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No. 3 Hawks halt No. 2 Tigers

A clash between the No. 2 and No. 3 ranked teams in Class B lived up to the billing in the fifth game of the Dakota Wesleyan University Culver's Classic.

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Canistota's Scott Jolley, center, goes up for a shot as White River's Gunner Piper (10) and Isaiah Knife (35) look on during a DWU Culver's Classic boys basketball game on Saturday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell. (Eric Mayer/Republic)

A clash between the No. 2 and No. 3 ranked teams in Class B lived up to the billing in the fifth game of the Dakota Wesleyan University Culver's Classic.

In the end, it was Canistota's defense that pushed the No. 3 Hawks past the No. 2 White River Tigers 61-51 on Saturday at the Corn Palace.

Canistota (14-2) outscored White River 19-8 in the fourth quarter and earned a win that likely seals up the top-seed in District 8B for the Hawks.

"We were trying to get some dribble penetration and then find the open guy, and that's what we ended up doing in the fourth quarter," Canistota head coach Pat Jolley said. "I was real happy with holding White River to 22 points in the first half. I thought our effort was there."

Offensively, Jerad Nielsen carried the load for Canistota and finished with a game-high 17 points on 8 of 11 shooting from the floor.

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"Jerad Nielsen had a big game," Jolley said. "He got physical down underneath and he played a really good game for us."

Mason Decker added a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds as the Hawks went 22-of-54 from the field for 40 percent shooting in the win.

White River (14-3) entered the fourth quarter with a one-point lead after converting on a layup as the third quarter buzzer sounded. The Tigers finished the third quarter with 21 points and doubled their point total from a 30-22 halftime deficit.

Despite his team's big third-quarter, White River head coach Eldon Marshall said the game down to his team's carelessness with the ball.

"It was just too many turnovers down the stretch," Marshall said. "We turned it over way too many times and when you do that against a good team, you're not going to come out ahead very often."

Justice Morrison and Ressel Leader Charge each had 13 points for the Tigers, while Dru Espinoza chipped in 12 points in the loss. White River went 21-of-46 from the field for 45 percent shooting and committed 20 turnovers in the loss.

With four regular season games remaining for Canistota, Jolley said his team needs to build from the top-5 victory.

"It's a nice win this late in the season," Jolley said. "It's a confidence builder."

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Canistota takes on Howard on Monday in Canistota, while White River plays New Underwood on Friday in New Underwood.

C 9 30 42 61

WR 12 22 43 51

Canistota (14-2)

Scoring: Mason Decker 14 Drew Seubert 9 Jerad Nielsen 17 Scott Jolley 8 Shay Jolley 7 Xavier Ward 6

White River (14-3)

Scoring: Gunner Piper 4 Russel Charge Leader 11 Justice Morrison 13 Nicholas Young 9 Dru Espinoza 12

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