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Jeff Kolpack, Published February 20 2012

Central Cass defeats Lisbon in Region 1 behind explosive first quarter

FARGO – The shot went off the rim and bounced under the Central Cass basket. The Squirrels’ Michael Utt, with his palm facing the Fargo Civic Center roof, gave it an underhand shove at waist-high.

The ball hit near the top of the backboard and went in at the halftime buzzer.

It was that kind of a first half for the Squirrels, who flexed their muscle in an 82-63 victory over the Broncos Monday night. The third-ranked team in North Dakota Class B boys improved to 23-0 and advanced to tonight’s Region 1 semifinals at 7:45 p.m.

A 51-point first half – 35 in the first quarter — spoiled any upset hopes for Lisbon.

“It gets your momentum moving in the right direction,” said Squirrels guard Ellery Bresnahan. “We play well together and look for each other out there. We were passing well and that got us some open shots.”

Bresnahan canned his open shots – he had 17 of his 21 points in the first quarter alone. He was 7 of 8 from the field in the first two quarters including making all three of his 3-point attempts.

“We came out prepared and on fire,” said Central Cass coach Troy Roesler.

Senior forward Matt Zimmerman led the Squirrels with 22 points. Guard Ben Sundquist added 10.

The outcome was not a surprise — the Squirrels won the regular season meeting 77-31. But the Broncos put up more of a fight scoring the first eight points of the third quarter to cut a 51-32 halftime deficit in half.

“We were shooting so well that it’s hard to keep that up,” Bresnahan said.

Lisbon finished with a 9-14 record. It was the fourth straight year the Broncos had their season end in the region first round.

“They’re a very good basketball team, they do everything well,” said Lisbon head coach Kim Mark. “But I was proud of my kids. They battled back. It was fun.”

L 16 32 50 63

CC 35 51 64 82

LISBON: Roman 3 0-0 6, Mangin 4 1-1 10, Manske 4 1-2 10, Bartholomay 2 2-2 8, Anderson 4 0-0 10, Whirlwind Soldier 6 1-3 13, Froemke 2 2-4 6. Totals: 25-53 7-12.

CENTRAL CASS: Zimmerman 8 5-8 22, Bresnahan 8 2-2 21, Sundquist 3 3-7 10, Lubbers 2 0-0 6, Rieniets 1 0-0 2, Utt 2 2-2 6, Ueland 3 1-2 7, Roesler 4 0-1 8. Totals: 31-67 13-22.

Total fouls: Lisbon 15, CC 19. Fouled out: Mangin, Whirlwind Soldier. 3-point goals: Mangin, Manske, Bartholomay 2, Whirlwind Soldier, Zimmerman, Bresnahan 3, Sundquist, Lubbers 2. Rebounds: Lisbon 28 (Anderson 8); CC 26 (Roesler 5).

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia