Backcourt bonanza

Published 8:18 am Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The senior backcourt of Spencer Busho and Brett Hagen combined for six points in the first half for the New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva boys’ basketball team, but in the second half Hagen scored 11 points and Busho 13 to help lead the Panthers past Hayfield 60-55 Tuesday in the first round of the 2AA subsection playoffs in New Richland.

Busho and Hagen combined for 30 points to help give NRHEG (20-7) a perimeter game and take some pressure off senior Cory Camerer in the post. Camerer finished with a game-high 20 points and 12 rebounds, but his ability to sense the double team coming and find the open man helped the third-seeded Panthers rally from a five-point halftime deficit against the sixth-seeded Vikings.

“We played more disciplined in the second half,” said NRHEG head coach Brian Riley. “We weren’t taking as many quick shots. We were getting the ball into the post and he was kicking it out for the open jumper. For us to be successful that’s what we have to do.”

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The Panthers bounced back after suffering back-to-back losses to end the regular season. Prior to the final two games NRHEG had won six consecutive games and hadn’t taken back-to-back losses since the first week in February.

Busho and Hagen sparked NRHEG from the start in the second half. Hagen hit a 3-pointer from the top of the arc to start the half. Busho and Hagen combined to score nine of the Panthers first 11 points and made it a one-point game a little more than four minutes into the half.

“They were just trailing screens and I found myself open a lot,” Hagen said.

Hagen scored seven of those points, but Busho came on late to seal the victory.

Busho hit a 3-pointer with the game tied at 38 and less than eight minutes to play to give NRHEG a lead it never surrendered.

Busho stretched it to a six-point lead with another 3-pointer two minutes later.

After being held to 18 points in the first half, the NRHEG offense flourished in the second half for 42 points and Hagen said an attitude adjustment on offense helped get it started.

“Cory was making the right passes out for people hitting 3s like Spencer,” Hagen said.

The Panthers rallied from a foul-filled first half where two NRHEG players picked up three fouls and gave the Vikings 16 free throw attempts. Hayfield (11-15) made 10 of those attempts and held a five-point lead.

Four Vikings scored in double figures with Tanner Kramer leading the team with 15 points. Kody Kramer scored 13, Brady Kramer 11 and Tyler Krekling 10.

The Panthers move on to face Maple River Thursday in Mapleton, a team NRHEG beat 56-54 in the first game of the season.

The Eagles (22-5) have been on tear since January. Maple River won 13 consecutive games during January and has won 16 of its past 18 games. 

“I think we can get them,” Hagen said. “We got them the first time and we didn’t play very good.”

NRHEG 60, Hayfield 55

Hayfield 23 32 — 55

NRHEG 18 42 — 60

Hayfield scoring: Tanner Kramer 15, Kody Kramer 13, Brady Kramer 11, Tyler Krekling 10, Tyler Anderson 4, Nathan Conroy 2.

NRHEG scoring: Cory Camerer 20, Spencer Busho 15, Brett Hagen 15, Tyler Firme 4, Evan Ferber 4, Trevor Spooner 2.