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Tom Mix, Published January 14 2014

No. 1-ranked Milnor tops Kindred in boys basketball

KINDRED, N.D. – Thus far, No. 1-ranked Milnor has answered all challengers on the basketball court this season.

Tuesday night, the defending North Dakota Class B state champions hit the road and posted a 73-59 boys basketball victory over Kindred.

The Bison extended their state-best winning streak to 21 games with the win and improved to 12-0 this season.

“We know at this part of the season you have to be prepared to play well against every team,” said Milnor senior guard Briton Bussman, who scored a game-high 32 points. “If you do not play well, you are going to lose. We are just playing it one game at a time.”

Milnor led 35-31 at halftime, but used a 10-0 run in the third quarter to create some distance between the Vikings. Many of its points came in transition.

“We all stayed aggressive, and when we play that way, it opens up the offense for everyone,” Bussman said.

Kindred (6-3) was paced by junior Fletcher Andel, who poured in a team-best 28 points, including five 3-pointers.

Turnovers were what did the Vikings in. Kindred gave the ball away 18 times and, against a team like Milnor, Vikings head coach Brad Woehl said that was too many.

“When we turned the ball over, they turned them into points,” Woehl said.

Kindred senior standout Eric Bachmeier was held to just two points and never hit a field goal in the game. The stingy defense of Milnor’s Colin Yagow and Bussman made it difficult for Bachmeier to get involved.

“Colin did a great job defending Bachmeier,” Milnor head coach Benjamin Nelson said. “He can defend inside and out. Overall, I thought we played well defensively as a team.”

Senior Wyatt Mund added 16 points and eight rebounds for the Bison.

Tuesday was also a Wild Rice Conference game, which holds a lot of significance for the Bison this year.

“One of our goals is to win the Wild Rice Conference,” Nelson said. “We have never won the Wild Rice Conference championship before in boys basketball, and this is a big conference win for us. Kindred is a good team, and we definitely could see them again later this year.”

Milnor 18 35 54 73

Kindred 12 31 42 59

MILNOR (12-0): B. Bussman 13 5-6 32, Mund 5 4-4 16, Martinson 2 1-3 6, Mariatt 3 0-0 7, C. Yagow 2 0-0 6, Olsen 3 0-0 6. Totals: 28 10-13 73.

KINDRED (6-3): Bachmeier 0 2-2 2, Olien 3 0-0 7, Andel 9 5-5 28, Moffet 3 1-2 7, Lingen 3 7-10 13, Staton 1 0-0 2. Totals: 19 15-19 59.

3-pointers: B. Bussman, C. Yagow 2, Mariatt, Andel 5, Olien. Total fouls: M 15, K 13. Fouled out: Olsen. Rebounds: M 22 (Mund 8), K 24 (Moffett, Bachmeier 5). Turnovers: M 16, K 18.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562