Tigers fall to defending champs in sectional finals

by Matt Kraus Review Co respondent


DAKOTA RABE of Howards Grove tries to dribble around Dominican’s Jake Bennett in Saturday night’s sectional basketball finals. The Tigers’ Jordan Miller looks on. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley DAKOTA RABE of Howards Grove tries to dribble around Dominican’s Jake Bennett in Saturday night’s sectional basketball finals. The Tigers’ Jordan Miller looks on. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley WAUKESHA – Winning a state high school boys basketball championship in any division is an exceptional accomplishment but having to reach that goal in Division 4 requires going through the three-time defending state champion Whitefish Bay Dominican Knights.

It also means going through the Knights’ Diamond Stone, a Mc- Donald’s high school All-American, an NCAA Division 1 recruit, and ranked No. 4 nationally, according to scout.com; and teammate Garrison Goode, also a Division 1 recruit.

The Howards Grove Tigers were charged with challenging the Knights, ranked No. 1 in the coaches’ poll and No. 2 in the Associated Press poll for D-4, on Saturday night in the sectional final at Waukesha South.


ETHAN BRINKMAN of Howards Grove (left) attempts to keep possession as Dominican’s Austin Moutry goes for a steal in the sectional basketball finals Saturday night. – Review photos by Greg Ceilley ETHAN BRINKMAN of Howards Grove (left) attempts to keep possession as Dominican’s Austin Moutry goes for a steal in the sectional basketball finals Saturday night. – Review photos by Greg Ceilley For the Tigers, reality set in at the opening tip and for all intents and purposes Dominican’s 27-4 lead after the first quarter was the end of the game as the Knights cruised to a 77- 52 win. The Knights, 23-3, earned a trip to UW-Madison’s Kohl Center to meet an undefeated (26-0) Eau Claire Regis team, ranked No. 3 by the coaches and No. 1 by the AP, in semifinal action on Thursday.

The Tigers finished the season 20- 6, matching the record of the 2012 team that also reached the sectional finals but lost to Dominican, 78-47.

“We got good looks in the first quarter but we came out timid. We practiced 7-on-5 this week, but you can’t simulate their trap or what it’s like playing against someone who’s 6-10,’’ said HGHS head coach Eric Worth.


DERRICK GRIMM (2) and Ethan Brinkman of Howards Grove (above) console each other toward the end of the Tigers’ loss to Dominican in the sectional basketball finals Saturday night. DERRICK GRIMM (2) and Ethan Brinkman of Howards Grove (above) console each other toward the end of the Tigers’ loss to Dominican in the sectional basketball finals Saturday night. “It’s hard when you are giving up nearly a foot in height. I came out timid in the first but felt better in the second,” said senior forward Trent Beninghaus, the Tigers’ tallest starter at 6-3 as compared to the Knights who started senior forwards Stone and Goode at 6-10 and 6-8. respectively.

Dominican scored first in the second quarter – opening the lead to 30-4 – but Ethan Brinkman was in no mood to be embarrassed by the Knights. Brinkman ignited an 8-0 spurt on a put-back following an offensive rebound and made the free throw he earned from drawing a foul on the play. He followed up with a three-point basket and started a break following a defensive rebound. Pushing the ball up court, Brinkman found Dakota Rabe for a layup and 32-12 Dominican lead.

Goode hit a 10-foot jumper for the Knights but Brinkman went back to work as he drove to the hoop and threw a kick-out pass to a wide-open Jonah Gerber who connected for three.

On the next Tigers’ possession Brinkman hit another three-pointer after a wild scramble following a Knight’s blocked shot. Kostas Antetokounmpo responded with a three of his own to give the Knights their 39-18 halftime lead.

“Coach didn’t design any plays for me. I had to do something to help the team,” said senior guard Brinkman about taking over the game in the second quarter.

He led the Tigers with 18 points, grabbed three rebounds and dished out three assists. Andrew Reinemann added three assists to match Brinkman for the team lead.

“Ethan is a senior leader. He is a gamer and wants the ball. He makes plays. He was a bright spot when we got down 27-4.”

“We are a family and stayed together. Our slogan all year has been ‘Can’t stop, won’t stop,’ ” said Worth.

The second half saw the Tigers continue to work hard against the Knights’ trap and interior size advantage but Stone always lurked in the middle while Austin Moutry and Tywon Bessler, Jr., added intense man-to-man pressure on the Tigers’ guards.

Stone led the Knights with a game-high 25 points, 16 rebounds and seven blocks. Moutry dished out five assists and Bressler, Jr. added four steals to lead the Knights.

Offensively in the second half, the Tigers continued to work the ball around the perimeter working for an open shot or drive to the hoop and pushed the ball up court whenever they could after a defensive rebound.

All game long, the Tigers worked to get a body on Stone and the Knights, playing as physical as they could. Defensively, the team changed from their traditional manto man defense to a zone and double and triple-teamed Stone when he got the ball in the lane.

“We played man-to-man all year, but you can’t play that against them with Stone and Goode inside and their shooters on the perimeter,” said Worth.

“We were more physical than we’ve been all year. You have to play physical against those guys. You try to get a body on them and draw a foul,” said Beninghaus.

“There was a lot of emotion. We got a lot of support from the fans,” said Brinkman about the Tigers’ fans who were loud and energized throughout the game, regardless of the deficit.

“We got off to a really good start tonight which really helped us a lot,” said Knight head coach Derek Berger.

“I give Howards Grove a lot of credit. They played us tough and they never quit. Our size was a big factor and it’s been a factor for most of our games. We’re long and athletic and can cover some ground with that.

“Overall, I thought we played real well. Diamond did a good job of maintaining his composure inside, finishing and knocking down some free throws,” said Berger.

Stone was 5-for-5 at the foul line and an impressive 10-for-16 (63 percent) from the field.

“Austin did a good job of denying Brinkman in the second half,” said the Knight coach.

“No matter what the score was or what the momentum swing was, we didn’t give up,” said Tiger senior guard Zach Fritz.

“We had never seen anything like that before [in an opponent]. They were big. We were a little star-struck at first. After the first quarter, we really dug in and came back.

“Once we started hitting shots, we knew we could hang with them and that gave us a few runs we had. Dominican played really well. They’re probably the best team I’ve ever faced,” said Fritz.

Score by Quarters
Howards Grove…....4 14 15 19 – 52
Dominican..............27 12 20 18 – 77
Howards Grove scoring: Derrick
Grimm 6, Zach Fritz 5, Devin Gallenberger 2, Luke Stanczyk 4, Andrew
Reinemann 2, Sam Scholten 1, Ethan
Brinkman 18, Jonah Gerber 5, Trent Beninghaus 5, Jordan Miller 4. Three-point
goals: Brinkman 3, Fritz 1, Gerber 1.
Dominican scoring: Jason Boothe
3, Jon Morris 2, Ralen Brown 3, Austin Moutry 8, Chris Fuller 2, Garrison

Goode 7, Tyson Bressler Jr. 18, Jake
Bennett 3, Diamond Stone 25, Kostas Antetokounmpo 3, Will Jelacic 3.
Three-point goals: Moutry 3, Bressler
Jr. 1, Bennett 1, Antetokounmpo 1,
Boothe 1, Jelacic 1.
Field goals: Dominican 31-54, 57%;
Howards Grove 19-48, 41%. Free
throws: Dominican 7-13, 54%; Howards Grove: 9-14, 64%.
Rebounds: Dominican 25, Howards
Grove 18. Turnovers: Dominican 8,
Howards Grove 15.


Most recent cover pages:














Copyright 2009-2018 The Plymouth Review, All Rights Reserved

Contact Information

113 E. Mill St., Plymouth WI 53073
Local: 920-893-6411 Toll Free: 1-877-467-6591
Fax: 920-893-5505