Tigers cruise in regional opener

¦ Howards faces St. Marys Springs in semifinal
by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff

AUSTIN EDGE, Howards Grove guard, shoots over Random Lake’s Ben Drenski (2), Andy Fechter (11) and Logan Martin in Tuesday night’s regional basketball opener. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley AUSTIN EDGE, Howards Grove guard, shoots over Random Lake’s Ben Drenski (2), Andy Fechter (11) and Logan Martin in Tuesday night’s regional basketball opener. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley HOWARDS GROVE – A suffocating, man-to-man defense was the catalyst for the Howards Grove Tigers as they routed Random Lake, 64-39, in the first round of Division 4 boys basketball regional play here Tuesday night.

The No. 3-seeded Tigers, who improved to 14-9, advance to the semifinals Friday at No. 2-seeded St. Mary’s Springs (Fond du Lac) at 7 p.m. Springs, which defeated Howards early in the season, received a first-round bye.

The Tigers’ defense forced 17 turnovers, held the Rams to only 27 shots from the field and allowed few uncontested shots. Random Lake scored only six points in the first quarter as Howards took a 13-6 lead.

Offensively, the Tigers scored several points by attacking the hoop and had an effective inside/ outside combination. Many times, Howards was able to penetrate the Random Lake defense and either score or kick the ball out for an open jumper. The Tigers also ran their fast break well which led to points, including some off of steals.

Howards took control of the game with a 24-12 run which began late in the first quarter and carried through to the end of the second period, putting the Tigers up 32-18 at halftime. Austin Edge, Ethan Brinkman and Jonah Gerber led the charge with six points each, including a three-ball by Gerber at the halftime buzzer.

Brinkman had a rare four-point play during the stretch when he buried a trey and converted the free throw after being fouled on the shot.

Edge, a senior point guard, sparked the Tigers’ attack with 24 points, including 14 in the second half. He scored most of his points on drives to the basket. Brinkman contributed 17 points.

Brinkman and Edge paced Howards in assists with three each. Trent Beninghaus had a team-high eight rebounds. The Tigers were strong on the boards with a 27-19 rebounding edge and limited the Rams to few second shots.

“It was a great team effort. Defensively, we played a great game and that’s why we had this ball game won,” said Edge after the game. “Team defense was the key on defense. Offensively, we did great. Ethan and I attacked the basket and created shots for our teammates.”

“We pushed the ball well and had great communication,” said Brinkman. “We were very focused for this game.”

“We brought intensity with our defense from the get-go,” said Tiger head coach Eric Worth. “We did a great job with our help-defense.

“We did a nice job of attacking their zone and we did well taking care of the ball.

“Austin had an awesome game. He dictated everything for us. It was a team effort,” Worth added.

Junior guard Logan Martin led the Rams’ scoring with 17, including 15 in the second half, and was their top rebounder with six.



Score by Quarters

Random Lake...........6 12 11 10 39
Howards Grove......13 19 12 20 64

Random Lake scoring: Erik Holeman 2, Logan Martin 17, Evan DeBroux 2, Andy Fechter 4, Dan Ruchalski 1, Aaron Rathke 13. Three-point goals: Rathke 3, Martin 1.

Howards Grove scoring: Austin Edge 24, Zach Fritz 2, Travis Stanczyk 1, Trent Beninghaus 4, Andrew Reinemann 2, Ethan Brinkman 17, Jonah Gerber 8, Willy Goedeke 2, CJ Berg 4. Three-point goals: Brinkman 1, Gerber 2.

Field goals: Random Lake 12-27, 44%; Howards Grove 24-43, 56%. Free throws: Random Lake 11-15, 73%; Howards Grove 13-19, 68%.

Rebounds: Random Lake 19, Howards Grove 27. Turnovers: Random Lake 17, Howards Grove 8.

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