Tigers earn Big East Tourney championship

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff


BRYCE PEDRIN of Howards Grove attempts a shot over Ozaukee’s Mike Street (middle) and Nathan LeSage in Saturday’s BEC Basketball Tournament finals. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley BRYCE PEDRIN of Howards Grove attempts a shot over Ozaukee’s Mike Street (middle) and Nathan LeSage in Saturday’s BEC Basketball Tournament finals. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley HOWARDS GROVE – Dominance on the boards and a rocksolid defense propelled the Howards Grove Tigers to a 58-39 win over Ozaukee in the championship game of the inaugural Big East Conference Boys Basketball Tournament Saturday afternoon at Lakeland College.

The No. 1-seeded Tigers, who also won the regular-season BEC title, raised their record to 18-3 and ran their winning streak to an impressive 13. HGHS was 13-0 in the regular BEC season. The No. 2-seeded Warriors dropped to 14- 6.

HGHS held a 46-27 rebounding advantage, including a 16-7 edge on offense. Senior 5-foot-5 point guard Derrick Grimm led the Tigers in rebounding with a career- high 11. Grimm also chipped in 15 points.

The Tigers’ man-to-man defense did an excellent job on senior forward Michael Richter, the Warriors’ leading scorer this season with a 20.9 points-per-game average. Keyed by excellent helpdefense,

HGHS held Richter to only 13 (a team-high) – just four in the first half. Richter had few uncontested shots as the Tigers swarmed on him almost every time he got the ball in the freethrow lane area.

Senior guard/forward Devin Gallenberger paced the Tigers in scoring with 18 and Caleb Holzman hit 12.

Gallenberger also pulled down seven rebounds and had a teamhigh four assists and two steals. Eric Reinemann contributed three assists.

“I’m really proud of our team. We’ve worked well all season,” said Gallenberger about his team winning both BEC titles.

“We played really well and got out in transition. Our main focus was to stop Richter and we did that. We closed the gaps and forced other people to make plays. We boxed out well and crashed the offensive glass well.


DERRICK GRIMM of Howards Grove closely guards Ozaukee’s Avery Clark in Saturday’s BEC Basketball Tournament finals. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley DERRICK GRIMM of Howards Grove closely guards Ozaukee’s Avery Clark in Saturday’s BEC Basketball Tournament finals. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley “It was a total team effort. Everyone contributed in any way they could,” said Gallenberger.

The Tigers used a 10-0 run in the first half to take a 12-4 lead at the 11:42 mark and they would stay ahead the rest of the game. Gallenberger and Holzman scored four points each to key the spurt. Gallenberger hit a short jumper and a driving layup while Holzman made a layup and a follow-up basket.

The Tigers led 25-15 at halftime. HGHS broke the game open with an 11-2 tear in the second half, capped off by Grimm’s rebound basket off his own miss. The Tigers now led 47-31 with 6:31 left. Grimm and Holzman scored four each to lead the way during the stretch and Gallenberger sank a three-pointer.

“I’m very proud of the kids. They worked hard to get to this point. I’m very pleased with what they came out here and did today,” said Tiger head coach Eric Worth about his team winning the tourney.

“The rebounding was enormous. That was the bottom line. I thought we attacked their 3-2 zone well overall.

“Grimm is amazing and a lot of fun to watch. He’s a big reason why we’ve been successful this year.

“It’s awesome to go undefeated all season in the conference,” Worth said.

“I don’t think we had a good game and Howards played well. That’s not a good combination, especially when you’re playing a good team,” said Warrior head coach Isaiah Ketterhagen.

“We had a really poor-shooting game. I think Howards played really well and us not as well as we are capable, however I think some of that has to do with Howards’ defense. We couldn’t get a lot to fall for us offensively, so that was frustrating.

“I thought they beat us up in both categories [rebounding and defense]. It was a pretty physical game and they are a lot deeper then us,” said Ketterhagen.

Richter and Nathan LeSage led Ozaukee in rebounds with six each.


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