Kohler edges Tigers in BEC Tourney finals

by Greg Ceilley
of The Review staff


AUSTIN BENDER of Howards Grove drives to the hoop as teammate Eric Reinemann follows in Saturday’s BEC Basketball Tournament finals versus Kohler. – Photo by Terry Schaller AUSTIN BENDER of Howards Grove drives to the hoop as teammate Eric Reinemann follows in Saturday’s BEC Basketball Tournament finals versus Kohler. – Photo by Terry Schaller HOWARDS GROVE – The Howards Grove Tigers had a tough shooting night and it cost them as they lost, 48- 45, to Kohler in the Big East Conference Boys Basketball Tournament Gold Division championship game here Saturday night.

A combination of cold shooting and a tenacious Blue Bomber defense added up to only 34-percent field-goal shooting for the Tigers.

“Kohler did a nice job [on defense] taking some of the things away from us that we normally do and get as the game goes on. They deserve credit and congratulations on winning the tournament,” said Tiger head coach Wade Georgeff.

The Tigers, who won the BEC regular-season title with a 13-0 record, are 20-2 going into the playoffs which start next week. Kohler, which lost the BEC tourney’s third-place game to HG last year, upped its record to 18-3.


ERIC REINEMANN of Howards Grove attempts to score over Kohler’s Tyler Roeder in Saturday’s BEC Basketball Tournament finals. Looking on are Kohler’s Sean Farrell and HG’s Isaac Dirker. – Photo by Terry Schaller ERIC REINEMANN of Howards Grove attempts to score over Kohler’s Tyler Roeder in Saturday’s BEC Basketball Tournament finals. Looking on are Kohler’s Sean Farrell and HG’s Isaac Dirker. – Photo by Terry Schaller Leading 48-45, Kohler missed two free throws with 9.6 seconds remaining which left the door open for the Tigers. The Tigers called a timeout near mid-court with 5.5 seconds showing.

Austin Bender’s threepoint attempt from the top of the arc was off the mark and the Bombers held on to earn their first BEC tourney crown. The BEC is in its third season of existence.

The Bombers sank seven free throws in the final 2:31 which was huge in closing out the victory.

Tiger senior forward Eric Reinemann had an impressive double-double with a team-high 27 points and 17 rebounds. He exploded for 17 of his team’s 25 points in the second half.

“Eric had a heck of a game and did all he could to carry us. He made some big plays that kept us in the game,” said Georgeff.

“Jack Baldwin [junior guard] did a nice job holding Ben Maki to eight points but our other guys need to step up and win their one-on-one match- ups.”

Sophomore guard Carter Gebler spearheaded a balanced Kohler offense with 16 points.

“I’m really thrilled for our seniors. They’ve put in a lot of time and have been good leaders in working with our younger kids,” said Kohler head coach Ken Roeder.

“We just found a way to get it done tonight. A lot of people contributed in a lot of ways. A lot of guys plugged up the lane and rebounded the ball.

“Our rebounding and defense were really important because if you let them into the paint they’re going to kill you,” said Roeder.

“I really like their team a lot. They have a really good group of guys.”


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