Defense keys Tigers’ win in BEC Tourney opener

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff


DEVIN GALLENBERGER of Howards Grove races in for a layup off his steal, with Sheboygan Lutheran’s Joshua Splittgerber in pursuit at Tuesday’s BEC Basketball Tournament game. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley DEVIN GALLENBERGER of Howards Grove races in for a layup off his steal, with Sheboygan Lutheran’s Joshua Splittgerber in pursuit at Tuesday’s BEC Basketball Tournament game. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley HOWARDS GROVE – The Howards Grove Tigers cranked up their defense a few notches in the second half to propel them to a 64-53 win over Sheboygan Lutheran in the second round of the first Big East Conference Boys Basketball Tournament here Tuesday night.

HGHS, which led 26-21 at halftime, went on a 13-0 run to build a 43-25 lead midway with 13:55 left in the second half. Defense, which the Tigers have banked on all season, was the catalyst in the key spurt.

After Bryce Pedrin’s threepointer gave HGHS a 33-25 lead, the Crusaders had turnovers on three straight possessions which led to Tiger baskets. Derrick Grimm started the stretch for the Tigers with a steal and a threepoint play off an ensuing layup.

Grimm then stole the ball which led to a three-point play by Jordan Miller. Grimm followed with another steal which resulted in Devin Gallenberger’s layup off Grimm’s assist.

The run was climaxed by Pedrin’s fast-break layup after Eric Reinemann’s blocked shot set it up. The Tigers now led 43- 25 and were in control the rest of the game but the Crusaders wouldn’t go away quietly.

The Crusaders sliced the deficit to 46-38 at the 9:40 mark after a 13-3 spurt, keyed by Joshua Pingel’s two treys. Lutheran wasn’t able to cut into the lead further.

The No. 1-seeded Tigers, who won the regular-season BEC title, upped their overall record to 16-3 and made it 11 straight wins. The No. 8-seeded Crusaders slipped to 11-9.

HGHS will host fifth-seeded Sheboygan Christian in the semifinals Thursday, Feb. 18 at approximately 7:30 p.m. The fi- nals are set for Saturday at Lakeland College at 3 p.m.

Galllenberger scored a gamehigh 24 points and Miller hit 13. Reinemann had a team-high seven rebounds, followed by Pedrin and Miller with six each.

Grimm led HGHS in assists and steals with five each. Gallenberger contributed three steals.

Daniel Schimberg was Lutheran’s top scorer with 13 off the bench.

“I thought both teams played very hard from start to finish. Credit to Sheboygan Lutheran because every time we made a run, Sheboygan Lutheran would make a run of their own,” said Tiger head coach Eric Worth.

“Our defense really had some nice stretches in which we were able to force some turnovers and turn them into points. I think Derrick Grimm was a big part of that during a stretch in the second half. He brings that energy nonstop and gets into the gaps [on defense] and helps people out.

“Devin Gallenberger also had a pretty nice game for us, offensively,” said Worth.

“It was a good team effort,” said Grimm, a senior guard.

“The defense got our offense going. Getting some steals and getting out into transition is when we’re at our best.”

“Our defense kind of makes us get out and get going [on offense],” said Worth.

“Our kids came out pretty well-focused in the second half and it starts with defense.”


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