Tigers rout Resorters to win outright BEC title unbeaten

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff


DANTE MILLER of Elkhart Lake tries to find an open teammate while being pressured by Howards Grove’s Gavin Winter in Friday’s BEC basketball game. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley DANTE MILLER of Elkhart Lake tries to find an open teammate while being pressured by Howards Grove’s Gavin Winter in Friday’s BEC basketball game. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley HOWARDS GROVE – The Howards Grove Tigers earned the undisputed Big East Conference boys basketball crown with a 65-20 rout over Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah on Senior Night here Friday.

The Tigers, ranked No. 3 in last week’s Associated Press Division 4 poll, finished the BEC regular season with a 13-0 record and improved to 17-1 overall.

“We accomplished one of our goals – going undefeated in the conference while winning the regular season. I’m extremely proud of the guys and the work they put in,” said Tiger head coach Wade Georgeff.

“It was a great team effort. Everyone contributed and in the ways they know best.”

“It was Senior Night and all five seniors [Eric Reinemann, Derek Stauss, Sam Sixel, Isaac Dirker and Austin Bender] started the game. They played with enthusiasm and a lot of energy,” said Georgeff.

The Resorters led 3-0 after Dante Miller hit a three-pointer. The Tigers then reeled off 23 unanswered points to go up 23-3 lead at the 5:15 mark in the first half. Isaac Dirker and Dalton Free scored five points each, including one three-ball apiece, to lead the run.

Elkhart committed seven turnovers, many caused by the Tigers’ tenacious man-to-man defense, during the 23-0 run.

The Resorters struggled mightily to get open shots and penetrate HG’s defense. The Resorters relied on mostly perimeter shots in the first half and had little success as they fell behind 29-8 at halftime.

For the game, the Resorters shot a paltry 22 percent (8 of 36) from the field.

Blake Pedrin led a balanced HG attack with 13 points, including three treys. The Tigers buried nine three-pointers. Derek Stauss had a team-high five rebounds.

Dirker paced the Tigers in assists with four. Bender led in steals with two.

Caleb Broaddus led Elkhart in scoring with nine and boards, seven.

“Austin Bender did a great job of passing the ball and pushing it up the floor,” said Georgeff.

“They [Tigers] are a very solid team – big, long and athletic. Defensively, they are very sound,” said Resorter head coach Leroy Hamilton.

Elkhart (3-15 overall) finished the BEC regular season at 1-12.


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