It was a tale of two halfs. Hettinger-Scranton came out with a hustling and relentless defense, and some good shooting.
By Sheldon Christenson | For The Record
It was a tale of two halfs. Hettinger-Scranton came out with a hustling and relentless defense, and some good shooting. Beulah did hold a 4-0 advantage early but Hettinger-Scranton ran off 14 unanswered points and it was all Nighthawks in the rest of the first half as they went into the locker room with a 31-18 lead.
Isaiah Kludt was the spark-plug in the first half with 10 points, which included a couple of driving, acrobatic layups.
Damon Mellmer was scoreless but his hustle and a couple of great assists seemed to inspire his teammates.
But Beulah’s strategy for the second half paid off as they went inside often to Luke Blood and went four for six on their 3-pointers. Their defense also stiffened up and put the clamps on Hayden Sadowsky’s outside shooting.
They outscored Hettinger-Scranton 15-9 in the third quarter and 19-12 in the fourth quarter. Beulah’s Reece Horherz nailed a 3-pointer with four seconds left in regulation play to tie the score at 52 all, and sent the game into overtime.
At that point I was worried as the game was becoming eerily familiar with the Nighthawks loss to New England in overtime during the regular season.
The threat of Sadowsky’s outside shooting caused Beulah to foul him often and he hit seven of eight from the free-throw line in the overtime period, and Hettinger-Scranton went on to a 63-59 win.
Sadowsky ended up with a team-leading 22 points, 12 from the free-throw line. Brandon Pierce added 20 with nine rebounds, and Kludt finished with14. The Nighthawks were 22 of 28 from the charity line while Beulah was only six for 14. Blood ended up with 18 points to lead Beulah.
Kudos to the Nighthawk fans, young and older. There was no doubt in my mind that they were the loudest in supporting their home team.