January 20, 2016

Beulah boys win rivalry game

By Jarann Johnson

Every time Beulah and Hazen meet in a sport the rivals put on a pretty impressive battle. The first basketball battle between the teams went down the to final ticks of the clock last Friday in Hazen.
Beulah won the game by four points 55-51.
The game started like most Region 7 basketball fans thought it would. Beulah jumped out to an early 9-2 lead and appeared quickly headed toward a 20-point win.
Beulah senior forward Casey Walcker started the game 3-for-3 with seven points during Beulah’s strong opening statement run. Hazen didn’t let Beulah’s strong showing responded well enough to tie the game 15-15 before the end of the first.
Maintaining a hot start proved too tough for Hazen though. Hazen went half of the second quarter without any points.
The offensive no-show for Hazen allowed Beulah to build a 26-15 lead. Hazen’s main offensive weapon, junior Wyatt Carr, ended his team’s drought with a 3-pointer.
Hazen only scored seven points in the second quarter and entered halftime trailing 33-22. After the game Hazen Head Coach Ben Nelson explained what he say during the drought.
“We were playing alright defensively, we just weren’t getting it to fall. I wouldn’t necessarily call it over confident but we took a couple of ill advised shots, a couple shots that we could have gotten a better look than what we did. On top of that if the shot doesn’t fall then you have to recover from that,” Nelson said.  
“We had a drought there, offensively early in the second quarter, that obviously it hurt us. Because we were tied after the first quarter then they got up on us and we had to battle back again. Scoring droughts like that happen. I tell the guys, ‘you have to weather the storm’ – rather it’s another team hitting shots that are ridiculous or us not hitting shots that we should hit.”
Beulah was once again close to taking full control of the game in the third quarter. Sophomore guard Derek Ferebee made a 3-pointer giving Beulah a 44-28 lead but Carr responded with a great 5-0 personal run, cutting Beulah’s lead back to 11 points.
The final frame started with Beulah up 44-33 but with four minutes left the game was far from over. Hazen trailed 49-42 but had momentum favoring them one minute later.
Beulah senior post, Josh Remmick, collected his fourth foul, eliminating him from the game. After Remmick’s removal Hazen sophomore guard Payton Leintz swished a 3-pointer, shrinking Beulah’s lead to three points, 49-46.
Beulah didn’t have to panic, though, because senior guard John Suter knew exactly what to do. Suter cut behind the defense and received a pass for an easy layup.
Suter was fouled on the layup and added a bonus free throw, putting Beulah up 52-46 with two minutes left in the game. Beulah added another score when Carr lost his balance after a rebound and turned the ball over.
Beulah seemed in control of the game late but Carr made one last effort to steal a game from Beulah. Carr made a heavily contested 3-pointer, making the score 54-49. After the 3-pointer Carr added a mid-court steal with less than one minute to play.
Carr turned the steal into a layup, drawing his team within three points, 54-51. Hazen elected to call a timeout after the play.
Hazen showed full-court pressure after the timeout and seemed to be trying to force a ten second violation or turnover. Hazen didn’t get a turnover and wasted a lot of time trying to foul.
Even though, Hazen wasted time trying to force a turnover they did get a favorable pressure free-throw selection. Senior Cory Alt went to the free-throw line for the one-and-one bonus.
Alt, a defensive stopper, isn’t an offensive specialist. So Hazen had a player in an unusual spot late in the game and facing pressure.
Alt didn’t deliver and Carr grabbed the rebound. When Carr came down he lost his balance and Alt turned to his more known skills – astutely knocking the ball away from a falling Carr.
Beulah junior guard Reece Hoherz, recovered the ball and went the free throw line. Hoherz’s is known as one of Beulah’s better shooters and went 1-for-2 at on free throw attempts, sealing his team’s fate with a 55-51 score and limited time left.  
The win lifted Beulah to 5-2 on the season. Beulah’s offensive attack was led by three players over double-figures, who each scored 11 points; Hoherz, Logan Miller and John Suter.

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