Patriots bow out of tourney
John Rittenhouse photo
Senior Taylor Wingert tossed in a team-high 13 points during Saturday's 67-45 loss to Wabasso in Worthington.

A spirited effort went unrewarded when the Hills-Beaver Creek girls challenged Wabasso in the quarterfinal round of the South Section 3A Girls’ Basketball Tournament Saturday in Worthington.

The eighth-seeded Patriots drew the unenviable task of taking on No. 1 Wabasso for a chance to advance to Tuesday’s semifinals.

Wabasso earned the right to play another game by upending H-BC 67-45, but it took a late run by the Rabbits to settle the issue.

After controlling play throughout the game’s first half to open a 34-19 lead at the intermission, the Rabbits found themselves on the verge of being in trouble when the Patriots trimmed the difference to eight points with 7:05 left to play.

H-BC, however, slipped out of contention when Wabasso outscored the Patriots 18-4 the rest of the way to seal a 22-point win.

The loss caps H-BC’s 7-18 season.

A strong start to the second half featuring a 22-15 scoring advantage in the first 11:55 of the stanza enabled the Patriots to make things interesting.

H-BC trimmed Wabasso’s lead to nine points at three different occasions before Madison Fick buried a three-point shot at the 7:05 mark to make it an eight-point (49-41) difference.

The Patriots seemed to run out of gas at that point.

Wabasso regained control of the game by putting together an 18-4 run that left the Rabbits sporting a 64-43 lead with 1:36 left to play.

A 3-2 scoring edge in the final 1:30 clinched a 22-point win for Wabasso.

The Rabbits scored the first eight points of the first half on the way to building an 11-2 lead.

A three-point shot from H-BC’s Taylor Wingert made it an 11-5 game, but the Rabbits countered with an 11-0 run to extend their lead to 17 points (22-5) with 10:10 remaining.

After H-BC sliced the lead down to 12 points (24-12) with a three-point shot from Fick, the Rabbits used a 10-1 surge to gain their biggest lead (34-13) of the first half with 4:13 left.

H-BC closed the half with a 6-0 spurt capped by two free throws from Avery Van Roekel to make at 34-19 game at the intermission.

Wingert led the Patriots with 13 points, while Kelli Esselink turned in a 12-rebound, four-blocked shot effort.

Fick and Megan Westrum recorded six and three assists respectively.

Box score

Klarenbeek 0 0 0-0 0, Fick 1 2 0-1 8, Bork 1 1 2-2 7, Westrum 1 1 0-1 5, Wingert 4 1 2-2 13, Esselink 1 0 2-4 4, Van Roekel 0 0 5-8 5, Van Wyhe 0 1 0-0 3.

Team statistics

H-BC: 14 of 35 free throws (40 percent), 11 of 18 free throws (61 percent), 25 rebounds, 32 turnovers.

Wabasso: 19 of 51 field goals (37 percent), 25 of 34 free throws (74 percent), 23 rebounds, 12 turnovers.

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