Knights top Wolverines; Hallman surpasses 1,000 points
Published 10:04 pm Friday, February 13, 2015
ALDEN — A layup with 62 seconds left in regulation sent the crowd into a frenzy.
The basket pushed senior guard Eli Hallman past 1,000 career points and capped the Alden-Conger boys’ basketball team’s 80-58 win Friday over Glenville-Emmons.
“I didn’t think I’d get it tonight, but it was great to have, especially against a rival,” said Eli.
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The Knights hadn’t produced a 1,000-point scorer for 19 years, and Eli is the third player to break the barrier since the school’s mascot was changed from the Blackhawks, said Alden-Conger head coach Bob Hansen.
“The kids know he’s been working for this, and they were looking for him,” Hansen said. “Team play rewards players who can score, and we proved that tonight,” he said.
After Eli was congratulated by Hansen, he hugged his father, Knights assistant coach Matt Hallman.
“For me to be here as a coach, it’s just so exciting and a lot of fun,” said Matt.
According to Matt, Eli is his first immediate family member to score more than 1,000 points. Two of Eli’s siblings — Sam and Katie Hallman — were less than 50 points away. Sam is a 2008 graduate, and Katie graduated two years later.
Before tipoff, Hallman needed 26 points to cross the scoring hurdle. He finished with a game-high 28 points.
“I was going to be happy if he scored 20, so it wouldn’t be as much pressure the next game, but he had a heck of a game,” Matt said.
Eli said he lost track of how many points he needed, but his dad’s facial expression provided a clue.
“When he gave me that look, I knew I was close,” Eli said. “He just kept shaking his head and basically egging me on.”
On the season, Eli leads the Knights with an average of 15 points per game. The senior said he’s considering three colleges: Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, where he could play basketball; the University of Sioux Falls, where he has an academic scholarship; and North Iowa Area Community College.
Eli’s brother, Jordan Hallman, a junior, also made an impact with a team-high nine rebounds to go with nine points.
Knights pull away from Wolverines late in 1st half
Neither team distanced itself from the other in the first 10 minutes, and Alden-Conger clung to a one-possession lead, 15-13.
However, Alden-Conger’s Ty Lerum buried a 3-pointer with 7:38 left in the first half that started a 21-10 run by the Knights before halftime.
Derek Van Ryswyk led Glenville-Emmons in the first half with nine points.
“Offensively we’ve been getting better,” said Wolverines coach Jared Matson. “We’ve been getting the shots we want. We just need to play better defense.”
With 11:37 left in the second half, the Knights extended their lead to 20 points on a 3-pointer by Eli. Glenville-Emmons responded with a pair of 3-pointers by Carter Dahlum, but the Wolverines were unable to cut their deficit to single digits.
In addition to Eli’s game-high 28 points, he had seven rebounds, five assists, three steals and a block. Colton Opsahl led the Knights with 12 points in the first half and finished with 22. Jacob Wallin added 11 points and five rebounds. In 25 games this season, Wallin averages a double-double with 10.4 points and 11.3 rebounds.
Van Ryswyk scored a team-high 18 points for the Wolverines and grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds. Dahlum scored 16 points, and Danny Charron added 12 points and six boards.
The previous four meetings between Glenville-Emmons and Alden-Conger were decided by five points or fewer.
“It’s nice to widen the gap,” Hansen said. “I give our guys the credit for their hard work.”
Alden-Conger (13-12, 6-8 2A) took the eighth seed out of 10 teams in the Subsection 2A South bracket. The subsection has a log jam of teams with similar records seeded Nos. 4 through 8. For example, the Knights have a better overall record than No. 4-seed Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton (12-14, 6-6 2A).
In the first round of the postseason, Alden-Conger will host No. 9-seed Heron Lake-Okabena (7-14, 0-4 2A) at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Official brackets have not been updated by the Minnesota State High School League for Section 1A, but Glenville-Emmons’ QRF ranking has the team as a No. 9 seed in a 10-team bracket. The No. 8 seed in the section will host the No. 9 seed at 7 p.m Tuesday.