New England ended its season on the road with a loss to the Beach Buccaneers Feb. 26 when they lost a 66-51 decision.
The basketball team fell behind early, giving up a 17-10 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Then the Tigers roared back to life in the second quarter when they came back with 24 points while holding the Bucs to just nine.
That was enough to give the visiting Tigers a 34-26 lead at halftime.
However, the Buccaneers turned the tables in the third quarter when they outscored the New England squad by 10 points (18-8) to hold a narrow 44-42 lead going into the final quarter.
The Buccaneers were able to pull away in the final eight minutes, scoring 22 points while holding the Tigers to just nine.
Beach’s Gage Swanson burned the Tigers for 32 points, to lead all scorers. Brandon Schulte added 13 while Brandon Schulte added 13 and Blake Van Horn put in 10.
The Tigers were led by Aidan Rebel’s 14 points, while Gabe Sorenson added 11 points. Zach Madler and Jaxon Hewson both scored seven points. Ace Fischer added five points, while Michael Granger put in three and both Cooper Granger and Logan Wolf finished with two each.
The Tiger outshot their hosts from long-range, hitting six (three by Sorenson), while the Bucs hit just three.
The loss dropped the Tigers’ record for the season to 6-16.
Glen Ullin rolls
The Bearcats jumped out to an early 21-8 lead and kept up the pressure for a 68-49 win that closed out the regular season Feb. 22 in the New England gym.
Glen Ullin-Hebron closed out its Region 7 season with just one loss, but New England didn’t make it easy.
After the visiting Bearcats jumped out to an early lead, the Tigers kept coming back with rallies.
The Bearcats finished with a 68-49 victory, but also learned they still have a lot of work left to do to prepare for the Region 7 boys basketball tournament.
The Bearcats opened an early 7-0 before Gabe Sorenson hit a three-pointer to put the Tigers on the scoreboard with 5:25 on the clock.
Glen Ullin-Hebron went on an 8-0 run before the Tigers would score again, making it a 15-3 advantage when senior Zach Madler got the Tigers’ second basket.
Madler would hit another shot with four seconds left in the first quarter, cutting the Bearcats’ lead to 21-8 at the first break.
The big first quarter lead would hold up for the rest of the game, but the Tigers also found their offense in the second quarter, almost matching the Bearcats’ 16 points with 14 of their own.
In the third quarter, the Tigers got Sorenson hitting three of his four three-pointers to keep the hosts close again to the Bearcats, with the visitors barely taking an 18-17 edge in scoring.
Except for the large first-quarter lead, the Bearcats scored just six points more than the Tigers over the other three periods.
For the Bearcats’ coach, he was not only thankful for the win but the fact the Tigers exposed some weaknesses as the team heads into the regional tournament.
Greg Pruitt has six seniors on his squad, along with three sophomores and a freshman, so the first-year coach knows this is the season the Bearcats have to make their run for a state berth.
“New England is a tough team. This was a good way to get us ready for the regionals with a tough team like New England in a tough home environment.
“I think it helped prepare us. New England exposed some weaknesses we had that we have to fix going into the tournament, so this was a good game for us.”
Pruitt credited New England coach Kaine Hanson with giving his team a stubborn and determined attitude. “He has the team fighting and they fight to the very end. I told our boys in a time out that ‘You have to keep pushing, you got to keep going because they (the Tigers) are not going to lay down.’
“New England did a very good job on our guys,” Pruitt added.
Sorenson, who finished with 20 points, shared high-score honors with the Bearcats’ Braden Zuroff.
The visitors also had two other players scoring in double figures (Mason Gerving with 18 points and Grant Gerving with 14 points).
For the Tigers, Jaxon Hewson had eight, while Madler finished with seven points. Cooper Granger and Joseph Harmon each finished with four points, while Logan Wolf and Aidan Rebel each scored three points.
The loss left New England with a 2-7 record in Region 7 play and 6-15 for the season. The Bearcats went into the tournament with just one loss and a 17-3 season mark.
GU-H 21 16 18 13 68
NEW 8 14 17 10 49
Braden Zuroff 7 0 6-10 20; Mason Gerving 8 0 2-7 18; Grant Gerving 2 3 1-2 14; Garret Soupir 3 0 0-0 6; Eric Hageman 2 0 0-1 4; Chase Remboldt 0 1 0-0 3; Braxton Rolle 0 1 0-0 3.
Glen Ullin-Hebron 22 5 9-22 68
Gabe Sorenson 3 4 2-3 20; Jaxon Hewson 3 0 2-3 8; Zach Madler 2 1 0-0 7; Cooper Granger 1 0 2-5 4; Joseph Harmon 2 0 0-0 4; Aidan Rebel 1 0 1-1 3; Logan Wolf 0 0 3-4 3.
New England 12 5 10-16 49