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Greg DeVillers / Forum Communications Co., Published March 01 2012

Previously unbeaten Central Cass falls at Class B state basketball

GRAND FORKS – Jesse Hettich didn’t know the exact numbers for Central Cass. He just knew the Squirrels have put up a lot of points on the scoreboard.

“We took that as a challenge,” the Beulah High School junior said. “We don’t want to let teams score a lot.”

Hettich was the leader on a Beulah defense that dominated as the Miners beat Central Cass 65-48 on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the North Dakota Class B state basketball tournament.

Beulah improved to 23-3 while handing Central Cass its first loss in 26 games.

“At times, we’ve been a good defensive team this year,” Beulah coach Jeremy Brandt said. “This was one of our best games. I don’t think we’ve seen a quick, explosive team before like they are.”

Central Cass entered the game with a 77.8 scoring average. It had scored 60 or more points in every game. But it was limited to 16 of 55 shooting from the field while turning the ball over 15 times.

Hettich had team highs of five steals and two blocks.

“He’s a big kid, but his hands are so quick,” Brandt said. “He creates havoc.”

Beulah never trailed. The Miners were up as much as 30-16 in the first half before Central Cass closed the second quarter on an 11-2 run to pull within 32-27 at halftime. The Miners were up 47-36 after three and steadily pulled away.

“We didn’t shoot very well,” said Central Cass coach Troy Roesler. “That’s a credit to Beulah and its length. They defended the passing lanes well. Some of the things we’ve usually done, they didn’t let us do.

“We had some open looks. But we couldn’t get them to go in. And we’ve shot well all year.”

Roesler said he felt the Squirrels still were within striking distance until Beulah went up 53-39 on Cody Nelson’s fast-break layup with 4:37 left.

“Then I felt we were in trouble,” Roesler said. “We needed a run. But we couldn’t get one in the second half.”

The Beulah offense was balanced. Trevor Zacher set the pace with 18 points, with Nelson scoring 12, Hettich 11 and Casey Duppong getting a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Ellery Bresnahan, Josh Roesler and Ben Sundquist each scored 12 to pace Central Cass.

B 17 32 47 65

CC 10 27 36 48

B: Zacher 18, Nelson 12, Hettich 11, Duppong 10, Murray 8, Iverson 4, Heringer 2.

CC: Bresnahan 12, Roesler 12, Sundquist 12, Zimmerman 8, Breske 2, Utt 1, Ebach 1.

DeVillers writes for the Grand Forks Herald

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