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Class A routs Class B

BISMARCK — Taylor Schafer and the Class A all-stars love playing in the Bismarck Civic Center. Is there any wonder why?

Schafer, a first-team all-stater for Bismarck High, ignited a record-breaking offensive night for the Class A all-stars in the opening game of the Lions All-Star Series on Tuesday night.

Schafer hit a pair of big early 3-pointers as Class A exploded out of the blocks en route to a record scoring night — a 119-94 victory over the Class B all-stars.

“Our plan was to come out fast, move the ball, push the ball, get open shots in transition — and that’s what we did,” Schafer said.

Schafer got things rolling with a pair of long-range jumpers in the opening two minutes to kick start Class A.

“It’s not surprising,” said Class A coach Brent DeKok of St. Mary’s. “How many big games has the kid played in this building? This is comfortable for him. It’s like his almost his home gym. He’s a great shooter, a good, soft touch.”

Schafer finished with a team-high 19 points.

“I love playing in the Civic Center,” Schafer said. “I’ve played here my whole career. It’s an awesome atmosphere. I’ve always thought it was a shooter’s court.”

It sure was for Class A.

Six different players scored in double figures as they set a new Lions all-star series scoring record, obliterating the 115 points Class A tallied in 2002, and the 105 points Class A scored in 2012. All three of those games were played in the Civic Center.

It was the 12th time in the series a team has reached the century mark, the ninth for Class A. And it’s Class A’s fourth straight win in Bismarck.

“We’ve got a lot of kids who can put the ball in the hoop,” DeKok said. “Coach (Bart) Manson and I talked all week about how we’ve got to play a bit of defense and our kids did that to start the game tonight.

“It was fun to see. They got after people with a lot of energy and a lot of effort.”

Class A blitzed Class B from the start, opening the game on a 10-2 run and using runs of 13-2, 13-2, 10-0 and 10-0 in the first 20 minutes to build a 30-point lead.

They forced Class B into some early mistakes, which combined with some hot shooting put Class B behind the 8-ball from the beginning.

“When you look at the two rosters, we have a lot of athletic guys, a lot more guards on our roster and they have a lot more big kids,” DeKok said. “So we wanted to make this game as fast-paced as possible and play it in the full court. We knew if it turned into a half-court game, we’d be in trouble.”

Robert Hutchins of Century added 17 points for Class A. Mr. Basketball winner Tanner Kretchman of Fargo Davies finished with 16 and Eagles teammate Andrew Kozlowski had 14. Chad Bartosh of Grand Forks Red River hit for 12 and Jayden Ferguson of Williston had 11. Colton Lloyd of Fargo South added nine points, giving Class A seven players with at least nine.

“We’ve got great athletes, great shooters,” Schafer said. “And we learned to play really well together.”

“We feel very fortunate,” DeKok said. “We’ve got a great group of Class A kids. We really do have 12 legitimate all-stars on this team.”

Tanner Holte of Des Lacs-Burlington had a big game for Class B. He finished with 22 points, 18 of them in the first half.

Britton Bussman of Milnor added 12, all in the second half as Class B mounted a rally that trimmed a 30-point deficit to eight before Class A pulled away.

Hunter Braaten of Westhope added 10 and Hadley Smith of Four Winds chipped in with nine.

The teams meet again tonight in Fargo.

CLASS B (94): Hunter Braaten 4 2-3 10, Hadley Smith 4 0-0 9, Wayne Fox 2 1-2 6, Lucas Dick 2 0-1 4, Tanner Holte 5 7-9 22, Colton Schroeder 1 0-0 2, D’Angelo Burns 0 0-3 0, Britton Bussman 5 0-1 12, Brady Thielges 0 2-2 2, Garek Droog 5 0-0 10, Wyatt Mund 7 2-3 17. Totals: 35 14-24 FT.

CLASS A (119): Robert Hutchins 7 0-1 17, Tanner Kretchman 3 9-10 16, Noah Poss 1 0-2 3, Taylor Schafer 7 1-1 19, Jayden Ferguson 4 2-3 11, Jack Christensen 2 0-3 4, Chad Bartosh 5 1-1 12, Andrew Kozlowski 5 4-7 14, Colton Lloyd 3 3-4 9, Tyler Rudolph 3 0-0 7, Ben Weisbeck 2 2-3 6, Travis Schock 0 1-2 1. Totals: 42 24-37.

3-pointers: Class B 10 (Smith 1, Fox 1, Holte 5, Bussman 2, Mund 1), Class A 12 (Hutchins 3, Kretchman 1, Poss 1, Schafer 4, Ferguson 1, Bartosh 1, Rudolph 1).