Tigers advance to regional finals

HOWARDS GROVE – The Howards Grove Tigers outscored visiting Cedar Grove-Belgium 16-6 in the third quarter to key a 59-45 victory in a Division 4 boys regional basketball semifinal game Friday night.
The No. 3-seeded Tigers, 18-5 and owners of a six-game winning streak, advance to the finals Monday, March5atSt.Mary'sSpringsofFondduLacwitha7p.m.tip-off.The title game was originally scheduled to be held last Saturday but the Springs-Horicon semifinal contest was snowed out Friday and had to be played Saturday.
Number 2-seeded Springs, which routed Horicon, 64-42, defeated the Tigers, 58-51, earlier in the season.
The Ledgers outscored Howards 23-8 in the fourth quarter to erase a 43-35 deficit.
Howards built a 42-30 lead through three quarters after leading only 26-24 at halftime. The Tigers opened the second half with an 8-3 spurt and closed the third period on a 5-0 run.
“We stiffened up defensively, plus we rebounded very well and had a number of a put-backs,” said Tiger head coach Mark Christenson about the third quarter.
Strong rebounding sparked the Tigers in the second half as they enjoyed a 26-12 edge.
Senior forward Ashton Holzman had a double-double for the Tigers with a team-high 17 points and 10 boards. Holzman also led in blocked shots with four.
Howards had a well-balanced attack with three players scoring in double figures. Freshman guard Ethan Brinkman hit a season-high 14 points off the bench and Noah Steines tallied 12. Steines was second in rebounding with seven.
Ryan Bruesewitz and Garrett Jahnke paced the Tigers in steals with three each. Bruesewitz also dished out a team-leading six assists, followed by Austin Edge with three.
“I was very pleased with Ethan. He was 3-for-3 on three-pointers,” said Christenson.
“Ryan played a great floor game. Noah was solid inside and was 6-for-8 on twos.
“I was very pleased with the second half. We've been able to keep our turnovers down [for overall games],” the coach said.
Howards committed only 10 turnovers which was the fifth straight game that it had 10 or fewer turnovers.
Jon Herzog led the No. 6-seeded Rockets in scoring with 12. Cedar Grove, which lost twice to Howards in Central Lakeshore Conference action this season, finished 9-15.



Score by Quarters              
Cedar Grove   8 16   6 15 45
Howards Grove   8 18 16 17 59


Cedar Grove scoring: T.J. Obbink 6, Josh Ruppel 8, Spencer Bares 7, Logan Peterson 3, Jon Herzog 12, Kyle Kirst 7, Grayson Peiffer 2.
Howards Grove scoring: Ashton Holzman 17, Mike Davis 6, Noah Steines 12, Ryan Bruesewitz 2, Garrett Jahnke 5, Austin Edge 3, Ethan Brinkman 14.
Three-point goals: Ruppel 2, Bares 1, Herzog 1, Kirst 1, Obbink 1, Brinkman 3, Holzman 2, Davis 1, Edge 1.
Field goals: Cedar Grove 14-43, 33%; Howards Grove 22-45, 49%. Free throws: Cedar Grove 11-24, 46%; Howards Grove 8-15, 53%.
Rebounds: Cedar Grove 27, Howards Grove 33. Turnovers: Cedar Grove 13, Howards Grove 10.

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