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Published January 31 2012

Spartans top Trojans in boys basketball

ULEN, Minn. – When a team is on a hot streak, it’s used to being chased by the competition.

Every time Barnesville thought it was close to pulling even with Ulen-Hitterdal, the Spartans found a way to get farther away.

Like 28 points away.

Ulen-Hitterdal handled business early and often, cruising to a 64-36 victory in Minnesota boys basketball on Tuesday at Ulen-Hitterdal Secondary School.

“We just work hard and make sure our hands are up on every catch and get each other’s back,” said Spartans coach Brett Maass. “If someone gets beat, make sure your buddy is there to help them out. It is a team defense mentality.”

Ulen-Hitterdal (15-2) sure proved it with its crippling defense, taking multiple shots at Barnesville’s offense frequently.

Barnesville (11-6) was off. The Trojans were 7-for-25 from the field in the first half.

Barnesville’s slow start allowed the Spartans to open with a 12-2 lead.

After that, the game was all about defense and Ulen-Hitterdal junior shooting guard Landon Schultz.

Ulen-Hitterdal’s defensive schemes allow it to frustrate an offense in a variety of ways.

Want to go to the lane? You’re going to be met by guys willing to take a charge or contest a shot.

Want to put up a second-chance shot off a rebound? Expect to see three guys around the rim with their hands up looking like an indomitable forest of arms.

Want to shoot? Troy Peterson and his six blocks will tell you otherwise.

“We look at the big picture,” said Peterson, who had nine points and 12 rebounds. “Not always worry about who you are guarding, but worrying about everyone. It’s about making sure we do things as a team.”

Then there’s Schultz, who was did a little bit of everything on Tuesday.

Schultz finished with a game-high 30 points, just seven points shy of outscoring Barnesville by himself.

Schultz went 12-for-14 from the field. Barnesville – as a team – only made 12 shots. He only missed one free throw.

“They were playing me tight,” Schultz said. “And when that happens, it allows me to look more for my shot.”

U-H: Henrickson 3-9 0-0 6 Schultz 12-14 2-3 30 McCollum 1-1 5-7 7 Brooks 4-4 0-0 8 Peterson 4-6 1-1 9 D. Strumbo 0-1 1-2 1 C. Peterson 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 25-38 9-12 64

B: K. Martz 2-7 4-4 8 Dokkebakken 3-8 1-3 8 R. Strand 0-4 0-0 0 A. Martz 3-13 0-0 6 M. Strand 1-8 2-2 5 Rice 2-5 1-2 5 Sauve 0-1 2-2 2 Jerald 1-2 0-0 2 Totals 12-48 10-13 36

HALF: U-H 34, B 20.

3-Pointers: Schultz 4. R. Strand 1. Rebounds: U-H, Peterson 12, Henrickson 8. B, K. Martz 4.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Ryan S. Clark at (701) 241-5548.