Fast start sparks Tigers to CLC rout

BOYS BASKETBALL
by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff


TRENT BENINGHAUS, Howards Grove forward, drives the baseline against an unidentifi ed Sheboygan Lutheran defender in Thursday’s CLC basketball game. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley TRENT BENINGHAUS, Howards Grove forward, drives the baseline against an unidentifi ed Sheboygan Lutheran defender in Thursday’s CLC basketball game. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley HOWARDS GROVE – A sensational first quarter sparked the Howards Grove Tigers to a 73-58 drubbing of Sheboygan Lutheran in a Central Lakeshore Conference boys basketball game before a packed house here Thursday night.

The Tigers, fueled by an aggressive, up-tempo offense, strong rebounding and a tenacious defense, dominated the first quarter – outscoring the Crusaders 27-12 – and coasted from there.

“I thought our guys came out ready to go from the start. We did a phenomenal job of attacking their pressure and we were able to get a number of layups in the first quarter,” said Tiger head coach Eric Worth.

“I thought the keys for us winning were the quick start, team rebounding and team defense. Everybody was fully engaged and ready to go.”

The Tigers kept their sole lead in the CLC as they improved to 12-1 (15-3 overall). HGHS has won nine in a row. Defending league champion Lutheran, ranked No. 6 in the Associated Press Division 5 poll last week, dropped to 8-4 in the CLC (12-5 overall).

The Tigers’ pressure defense and strong defensive rebounding led to several fast-break baskets in the first-quarter onslaught. HGHS scored 13 points in the opening period off fast breaks. The Tigers also executed their half-court offense very well with good, quick ball movement which led to open looks and several points.

HGHS, led by senior forward Trent Beninghaus, dominated the boards in the first half which helped the Tigers mount a 39-23 halftime lead. The Tigers had several second-chance opportunities on offense and held Lutheran to one shot on many possessions in the half.


ETHAN BRINKMAN of Howards Grove scores a layup off his steal as Sheboygan Lutheran’s Josh Pingel (middle) and Karl Berg defend in Friday’s CLC basketball game. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley ETHAN BRINKMAN of Howards Grove scores a layup off his steal as Sheboygan Lutheran’s Josh Pingel (middle) and Karl Berg defend in Friday’s CLC basketball game. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley

Beninghaus pulled down an impressive 16 rebounds which led HGHS, including 12 in the first half. He ripped down six offensive boards in the opening half.

The Tigers took control of the game with a 15-3 run in the first quarter which gave them a 17-7 lead at the 3:30 mark. HGHS scored 11 points off fast breaks during the spurt, including two baskets off steals.

Senior guard Zach Fritz ignited the run with six points on a three-point play off a fast-break layup and a three-point goal. Ethan Brinkman and Alex Strege contributed four points each during the stretch. Brinkman exploded for 10 points in the first quarter to key the Tigers’ attack.

The Tigers shot a blistering 72 percent (23 of 32) from the field for a season-best and outscored Lutheran 23-13 at the foul line.

Senior guards Fritz and Dakota Rabe led a balanced Tiger offense with 16 and 15 points, respectively.

It was a career-high total for Rabe who came off the bench. Brinkman chipped in with 13. Beninghaus had a team-high six assists.

The Tigers’ bench was outstanding as it contributed 31 points, spearheaded by Rabe, and strong defense.

“We battled some foul trouble throughout the game but our backups were able to come in and we didn’t miss a beat,” said Worth.

“I have said it all year long, one of our greatest strengths is the depth we have throughout the roster. We have 16 guys on our roster and my biggest struggle this year has been trying to get everybody playing time.

“Rabe is a dynamic kid that is fearless. He’s a big-time competitor and loves that type of atmosphere,” said Worth.

“Zach Fritz and Derrick Grimm did a great job of attacking pressure and playing great defense on their guards. Trent Beninghaus finished with 16 rebounds – what a beast down low.”

Senior guard Jacob Jurss led the Crusaders in scoring with 27 but Worth thought Luke Stanczyk and Andrew Reinemann did a great, defensively, against Jurss who had to work hard for his points.

SHEB. LUTHERAN
58
HOWARDS GROVE
73

Score by Quarters
Sheb. Lutheran......12 11 15 20 – 58
Howards Grove......27 12 13 21 – 73

Sheboygan Lutheran scoring: Joshua Splittgerber 3, Jacob Jurss 27, Karl Berg 5, Josh Pingel 16, Justin Landgraf 5, Nathan Sampson 2. Three- point goals: Jacob Jurss 2, Berg 1, Pingel 2.

Howards Grove scoring: Derrick Grimm 9, Zach Fritz 16, Luke Stanczyk 4, Dakota Rabe 15, Alex Strege 4, Andrew Reinemann 3, Ethan Brinkman 13, Jonah Gerber 3, Trent Beninghaus 6. Three-point goals: Grimm 1, Fritz 2, Brinkman 1.

Field goals: Lutheran 20-48, 53%; Howards Grove 23-32, 72%. Free throws: Lutheran 13-22, 59%; Howards Grove 23-37, 62%.

Rebounds: Lutheran 10, Howards Grove 32.


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