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Tom Mix, Published January 19 2013

Hawley tops Central Cass at Oak Grove Shootout

FARGO – A lot of things went well for the Hawley boys basketball team on Saturday.

The Nuggets excelled at two things in particular. The first was scoring inside and the second was converting timely baskets from the perimeter.

Hawley needed both in its 68-51 win over Central Cass during the 22nd annual Oak Grove Shootout at the Fargo Civic Center.

“It all starts with our inside game,” sophomore Ben Ellefson said. “All of the inside stuff makes those outside shots possible. When they were starting to come back on us, we went back to what we do best which is getting the ball inside.”

Ellefson connected for a 3-pointer early in the first quarter, but after that the 6-foot-4 forward got all his points inside or near the paint. He finished with 23 points for the Minnesota Class 2A, No. 6-ranked Nuggets (11-1).

The Nuggets – who have 11 players on its roster 6-0 or taller – exploited its size advantage over the Squirrels. Hawley won the rebounding battle 33-24.

Hawley senior Devon Pekas led all scorers with 26 points and connected for five 3-pointers.

“We did use our size to our advantage and that is usually the game plan going in,” Hawley head coach Jed Carlson said. “Central Cass certainly has quickness and they certainly have shooters. That presents problems for us. … A fifteen-point lead is never safe against the Squirrels.”

Hawley led 31-21 at halftime. Central Cass (8-3) wasn’t able to sustain any offensive runs in the second half.

Senior Garrett Ebach connected for seven 3-pointers in the game and paced the Squirrels with 23 points.

“Defensively we had some really tough matchups,” Central Cass Mike Kegley said. “I didn’t think we played that bad. Their length is what gets you. The passes we make against some other teams weren’t there. We would penetrate inside to the basket and try to pass it out, but it would get deflected our bounced.”

Senior Jacob Crompton grabbed 11 rebounds and added four points for the Nuggets.

In the end, Hawley’s combo of Pekas and Ellefson was too much for Central Cass to stop.

“Devon is a tough matchup for guys because of his size and the fact that he plays like a guard,” Carlson said. “Devon was feeling it from the outside and Ben was feeling it from the inside. They were able to take advantage of those mismatches and that worked out well for us.”

H 17 31 48 68

CC 8 21 35 51

HAWLEY (11-1): Leaf 2 0-0 4, Harms 1 0-0 2, Ellefson 11 0-3 23, Pekas 10 1-1 26, Crompton 2 0-1 4, Stoa 1 0-0 2, Teeples 2 0-0 4, Regnier 1 0-0 3. Totals: 30 1-5 68.

CENTRAL CASS (8-3): E. Bresnahan 3 3-5 9, Ebach 8 0-0 23, Breske 3 2-4 8, Rieniets 2 0-3 4, Radermacher 1 0-0 2, Rehovsky 1 1-1 3, G. Bresnahan 1 0-0 2. Totals: 19 6-13 51.

3-pointers: Pekas 5, Ellefson, Regnier, Ebach 7. Total Fouls: H 13, CC 11. Fouled out: Rieniets. Rebounds: H 33 (Crompton 11), CC 24 (Rieniets 5). Turnovers: H 12, CC 13.