The West Central Area Knights were clicking on all cylinders in a 65-34 win over the Hillcrest Comets which gave Coach Kraig Hunter his 300th career coaching win in Fergus Falls on Tuesday night.
The Knights held a slim 24-20 lead until exploding on an 11-1 run to end the first half taking a 35-21 lead. The Knights started on a 10-4 run to go up 45-25 and then another 17-2 run to go up 62-27.
"We were really active defensively and our talking and communication were great," said Hunter. "One of our game keys was limiting their leading scorer Gabe Preston from hitting threes as he is a deadly shooter. We held him to zero points which really helped. On offense we played strong with the basketball only committing five turnovers on the night. Good team passing led to another 57% from the field. All of the players in our rotation played well and contributed. Our bench and depth is really coming on strong."
The Knights hit 25-44 field goals and 6-10 three-pointers. They also made 9-14 free throws. Hillcrest shot 45% on 14-31 and hit 1-5 threes and 5-12 free throws. The Knights forced 14 Comet turnovers and held a slim 22-21 rebounding edge.
Contributors for the Knights were Dawson Staples with 20 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals; Logan Paulson 10 points and 7 rebounds, Logan Nadgwick 8 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals; Jack VanKempen 8 points, 3 steals, 2 assists, 1 rebound and 1 blocked shot; Brady Sabolik 7 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals; Nathan Kaye 5 points, 1 rebound, and 1 steal; Jacob Bright 3 points, 1 rebound, 1 assists; Ross Anderson 2 points, 3 rebounds, and 5 assists; and Colton Wutzke 2 points, 2 assists, 1 steal.
Scoring for the Comets were Eric Konynenbelt with 14 points, Sander Frustol with 10, Zak Zwiers 6, Sam Ihrke 2, and Nick Foss 2. Preston distributed 4 assists to lead the Comets and Konynenbelt had a team high 5 rebounds. Hillcrest shot 41% (14-34) for the game, but made only 1-of-7 (14%) on 3's and 5-of-11 (45%) on free throws.
"The Knights set the tone of the game early with tough, physical and disciplined defensive execution," commented Hillcrest Head Coach Gregg Preston. "Coach Hunter's group also shot the ball well, positioned better that we did in the paint, outrebounded us and played a fantastic basketball game tonight."
West Central Area (9-6) recorded their fourth straight win and will host Hancock Monday night in the first of four straight home games for the Knights.
Hillcrest (6-5) will travel to Brandon to face the Brandon-Evansville Chargers on Friday and will host Oak Grove on Saturday at 5:30pm.