Hazen falls in Region 7 play-in
By Jarann Johnson
Sparks were flying before the game and early on it was a good sign for the Hazen faithful. Hazen jumped out to a small road lead but couldn’t hold off an experienced New England team falling 65-47.
The first quarter started well for Hazen. Hazen kept the ball away from Cody Holt, New England’s 6-foot-6 senior post, for most of the quarter.
Holt only had one quality post touch in the period and scored zero points. Hazen was rewarded for their strong defensive effort with a 10-7 first quarter lead.
In the second quarter, Hazen started to struggle with rebounding. New England unofficially recorded three offensive rebounds in the first five minutes of the quarter, which was enough to put them in the lead 27-17.
Hazen head coach Ben Nelson called timeout stressing the importance of rebounding. But the young team continued to struggle with the task and gave up another offensive rebound late in the half, which put New England up 32-18.
Hazen couldn’t cut the deficit under 10 points in the second half. The closest Hazen got was late in the third quarter when junior guard Payton Leintz made a 3-pointer, cutting New England’s lead to 42-32.