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Boys Basketball

Potter County pace produces victory over Ethan

Potter County’s Seth Sharp, second from the left, reaches for the ball as teammate Grant Luikens, right, gives chase with Ethan’s Kory Storm, center and Taite Klumb, far left, during their Class B SoDak 16 game Tuesday night in Redfield. Photo by John Davis taken 3/8/2022

REDFIELD – Potter County punched its ticket to the State B tournament by punching the accelerator Tuesday night.

The Battlers raced up and down the court on the way to a 78-47 SoDak 16 boys’ basketball win over Ethan in Redfield. The frenetic tempo is something Potter County tries to use to its advantage.

“We take a lot of pride in that. We’ve been doing that for years since I’ve been there,” said Potter County coach Bryce Hall. “It’s the caliber of kids we have. It says a lot about their work ethic and what they believe.”

As is usually the case, the Battlers came out and pressed Ethan at every opportunity, even on their owned missed shots. Soon, the pace was going full-force, just like Potter County wants.

“We just run, run, run. It’s hard on a guy, but a lot of teams struggle with the fast pace and the way we play,” said Potter County senior Grant Luikens. “It’s kind of funny to watch teams struggle with it, when we’re just all over the place.”

Luikens was a factor all night long and finished with 27 points and 16 rebounds.

The Battlers bolted out to a 15-3 lead to start the game. While Ethan missed numerous high-percentage shots, the Rustlers undoubtedly rushed a few attempts after getting caught up in the tempo of the contest.

“Our goal going into every game is to control our game, to play our game, to do our pace and not let them control the game,” said Battlers’ senior Seth Sharp. “They’ve got plays out there. Our goal is to step in front of their plays, not let them run their plays, go out there and do what we do.”

The Rustlers eventually sliced a 20-point deficit down to 10 points late in the third quarter, before the Battlers responded with 11 unanswered points. Hall said it was his team’s defense that fueled the victory.

“Our three-point ball was gone tonight, not like it has been the last five games,” he said, “but we were able to get it back with defense.”

And of course, the pace that the Battlers always seem to establish.

“A lot of teams try to slow the game on us, and we don’t like that at all,” Luikens said, “so, we just try to pick the pace up, and them get out of their comfort zone, and just play from there.”

Potter County players hoist their State Qualifier trophy after defeating Ethan in a Class B SoDak 16 game Tuesday night in Redfield. Photo by John Davis taken 3/8/2022

Cooper Logan added 25 points to the Potter County total. Sharp scored 10 points and helped to set the tone inside with five offensive rebounds.

“It’s getting in there, it’s being physical, it’s doing the hard work, man,” Sharp said of rebounding. “It’s doing the dirty work. You have to go in there and do what you do.”

Jay Storm’s 17 points topped Ethan.

Potter County, 22-1, will have a chance to avenge its only loss of the season when it faces Aberdeen Christian in the opening round of the State B tourney at 1:45 p.m. Thursday, March 17 at Wachs Arena.

ETHAN (16-7): Kaden Klumb 1 1-2 3, Jay Storm 7 2-4 17, Riley Endres 6 4-5 16, Taite Klumb 1 0-0 2, Kody Klumb 2 2-2 7, Kory Storm 1 0-2 2. Totals 18-47 9-15 47.

POTTER COUNTY (22-1): Cooper Logan 10 2-3 25, Logan Decker 2 0-0 4, Seth Sharp 4 2-2 10, Grant Luikens 9 8-14 27, Drake Bassett 3 0-0 6, Colin Arbach 1 0-0 2, Alex Tanner 1 0-0 2, Skyler VanWell 1 0-0 2. Totals 31-61 12-19 78.

Ethan 3 15 30 47

Potter County 15 35 55 78

3-point field goals – J. Storm, Kody Klumb; Logan 3, Luikens. Fouled out – Endres. Total fouls – Ethan 18; Potter County 17. Rebounds – Ethan 29 (Storm 6); Potter County 41 (Luikens 17). Turnovers – Ethan 17; Potter County 9.

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