The West Central Area Knights put up a good fight in Battle Lake on Thursday, but the Battlers offense was just too much. The Battlers hit 24-47 shots for 51% and made 11-13 free throws for 85%, recording a 62-44 win over the Knights in the Section 6A South sub-section playoffs.
Knight Coach Kraig Hunter said, "Our kids executed our game plan and played good defense not giving them any easy looks. Unfortunate for us, is that Eric VanErp can rise up and hit contested shots even against contact. It was their night, their other players also made several tough shots. We managed to stay in the game at 51-42 late, but had to start gambling and fouling and they were able to end the game with a couple of layups and eight free throws. We were proud of our kids for the way they competed."
The Knights hit 16-45 shots for 36% and 6-9 free throws. Both teams had 28 rebounds and both teams took good care of the ball with the Battlers only committing 5 turnovers and the Knights 10.
Scoring for the Knights were Brady Sabolik with 13, Logan Paulson with 9, Jacob Bright 6, Aaron Wiese 6, Dawson Staples 6, Jake Combs 2, and Caden Fernholz 2. Paulson was the rebounding leader with 9 and Combs and Ross Anderson each had 4. Anderson was the assist leader with 2 and Sabolik led in steals with 2.
Van Erp poured in 30 points for the Battlers followed by Isaiah Dorn with 15, Bennett Cameron with 11, Jared Scholten 4, and Colton Kirschbaum with 2. VanErp had 6 rebounds, Dorn 5 and Scholten 5. Cameron dished out 5 assists and Scholten had 4.
“I thought we played a pretty solid all-around game tonight,” said Battle Lake Head Coach Dan Peterka. “West Central is a good basketball team and a tough team to play the first round of the tournament. Defensively, we did a nice job with our positioning and our help defense. Offensively, we showed good patience and moved the ball well. I am very happy with our effort tonight.”
Battle Lake will face Parkers Prairie at 2:45pm Saturday at UM-Morris.