Blujays over Rock Hills for second game season match-up
The final game Tuesday night in the Northern Plains League tournament on the boys side featured the Blujays from St. John's/ Tipton against the Grizzlies from Rock Hills. These two teams met earlier in the season with the Jays, claiming a solid victory. The Grizzlies have some talent, and always seem to give St. John's/Tipton, a challenge. This time the Jays used an outstanding first-quarter of play to carry them to a 59 -43 victory.
The Jays needed a good start to the game and that was provided by Braden Dameron. He opened, hitting a three pointer that was followed by a basket from Brandon Bates. Dameron, then hit his second three pointer, giving the Jays an early 8-0 lead. The Grizzlies answered with a run at the Jays. Despite baskets by Brady Palen and Dalton Schmitt the Grizzlies closed the margin to three, 12-9. A second basket by Schmitt started the Jays on an eight point run to finish the first quarter with the Jays up 20-9.
Palen started the second quarter, scoring for the Jays but their scoring pace slowed and the Grizzlies started to claw their way back into the game. After leading by as much as 15 points the Grizzlies cut that lead to nine by the end of the half. The Jays were up 29-20 as the teams went to the locker room at halftime.
The second half opened with the Grizzlies scoring the first six points of the second half, cutting the Jays lead to three points. Kail Dubbert sparked the Jays in the third quarter, hitting a three pointer. After a basket by Bates the Grizzlies had two more baskets. Dubbert's second three-pointer of the quarter pushed the lead back to seven. The quarter ended the Jays leading 41-35.
Schmitt started the scoring for the Jays in the fourth quarter with his fourth basket of the night. Dubbert followed with another three pointer, then pushed the Jays lead to 11. That would be the Jays last basket of the night. Trailing the Grizzlies were forced to start fouling putting the Blujays on the free-throw line. Their last 13 points of the game came from the line. The closest they were able to come to the Jays in the fourth quarter was nine points, 52-43. Dameron scored the last five points of the game for the Jays at the free-throw line as they closed out a hard-fought 59-43 victory.
"I thought our bench an excellent job of contributing in the game," said Blujay Coach Lance Bergmann. "We rebounded pretty well for the game and played good defense. The offense looked really good at times but we still had a stretch where we just didn't execute. It was a good first win for us in the league tournament. Rock Hills played a great game and showed us some different looks"
Despite being shadowed all night by the Grizzlies. Brandon Bates led the team in scoring with 17 points. He also had 8 rebounds, 8 assists, and 3 steals. He was joined in double figures by Kail Dubbert with 12 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, and 4 steals. Braden Dameron was also in double figures with 11 points, had 3 rebounds, and 1 assist. Brady Palen had 9 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and the block of the game with 1 block. Dalton Schmitt scored 8 points, 3 rebounds, and Eric Keoningsman closed out the scoring for the Jays with 2 points.
With the victory, the Jays advance to the semi final game where their opponent will be the Southern Cloud Warriors. See more in Monday's edition of the Beloit Call.