Tigers roll past Kohler for Big East win

by Matt Kraus
Review Co respondent

HOWARDS GROVE – The Howards Grove Tigers boys’ basketball team overcame a slow start to leave the HG gym with a convincing 61-39 victory over the Kohler Blue Bombers in Big East Conference play Friday night.

The Tigers improved to 7-2 in conference play (9-3 overall) and the Bombers fell to 5-3 (9-3 overall).

Tied at 18-18, the Tigers outscored the Bombers 14-0 over the final 3:36 of the first half to take control of the game with a 32-18 halftime lead.

Isaac Dirker started the scoring with a free throw and Caleb Holzman followed with a three-pointer to give the Tigers a 22-18 lead.

Malik Muhammad drove to the hoop for two and Bryce Pedrin hit a three-pointer, giving Howards Grove a 27-18 lead with 1:49 remaining.

Eric Reinemann grabbed an offensive rebound off of a Malik Muhammad missed free throw and found Pedrin open outside of the three-point arc. Pedrin hit the three to extend the Tigers’ lead to 30-18.

A steal and layup by Derek Stauss gave the Tigers their 32-18 halftime lead.

The Tigers scored on their first possession of the game but scoring over the next eight minutes was difficult for both teams. With 9:40 remaining the Bombers led 10-6 but the Tigers were about to make their move.

A three-pointer by Holzman cut the Tigers’ deficit to 10- but Kohler immediately responded as Charlie Kelly scored after grabbing an offensive rebound.

Two possessions later Pedrin hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 12-12. The teams played even until the 18-18 tie when the Tigers’ took control.

“We came out slow tonight which is something we seem to do every night. Tonight, we were able to make some threes to get us going,” said Tiger head coach Wade Georgeff.

“We saw some things on film that allowed us to get some more open looks from three and we were able to hit them.”

The Tigers finished the game with eight three-pointers, led by Pedrin and Holzman with three each.

The second half saw the Tigers continue to extend their lead – building it to as many as 24 points before the final buzzer and the 22-point victory.

Pedrin and Holzman led the Tigers’ scoring with with 17 and 13 points, respectively.

Derek Stauss led the Tigers in rebounds with seven. Eric Reinemann grabbed six rebounds and added nine points.

The Tigers’ defense collected nine steals, led by Muhammad and Peter Grimm grabbing two apiece.

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