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Jeff Kolpack, Published March 10 2012

Ulen-Hitterdal boys use 3-point shot to defeat Hillcrest in Section 6A

MOORHEAD – There was a leak in the roof of Concordia’s Memorial Auditorium on Saturday afternoon. It was raining 3s.

Ulen-Hitterdal hit nine of them and the Spartans defeated Fergus Falls Hillcrest 59-48 in the Minnesota Class 1A, Section 6 boys basketball quarterfinals. Nobody was more effective than junior guard Neil Henrickson, who had five 3-pointers that helped account for his 24 points.

Things were going so good for Henrickson that his turnaround, one-handed 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer was done without one contact lens, which fell out.

“It’s probably why it went in,” he joked. “I just kind of chucked it up there. I couldn’t see.”

Henrickson had 17 of his points in the first half and he finished it in style. Troy Peterson’s 3-point attempt hit the rim and the rebound bounced toward the corner of the court.

Henrickson picked it up and his unorthodox shot gave the Spartans a 27-22 halftime lead.

“That summed it up right there,” he said.

At one point, with Ulen-Hitterdal leading 43-35 with 11 minutes left in the game, nine of the Spartans’ 13 field goals were 3-pointers. Moments later, Jacob Brooks’ driving layup gave them a 10-point advantage with 10 minutes remaining.

It came against a Hillcrest team that was tough to shake for the Spartans.

“They came out tough on defense and I think our kids were a little shocked at how good they were,” said Ulen-Hitterdal head coach Brett Maass. “We didn’t see them in the regular season. I’m just glad to move on.”

Peterson added 19 points for the Spartans, who now face an Ada-Borup team it beat twice in the regular season.

“Ada-Borup has great players,” Maass said. “We had success against them in the regular season but that’s all out the door now. The kids know. I don’t have to say anything. They know.”

FFH: Z. Nersten 3 0-0 6, Twedt 2 0-2 5, D. Nersten 9 3-4 23, Tostenson 0 1-2 1, Isaac 1 0-0 3, Leach 1 0-0 2. Totals: 18 6-10 48.

U-H: Henrickson 7 5-6 24, Schultz 3 2-2 10, Peterson 6 5-6 19, Brooks 2 0-1 4, Lien 0 0-1 0, McCollum 1 0-0 2. Totals: 19 12-16 59.

Halftime: U-H 27, FFH 22. Total fouls: FFH 14, U-H 11. Fouled out: Brooks. 3-point goals: Twedt, D. Nersten 2, Isaac, Henrickson 5, Schultz 2, Peterson 2.

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

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia