December 22, 2014

Hale boys win W-P Christmas Tourney

By Brent Baker
Sunrise Sports
Posted

Whittemore-Prescott 67, Arenac Eastern 56

WHITTEMORE — Arenac Eastern gave Whittemore-Prescott all it wanted for a half, but the Cardinals managed to pull away to a 67-56 victory to earn a spot in Tuesday's Whittemore-Prescott Christmas Tournament championship against Hale.

The Cardinals were in a giving mood for much of the first half, missing several dunk attempts, turning the ball over and getting off to a cold start at the free throw line, where they finished 13-of-33 for the game.

"We missed too many shots that should have been easy," said W-P coach Bob Leslie. "We missed too many free throws. A win is a win, but we didn't play the way we should and can."

The Eagles led through much of the first half as Graham Morgan and Kevin Kovacs each scored twice on offensive rebound put-backs and Caleb Whitney hit an early 3-pointer. It wasn't until the final minutes of the half that W-P took the lead for good behind three straight baskets from Billy Raushi.

AE was still in the game, trailing 25-21 at the half, but W-P pressured the Eagles into a bushel of third-quarter turnovers and quickly ballooned the lead to 40-25. The Cards still led 46-32 at the end of the third.

"The third quarter killed us," said AE coach Bob Morgan. "I can't say we played well, but it was a lot better effort than we gave against Posen. We're not a fast team, and once Whittemore got going it was difficult for us to keep up."

Back-to-back baskets by Brad King and Sean Norton got the Eagles to within 51-41 with five minutes to play, but Kyle Dupuis' 3-pointer -- his third of the game -- sparked a run that ended with the Cards up 17 points in the final minutes.

"Dupuis is a scrapper," Leslie said. " He really helped us with his 3's, his steals and his rebounding."

Morgan was as pleased with the play of his younger players, including a couple of JV call-ups, as anything else.

"Kyle Zobel, Joey Kramer and Terry Gerard all played well," he said. "They really showed some promise."

Raushi led all scorers with 21 points, with Dupuis adding 13 and Tristan Kohlhoff 12.

John Chmura had 13 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Eagles (1-3). Morgan added eight points and 15 rebounds, while Kovacs had eight points and 13 rebounds.

Hale 56, AuGres-Sims 41

AuGres-Sims hoped to take advantage of some lessons learned from having played Hale just a week earlier.

The Eagles showed why that might not have mattered much.

AuGres-Sims built a 13-10 lead five minutes into the game as Chad Taylor nailed a pair of 3-pointers and Kyle Gingerich hit another, But from there the Hale defense clamped down, spurring a 17-2 run over the next 11 minutes and going on to a 56-41 victory and a championship game berth against host Whittemore-Prescott.

"We had no energy in the first quarter," said Hale coach Ryan Parkinson. "We were sloppy with the ball, but once we got through those first few minutes we played with great energy."

The Eagles forced the Wolverines into numerous turnovers in the second quarter while staying patient of offense, getting all but three of their 17 points during that run off shots in the paint.

Hale put the hammer down to start the third quarter, forcing three more turnovers and reeling off a quick 9-0 burst in the opening 1:30 of the second half to extend their 13-minute scoring run to 26-2.

"I was especially happy with how we rebounded," Parkinson said. "AuGres is pretty athletic, so there's only so much you can do with them.

"We committed a lot of resources to stopping Taylor, so we kind of risked struggling in other places, but I have to say that overall it worked out pretty well."

Taylor finished with seven points after hitting two 3-pointers in the first two minutes of the game. Gingerich finished with 11 points and Alex Lutz also had seven. Nate Jennings had nine rebounds, but the Wolverines were beaten on the glass 38-20 for the contest.

Tanner Shellenbarger led Hale (4-0) with 16 points and 10 rebounds, with Christian Mudry adding 15 points and 13 rebounds and Drew Compau scoring 11 points.

AGS (2-3) was set to play Arenac Eastern for third place in the tournament.

Hale 62, Whittemore-Prescott 41 (championship)

WHITTEMORE — Hale's boys’ basketball team has thrived on its defense to run up an unbeaten record up until Christmas.

The defense was still working in fine form in Tuesday's championship contest of the Whittemore-Prescott Christmas Tournament, but some long-range shooting was the catalyst in the Eagles' 62-41 victory over the host Cardinals. It was Hale's second tournament win in the two-year history of the event.

The Eagles led almost from the start as Drew Compau hit six 3-pointers and finished with 22 points. His trey early in the game gave W-P a 5-0 lead, and his sixth of the night provided the Eagles the final points as the game concluded.

"That was some kind of shooting performance," said W-P coach Bob Leslie. "Hale shot the lights out, but I'm really not disappointed in how we played. Our defense played pretty well, but they reversed, reversed, and kept reversing the ball, and when they got shots they fell. Ours didn't."

Compau, who hit 9-of-15 trey attempts in the two-day tournament, had two in the first quarter, and then added two in the third as the Eagles built a 40-21 lead.

"Drew shot the ball real well," said Hale coach Ryan Parkinson. "Whittemore is very 'long' and athletic and they force you to adjust to them. But I'm proud of how they kids played; they went out and attacked anyway."

Hale also had its usual inside game working as Christian Mudry and Nick Katterman combined for 29 points and 12 rebounds, while Tanner Shellenbarger added another 12 rebounds.

"I thought we defended well again," Parkinson said. "We weren't able to stop (W-P's) Tristan (Kohlhoff) with those little free throw line jumpers (of which Kohlhoff made three), and they way they can shoot the 3-pointer you can never feel to comfortable."

W-P tried to shoot its way back into the game in the fourth quarter. Billy Raushi hit a 3-pointer to end the third quarter and another to start the fourth, then drilled a third to cut the Hale lead to 43-30. The Eagles responded by getting the ball inside to Mudry, who scored seven points in a 9-2 run that opened up a 20-point lead.

Chris Downes hit a pair of long 3-pointers late, but W-P could get no closer than 14 the rest of the way.

"We played a lot better than we did last night, even though we won last night and lost tonight," Leslie said. "I told the boys this was the kind of effort I'll take any time, win or lose."

Raushi led the Cards (2-3) with 13 points, with Kohlhoff adding eight.

Hale (5-0) finishes a tough early-season schedule unbeaten and hopes to continue its winning ways into the New Year.

"If you told me we'd be undefeated at Christmas," Parkinson said, "I'd have definitely taken it."

The Eagles next host Oscoda on Jan. 6, while W-P plays Jan. 9 at Tawas Area.

AuGres-Sims 64, Arenac Eastern 51 (consolation)

AuGres-Sims threw a full-court press at Arenac Eastern and got a big boost from JV call-up Connor Pendred as the Wolverines pulled away from the Eagles in the second quarter for a 64-51 victory.

Trailing 16-15 in the first quarter, AGS slapped on the pressure and hit AE with a 16-2 run in which Pendred, a freshman, hit 6-of-6 shots as the Wolverines built a 31-18 lead.

AE, playing without an injured Graham Morgan, pulled to within 34-28 at the half as Kevin Kovacs scored on three offensive rebound put-backs during a 10-3 run to close the second quarter, but AGS took control after the half as Chad Taylor assisted Travis Byard for a layup, scored off Kyle Gingerich's assist and hit a 3-pointer for a 13-point lead.

"We just put that press in today," said AGS coach Gordie Ostrander. "We'll work on that; hopefully by the time we see Hale and AE again we'll be a lot better at it. We got some points off it, but we also gave up some that I hope we don't as we get better at running it."

The Wolverines (3-3) led by as many as 19 midway through the fourth quarter.

Taylor finished with 22 points, with Pendred adding 14. Byard and Nate Jennings each had 11 rebounds, with Alex Lutz adding 10. Gingerich had nine assists and A.J. Baker added three blocked shots.

Kovacs and John Chmura each scored 10 for AE (1-4).

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