BARRETT — The West Central Area boys’ basketball lost a heartbreaking 60-58 defeat to the Norman County East/Ulen-Hitterdal Titans on Friday night in Barrett. Knight
“We haven’t played in 10 days due to weather and when we finally played, we played one of our better games of the year,” Knights head coach Kraig Hunter said. “We showed more fight tonight than we have all year. We outplayed a very good and big Titans team in many areas and had the game won three times but couldn’t convert free throws down the stretch. We are proud of our defense, rebounding, fight and team play.”
The score was tied at 52-52 at the end of regulation. The Knights held a 55-52 lead for much of the first overtime but after some missed free throw attempts, the Titans 6’6 sophomore sensation Broden Lien hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 55-55. The Knights led 58-57 late in the game when Lien hit another shot to put the Titans up 59-58. The Knights were fouled with four seconds left but missed both free throws again. The Titans added one more free throw to seal the 60-58 victory.
Overall the Knights hit 18-40 shots for 45 percent and 6-13 threes for 46 percent. The Titans hit 22-52 shots for 42 percent and 7-18 threes for 39 percent.
The Knights outrebounded the bigger Titans 33-29. From the free throw line the Knights were 16-25 and the Titans 9-17.
Scoring for the Knights was Grant Beuckens with 18, Jack VanKempen 11, Gage Stapes 9, Tate Christenson 7, Gavin Paulson 5, Teigen Moritz 4, and Jacob Bright 4.
Staples and VanKempen led the rebounding effort with 10 and 9 respectively with Beuckens also grabbing 6. Bright and Staples each had 3 assists and Bright, Beuckens and VanKempen all had 3 steals.
Scoring for the Titans were Broden Lien with 27 points, Noah Klementson with 12, Steffen Sather with 9, Ross Jirik 8, and Kade McCollum 4.