Eagles top Patriots in semifinals
John Rittenhouse photo
Hills-Beaver Creek senior Dalton Bass draws a foul as he drives to the basket during Thursday's South Section 3A Tournament game against Southwest Christian in Worthington.

The 2012-13 basketball season came to an end for the Hills-Beaver Creek boys during Thursday’s South Section 3A Tournament semifinals in Worthington.

H-BC, the tournament’s fourth seed, challenged the top-seeded Southwest Christian Eagles for berth in the Saturday’s championship game in Marshall.

The weekend trip went to SWC, which topped the Patriots for the third time this winter by handing H-BC a 70-52 setback.

H-BC ends the season with a 14-11 record.

The Patriots put up a good fight during the first 12 minutes of the game.

SWC scored the first four points of the game and sported a five-point (9-4) advantage 1:30 into the contest.

H-BC answered the challenge in the following minutes, when senior Jeff Sandbulte knotted the score at nine with a field goal before giving the Patriots their first lead of the night (12-11) with another field goal at the 11:14 mark of the opening half.

The Eagles scored the next six points to open a five-point lead (17-11) with 8:50 remaining.

H-BC trimmed the difference to four points at three different occasions before SWC went on a 8-1 run to open an 11-point lead (29-18) with 51 seconds left in the stanza.

H-BC senior Jon Gallagher trimmed the difference to eight points (29-21) when he capped scoring the first half by sinking one free throw with 4.3 seconds left.

SWC put the game away early in the second half.

The Eagles canned a pair of three-point shots in the first 40 seconds of the half to open a 36-21 cushion.

SWC put together a 17-8 run to extend the difference to 23 points (52-29) with 12:31 left to play.

H-BC trailed by 17 (52-35) when Carey Taubert converted a field goal and the difference was 16 points (54-38) when Sandbulte canned a three with 8:41 remaining.

SWC didn’t lead by less than 16 points the rest of the night.

A 10-0 surge gave the Eagles a 64-38 advantage with 7:08 left to play, ending H-BC’s chances to stage a comeback.

Courtesy of Sandbulte, the game did contain a little more excitement for the H-BC faithful.

Needing to score 26 points in the game to reach the 1,000-point mark for his career, the chances of it happening looked bleak when Sandbulte had netted 22 points with less than one minute remaining.

Sandbulte, however, scored four points late in the game and reached the milestone when he turned a steal into a layup with five seconds left to play.

Sandbulte and Taubert led the Patriots offensively by netting 26 and 11 points respectively.

Gallagher pulled down nine rebounds and blocked one shot for the Patriots, while Dalton Bass charted three assists.

Box score

Gehrke 2 0 0-0 4, Ellingson 1 0 0-0 2, Bass 1 0 0-0 2, Wagenaar 0 0 0-0 0, Sandbulte 9 2 2-4 26, Wilhelmi 0 0 0-0 0, Kerkhove-Brandt 0 0 0-0 0, Taubert 4 0 3-4 11, Gallagher 3 0 1-4 7.

Team statistics

H-BC: 22 of 40 field goals (55 percent), six of 12 free throws (50 percent), 22 rebounds, 18 turnovers.

SWC: 26 of 57 field goals (55 percent), 11 of 20 free throws (55 percent), 24 rebounds, three turnovers.

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