Fighting Cougars use second-quarter run to power past Winner, 56-44SIOUX FALLS — Winner’s press did its job on McCook Central/Montrose for the first quarter. There were five ties in the first eight minutes and the Warriors’ 4-0 lead early in the game was the biggest of the quarter. About two minutes into the second quarter, however, something clicked for McCook Central/Montrose.
SIOUX FALLS — Winner’s press did its job on McCook Central/Montrose for the first quarter.
There were five ties in the first eight minutes and the Warriors’ 4-0 lead early in the game was the biggest of the quarter.
About two minutes into the second quarter, however, something clicked for McCook Central/Montrose.
The Fighting Cougars solved Winner’s press and went on a 17-0 run in the second quarter to pull away for an eventual 56-44 win over the Warriors Thursday in a quarterfinal game at the Class A state boys’ basketball tournament at the Sioux Falls Arena.
McCook Central/Montrose, the No. 5 seed, advances to today’s semifinals where it takes on top-ranked Madison at 7 p.m. No. 4 Winner plays Crow Creek at 1 p.m. in the consolation semifinals.
“We had a lot of trouble with (the press) early, but once we adjusted, I think (Winner) struggled and they got out of it,” McCook Central/Montrose coach Bill Marquardt said. “In the second quarter, I thought our transition against their press was good.”
The Fighting Cougars (20-4) knew one key to making the semifinals was going to be keeping Winner junior Zach Horstman in check. Horstman, who has already verbally committed to play for South Dakota State, averaged 19.5 points heading into the state tournament and led all scorers with 18 Thursday.
The 6-foot-5 junior did most of his damage in the final quarter, however. He scored eight fourth-quarter points and had only six points at halftime.
“We really keyed on him,” Fighting Cougar sophomore Andy Kappenman said. “We were supposed to help a lot because we knew the other guys couldn’t hurt us as much and we tried to double (Horstman).”
To start, neither team was able to pull ahead. Skyler Kuil hit back-to-back baskets to start the game for Winner, but the 4-0 lead was the biggest either team could manage. McCook Central/Montrose grabbed its first lead of the game, 12-10, on a basket by Brandon Feterl late in the first quarter, but Horstman scored to end the quarter tied at 12.
Horstman scored to start the second quarter and a three-point play by Tanner Best put the Warriors up 17-14, but they wouldn’t score again until Kuil hit a single layup to end the quarter.
Feterl hit a layup to spark a 17-0 run by the Fighting Cougars. Mark Huls scored seven points, including back-to-back buckets and a three-point play, during the run. McCook Central/Montrose led 31-18 at halftime.
“They just outplayed us the whole game,” Winner coach Jim Drake said. “Rebounding, defense, offense — all the things we hoped we wouldn’t let them do. They deserve credit; they outplayed us in all areas.”
The scoring was back and forth again in the third quarter, and the Fighting Cougars were able to keep their lead in double digits. Horstman scored back-to-back baskets late in the quarter, but Huls hit a pair of free throws to keep McCook Central/Montrose up 42-28 heading into the fourth.
Best hit a 3-pointer — the first of the game for either team — early in the fourth to cut the Fighting Cougars’ lead to nine, 42-33, with 5:25 to play, but McCook Central/Montrose went on a 10-2 run to extend its lead back out to 17, 52-35.
Kyle Mathis hit a three and Horstman scored six of the game’s final eight points — including a dunk — but it wasn’t nearly enough.
Kuil added 12 points and four rebounds for Winner, which is 20-4 and plays Crow Creek at 1 p.m. today. The Warriors shot 40 percent from the field and went 2-for-8 from the line.
Kappenman led McCook Central/Montrose with 14 points and Huls added 11 points and nine rebounds. The Fighting Cougars shot 55 percent from the field — 67 percent in the first half — and won the rebounding battle 34-16.
They play Madison, the No. 1 seed, at 7 p.m. The two teams first met up at the Hanson Classic in January, and the Bulldogs pulled out a 55-50 win after going up by 12 on two separate occasions.
“We were on the verge of being out of it; they had us down 12 and we got it down to three and played right up to the horn, so I think that should give us some confidence,” Marquardt said of his team’s first meeting against Madison on Jan. 30. “They can be awfully intimidating when they get transition baskets and they shoot it so well.”
MCCOOK CENTRAL/MONTROSE 56,
McCook Central/Montrose (20-4)
Feteri 4-7 0-0 8, Kappenman 6-10 2-2 14, Knudsen 0-2 0-0 0, Wolf 2-4 0-0 4, J. Huls 4-7 0-0 8, M. Huls 4-5 3-3 11, Heumiller 0-1 0-0 0, Gottlob 2-4 3-4 7. Totals: 22-40 12-13 56,
Schueth 0-1 0-0 0, Vanneman 0-2 0-0 0, Brother Of All 0-6 0-0 0, Farley 0-2 0-0 0, Horstman 9-22 0-2 18, Mathis 1-3 0-0 3, Kuil 5-8 1-2 12, Naasz 1-2 0-0 2, Best 4-4 1-4 9. Totals: 20-50 2-8 44.
McM 12 31 42 56
Winner 12 18 28 44
3-pointers—MM 0-7 (Feteri 0-1, Kappenman 0-2, Wolf 0-1, J. Huls 0-3), Winner 2-16 (Schueth 0-1, Brother Of All 0-5, Horstman 0-7, Mathis 1-2, Kull 1-1). Rebounds—MM 34 (M. Huls 9), Winner 16 (Kuil 4). Assists—MM 10 (Feteri 4), Winner 8 (Horstman 3). Total fouls—MM 12, Winner 15.