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Chris Murphy, Published December 18 2012

Hawley makes it 14 straight boys basketball wins over Barnesville

HAWLEY, Minn. – Apparently Hawley guard Jordan Harms needed a reminder that his Minnesota Class 2A, No. 7-ranked Nuggets squad had knocked off Heart O’Lakes Conference rival Barnesville 14 straight times after Tuesday’s 81-73 win in Minnesota boys basketball.

“We played sloppy against them last year,” said Harms, who led Hawley with 18 points. “We were pretty sloppy this time, too.”

Hawley coach Jed Carlson apparently didn’t believe the 14-game winning streak.

“I didn’t know we had beat them that many straight times,” Carlson said. “They’ve played us so tough, it’s hard to imagine that we’ve won that many in a row. I know when I played, they beat us like five times in a row, so the pendulum swings back and forth in this rivalry.”

One person who certainly needed no reminder was Barnesville coach Todd Henrickson.

“I definitely didn’t need a reminder of that,” Hendrickson said. “They are such a long team and they are so athletic. Their size just gives us trouble. It makes it tough to get done what you want to get done. They are physical and strong inside. I thought we battled pretty well, but, obviously, next time we are going to do some stuff differently down on the blocks.”

Hawley had five guys in double digits, as Dalton Leaf had 15, Devon Pekas netted 13, Jacob Crompton scored 11, and Ben Ellefson added 11 to go along with 18 from Harms.

“We are very well-balanced,” Carlson said. “Even tonight, we had some B-team guys playing. We feel like we’re really deep. We can play 10, 12, 13 or 14 guys. We have some talent, we have some depth. We like being well-balanced instead of having one or two guys to carry the load. We have guys that can carry the load, but they don’t generally have to.”

A 3-pointer by Harms early in the first half, gave Hawley (5-0, 2-0) a 9-8 lead, and the Nuggets never trailed the rest of the way.

“It’s a nice test for us early in the year to play a conference rival,” Harms said. “It’s a good way to see where we’re at. We’re sharing the ball better this year. It’s nice to see a lot different guys getting assists and scoring.”

After Hawley went up by as much as eight at 37-29, Barnesville (2-2, 1-1) had the lead down to 41-36 with the final seconds ticking away in the first half. Ellefson spotted up and drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer between the 3-point line and half court, wiped his nose and walked to the locker room with absolutely no expression on his face as if nothing happened.

“That was a huge momentum swing,” Carlson said. “It was a big shot, because it pushed our lead into the second half.”

Barnesville got to within 61-56 in the second half, but Hawley answered with an 11-4 run. Harms, however, was still all business.

“We need to not turn the ball over and play better defense next time,” Harms said. “Our offense wasn’t clicking too well either.”

H (5-0, 2-0): Crompton 5 1-2 11, Pekas 3 6-7 13, Harms 8 0-0 18, Ellefson 4 2-4 11, Leaf 6 1-2 15, Filler 0 2-2 2, Stoa 3 0-1 6, Steichen 1 0-0 2, Regnier 1 0-0 3.

B (2-2, 1-1): Holland 4 0-0 11, K. Martz 4 0-0 9, A. Martz 5 6-8 17, Strand 6 7-10 21, Sauve 4 1-2 10, Ishaug 1 3-4 5.

Half: H 44, B 36. 3-point goals: Holland 3, K. Martz 1, A. Martz 1, Strand 2, Sauve 2, Pekas 1, Harms 2, Ellefson 1, Leaf 2, Regnier 1. Total fouls: H 21, B 15. Rebounds: H 24 (Ellefson 5), B 23 (Strand 4, A. Martz 4). Turnovers: H 10, B 15.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548