The West Central Area Knights trailing 11-12 finished the first half on a 12-3 run to take a 23-15 lead at halftime and opened the second half on an 11-1 run to build a 34-16 lead enrout to a 58-43 win over the Brandon-Evansville Chargers in Barrett on Tuesday night.
"That was the difference in the game," said Knights Coach Kraig Hunter. "The end of the first half and beginning of the second combined was a 23-4 run. But with the Chargers 3-point shooters, no lead is safe against them. They hit some 3's but I thought we were very composed down the stretch, being patient and getting a few layups to secure a 15 point win over a good Charger team."
The Knights execution on offense led them to 52% shooting making 24-46 shots from the field. The Chargers shot 38% on 14-37 shooting but did knock down nine 3's. The Knights made 7-13 free throws and the Chargers 6-9. The Knights held a slight 27-23 edge in rebounding and only turned the ball over 10 times to 14 for the Chargers.
"We were really proud of our defensive effort," said Hunter. "It was fun to see the kids work so hard led by Jacob Strunk. Jacob was all over the floor. He brought it tonight as did Nas Dotts and their energy feeds to the rest of the team."
Strunk had 12 points, 7 rebounds, 5 steals, 4 assists, and had 8 deflections. Ryder Staples had 22 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocked shots; Cole Anderson was also in double figures with 11 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Mitch Dewey came off the bench to score 6 points, had 2 steals and an assist. Dotts had 3 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals, an assist and 6 deflections; Cam Anderson had 2 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, and a steal; and Bryce Kjesbo had 2 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists. Damon Sanstead had a steal and Isaac Kreft and Dotts each took a charge.
Hunter concluded, "The stats show that it was a good team effort with many guys contributing key plays. It can't be overlooked that despite what Ryder Staples does for us on offense, that he held a really good player in Tyler Bitzan scoreless as well."
The Chargers were led by Desmond White with 18 points, Titus Fuller had 8, Riley Perleberg 6, Lucas Fuller 5, Micah Fuller 4, Brady Perleberg 2.
"I thought WCA played very hard all night and earned the win," said B-E Head Coach Trent Hintermeister. "We were out-rebounded and need to do a better job of getting different players involved earlier. Multiple guys played more minutes than they should have had to and that's something we as a coaching staff need to fix."
The Knights 9-2 will host Hancock on Friday night. Brandon-Evansville 5-5 will travel to Rothsay on Thursday night.