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Wayne Nelson / Forum Communications Co., Published March 02 2012

Beulah rallies, wins in overtime

By Wayne Nelson

Forum Communications Co.

GRAND FORKS – Beulah was buried at halftime, on the wrong end of a 15-point deficit. Nothing went right for the Miners in the first 16 minutes _ a stretch that saw them go 5-for-25 from the field.

“We were kind of timid in the first half,” Beulah’s Jesse Hettich said.

But the Miners decided to dig down a little deeper in the second half, hard work that produced one of the more notable comebacks in the North Dakota state Class B boys basketball tournament.

Behind a pressure defense in the second half, Beulah rallied for a 54-50 overtime win against Berthold on Friday night in the tournament’s semifinal round - a victory that gives the Miners a berth in tonight’s championship game and another shot at top-ranked and defending state champion North Star.

The teams played earlier this season, with undefeated North Star taking a 74-49 road win. “They pumped us pretty good the first time,” Hettich said.

But the Miners will bring in considerable momentum against the Bearcats after their improbable win. At halftime, Berthold led 27-12 and was firmly in control.

The second half and overtime, however, belonged to Beulah, which rallied behind full-court pressure that resulted in easy baskets.

“I told the guys at halftime we’ve got to put up a fight,” Beulah coach Jeremy Brandt said. “They attacked us in the first half. We didn’t have an answer.

“We wanted to get their lead to single digits by the fourth quarter. Then, you never know.”

The Miners kept plugging away. Two Cody Nelson free throws with 1:50 left in regulation tied the game at 41. Both teams had chances to win in the final minute, but failed to take advantage as the game went to overtime.

Beulah 2 12 24 41 54

Berthold 10 27 33 41 50

Beulah: Hettich 15, Nelson 15, Duppong 10, Zacher 8, Murray 4, Dolbec 2.

Berthold: Bloms 21, Yale 19, Gunderson 3, Lee 3, Neshem 2, Jenson 2.

Nelson is the sports editor for the Grand Forks Herald