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Huskies deny Black Panthers' upset bid

ABERDEEN--History would not repeat itself on Thursday. No. 8 Platte-Geddes has pulled off first-round upsets in each of its last two state tournament appearances in 2013 and 2014. The Black Panthers were also riding high after pulling an upset ov...

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Bridgewater-Emery's Sawyer Schultz (3) brings the ball up the court during the Class B boys basketball tournament on Thursday at Wachs Arena in Aberdeen. Bridgewater-Emery's Cade Schmitt (24), Platte-Geddes' Ricky Knecht (30) and Xavier Marshall (12) are in the background. (Ryan Deal/Republic)

ABERDEEN-History would not repeat itself on Thursday.

No. 8 Platte-Geddes has pulled off first-round upsets in each of its last two state tournament appearances in 2013 and 2014. The Black Panthers were also riding high after pulling an upset over No. 2 Corsica-Stickney in the district title game.

But No. 1 Bridgewater-Emery (24-0) did not allow the confident Black Panthers (14-10) to pull another upset on Thursday. The Huskies instead pulled away after a tight first quarter for a convincing 67-39 opening round win at the Class B boys basketball tournament at Wachs Arena in Aberdeen.

"They are a very good eight seed," Bridgewater-Emery guard Sawyer Schultz said. "They are a very good team and we knew in our minds they were a good team. We didn't overlook them one bit."

Behind another balanced scoring attack and a suffocating defense, the Huskies impressed in their state tournament debut and will now play Sully Buttes in the semifinals at 6 p.m. on Friday.

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Schultz powered the Huskies. The 6-foot-3 sophomore guard recorded 15 points, five rebounds and four steals. He received plenty of help. Sam Arend tossed in 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Carter Dye chipped in with 10 points off the bench.

The Black Panthers played right with the lone remaining undefeated team in the state for the first eight minutes. There were six lead changes and three ties in the first quarter. Bridgewater-Emery trailed 18-16 after the first frame.

"They were hitting some good shots, some tough shots," Arend said. "You can live with that. We just had to keep playing defense and keep doing what we were doing and good things would start to come our way."

The Huskies then flipped a switch. They went on a 15-0 second quarter tear and went into halftime leading 31-18.

Bridgewater-Emery coach Scott Schultz said it all started with defense and rebounding, which has been their focus all season.

"I think that really kind of set the tone in the second quarter for us and it allowed us to be a little more comfortable offensively," Scott Schultz said.

It also spelled the beginning of the end for the Black Panthers.

"Obviously, we played great the first quarter," Platte-Geddes coach Frank Cutler said. "But their defensive pressure got to us. We turned the ball over too many times and they hit a couple shots, got going and the momentum snowballed on us."

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Bridgewater-Emery's lead ballooned to 20 points in the third quarter and it continued to pump in points. The Huskies scored 25 points in the third quarter and 36 total in the second half.

"I think when we are hitting shots, that's when we are playing our best," Arend said. "Everyone is clicking together."

Malachi Girton tossed in 12 points for the Black Panthers, who will play White River at noon on Friday in the consolation semifinals.

"We got to recharge and refocus and get ready because we have got good teams we are going to play," Cutler said. "We have to be able to come back out and be ready to go."

The Huskies, meanwhile, will play in the first night game on Friday night.

"We are going to have our hands full," coach Schultz said. "But it should be fun. It should be a great evening."

Bridgewater-Emery 67, Platte-Geddes 39

Platte-Geddes (14-10): Riley Hoffman 1-4 0-0 2, Trevor Sprik 2-7 2-2 7, Malachi Girton 5-11 2-4 12, Ricky Knecht 2-5 0-0 5, Cooper Kanthak 1-3 0-0 2, Cole Nachtigal 1-4 1-2 3, Xavier Marshall 0-6 0-0 0, Kade Starr 0-0 0-0 0, Jarod Severson 1-1 0-0 2, Jack Johnson 1-2 0-0 2, Sawyer DeGroot 1-2 1-2 3, Hayden Stluka 0-0 0-0 0, Eli DeNeui 0-1 1-2 1. Totals 15-46 7-12 39.

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Bridgewater-Emery (24-0): Jamin Arend 1-6 0-0 3, Sawyer Schultz 6-13 0-0 15, Cole Gassman 4-4 1-1 9, Sam Arend 5-12 2-3 14, Cade Schmitt 4-8 0-0 8, Jonah Hofer 0-0 0-0 0, Dustin Weber 0-0 0-0 0, Chas Arend 1-1 2-2 4, Carter Dye 3-5 4-4 10, Connor Tuschen 0-0 0-0 0, Colton Plagmann 0-0 2-5 2, Mason Potter 0-0 0-0 0, Colby Weber 0-0 0-0 0, Dout VanSickle 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 25-50 11-16 67.

PG 18 18 26 39

BE 16 31 56 67

3-point field goals: PG 2 (Sprik 1, Knecht 1); BE 6 (J. Arend 1, Schultz 3, S. Arend 2). Rebounds: PG 27 (Hoffman 6); BE 34 (S. Arend 7). Steals: PG 8 (Girton 2, Nachtigal 2, Starr 2); BE 10 (Schultz 4). Blocked shots: PG 3 (Kanthak 2); BE 2 (Dye 1, Potter 1). Assists: PG 11 (Kanthak 7); BE 11 (Gassman 3, S. Arend 3). Turnovers: PG 20; BE 13. Total fouls: PG 19; BE 15.

Related Topics: BRIDGEWATEREMERY
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