown Civic Center on Monday night.
Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal likes to shoot the 3-ball, and that’s what the Clippers witnessed from the Rebels in the opening game of the Region 3 Boys Basketball Tournament.
Fortunate for the Clippers, however, the Rebels converted just 7 of 24 shots from 3-point land, and Strasburg-Zeeland punched its ticket into tonight’s semifinals with 67-49 victory over P-B-K.
The Clippers meet up with South Border at 6 p.m. tonight.
“We expected that,” Strasburg-Zeeland coach Brent Kleinsasser said. “We remember last year they did the same thing to (Linton-HMB) in the opening round.”
The Rebels drilled six first-half 3-pointers to lead Linton-HMB 30-29 at the half in the opening quarterfinals last year, before the Lions went on to win the game 70-47, and then went on to capture their second consecutive Region 3 crown.
The Clippers are probably hoping the victory over the Rebels is a sign of things to come, as they’re in search of their first Region 3 title since 2002 this week.
Strasburg-Zeeland started Monday’s game on a 10-0 run, as P-B-K clanked its first six shots from the floor, including four missed trey attempts. Junior guard Scotti Scherr got the Clippers off on the right foot, converting a pair of treys during the run.
Scherr played a key role in the victory, hitting big shots throughout the night. He finished with 18 points, going 5-of-10 from behind the arc.
“Scotti did well today. He’s kind of getting into a little zone here and getting a little confidence coming off districts,” Kleinsasser said. “We’re really happy with the way he played.”
The Clippers never trailed in the game and led 34-26 at the half, but the Rebels never really let the Clippers stretch their legs after the break. P-B-K kept the deficit to around 10 points for most of the final 32 minutes, in large part due to senior Shawn Baker’s effort.
Baker hit three treys and led the Rebels with 24 points. Leading 57-47 with 1:32 left, the Clippers went 8-of-12 at the charity stripe to finish the game on a 10-2 run.
The Rebels’ season came to a close at 9-13 overall.
“I think our kids gave everything they had out there tonight. We spotted them a 10-point lead at the start, and it was tough to gain all that back,” P-B-K coach Ross Florhaug said. “But the kids kept fighting all the way through. I’m proud of them.”
Strasburg-Zeeland’s Kyle Nieuwsma led the Clippers with 20 points and 6 steals. The Clippers (20-2) will be trying to defeat South Border for the fourth time this season tonight, and they’ll be playing without the help of junior forward Nicholas Kramer.
Kramer missed Monday’s game and is out indefinitely after suffering a broken collarbone in an automobile accident over the weekend.
“The fourth time might be the charm for South Border,” Kleinsasser said. “We’re just going to go out and play tough. It’s kind of hard without Nic, but we’ll make it happen.”
South Border 60, Ellendale 48
The Ellendale Cardinals defeated South Border 68-57 way back on Dec. 7, but that was when South Border standout Michael Jacobson was still on the sidelines due to a football-related injury.
Injured no more, Jacobson’s presence on the court during quarterfinal game No. 2 was impossible to ignore.
The 6-foot-4 senior canned a pair of 3-pointers and dropped in 27 points, while also picking up a double-double with 12 rebounds, as the Mustangs cruised into tonight’s semifinals with a 12-point victory over the Cardinals.
“I just come out and try to be a facilitator for our team. Help people score and get mine too,” Jacobson said. “We were really frustrated with that loss early in the year, but we knew if we worked on stuff we’d be able to get them at the end of the year.”
South Border clamped down defensively in the first half, limiting Ellendale to just three field goals on 3-of-22 attempts, aiding a 31-16 South Border lead at the break. Jacobson hit both his shots from downtown and scored 14 of his 27 before the half.
Ellendale went 10-of-13 from the free-throw line in the opening 16 minutes, which helped the team hang around.
“We’ve been getting better defensively all year. I was proud of the boys with their intensity in that,” Mustangs coach Robert Lukens said. “But Ellendale is a good team. They live on the free-throw line.
“The first time they beat us they were 27 of 36 (from the stripe). We were very aware of how they played.”
Ellendale’s 6-4 sophomore center Adam White hit all three of Ellendale’s first-half field goals. He led the team with 18 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals, as the Cardinals finished the season at 8-14.
South Border freshman post Hunter Pinke had the tall order of keeping White at bay during the game.
“Adam White is a great player. Hunter is just a freshman and he had his work cut out for him,” Lukens said. “We said if (White) catches the ball, he’s going to either score or get fouled.”
Turnovers also stung Ellendale in the game. The team committed 21, which turned into 27 points on the other end of the court.
The Mustangs (13-10) narrowly fell to Strasburg-Zeeland 55-52 in the semifinals of the District 6 tournament last Monday in Napoleon. They’ll be looking to turn the tables on the Clippers tonight.
“Just work hard. Defense has been the big thing for us the past few weeks,” Jacobson said. “Hopefully we can get it done.”
“We need to come out and play. We’ve always had trouble putting together a whole game,” Lukens added. “We mentally need to stay focused for 32 minutes. If we can do that we’re a very good team.”
Region 3 Tournament
At Civic Center
Strasburg-Zeeland 67, Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal 49
Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal 8 26 40 49
Strasburg-Zeeland 17 34 48 67
P-B-K — Shawn Baker 24, Cole Diede 11, Wyatt Guthmiller 5, Cody Horn 5, JR Perleberg 2, Kolten Sabinash 2. Totals: 18-53 FG, 6-10 FT, 33 rebounds (Perleberg 10), 22 fouls (Diede), 2 assists, 17 turnovers, 2 blocks, 7 steals (Horn 3). 3-pointers: (7-24) Baker 3, Diede 2, Guthmiller 1, Horn 1.
S-Z — Kyle Nieuwsma 20, Scotti Scherr 18, Cole Nieuwsma 14, Brody Nieuwsma 7, Mason Kramer 6, Jordan Nieuwsma 2. Totals: 23-52 FG, 15-22 FT, 29 rebounds (S. Scherr 7), 11 fouls, 9 assists (Kramer 4), 12 turnovers, 9 steals (K. Nieuwsma 6). 3-pointers: (6-13) S. Scherr 5, B. Nieuwsma 1.
Records: Strasburg-Zeeland 20-2; P-B-K 9-13.
South Border 63, Ellendale 48
South Border 12 31 48 63
Ellendale 4 16 28 48
South Border — Michael Jacobson 27, Daniel Sayler 11, Hunter Pinke 8, Ross Knoll 7, Matt Kretschmar 3, Adam Jacobson 3, Michael Rueb 2, Jadyn Lippert 2. Totals: 21-47 FG, 18-24 FT, 34 rebounds (M. Jacobson 12), 16 fouls, 9 assists (Sayler 3), 16 turnovers, 3 blocks (M. Jacobson 3), 12 assists (Sayler 4). 3-pointers: (3-12) M. Jacobson 2, Kretschmar 1.
Ellendale — Adam White 18, Zachary Dathe 10, Shawn Hoffer 9, James Johnson 9, Brennen Vance 2. Totals: 17-56 FG, 13-19 FT, 38 rebounds (White 11), 16 fouls, 7 assists (White 3, Dathe 3), 21 turnovers, 1 block (White), 4 steals (White 3). 3-pointers: (1-9) Johnson 1.
Records: South Border 13-10; Ellendale 8-14.
Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at (701) 952-8461 or by email at email@example.com