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2A: It's No. 1 vs. No. 2 as Braham goes for 3

  • Article by: Ron Haggstrom and Roman Augustoviz
  • March 22, 2006 - 11:05 PM

Two-time defending champion Braham (29-2) and Pelican Rapids (30-2) -- teams that suffered their only losses this season to Class 4A or 3A opponents -- won by big margins on Wednesday in the upper-bracket Class 2A quarterfinals at Target Center. That sets up an intriguing meeting between the Bombers, the No. 1 team in the last Minnesota Basketball News' poll in 2A, and No. 2 Pelican Rapids at 6 p.m. Friday.

Breck and Dover-Eyota won in the lower-bracket games at Williams Arena.

A recap of the quarterfinals:

Breck 65, Pequot Lakes 57: Junior guard Marcus Hill scored 23 points, and Breck (24-6) overcame a nine-point deficit in the final 10 minutes to hand Pequot Lakes (28-1) its first loss of the season.

In the land of the giants, it was easy to lose track of Hill. The smallest starter on both teams at 5-9, he was even bigger than Pequot Lakes' 6-8 Jesse Fisher with the game on the line.

Hill sank a three-pointer with 4:58 remaining to tie the score 47-47, and found Thomas Smolenski open for another three-pointer on the following possession to give Breck the lead for good.

"I've said that we have the best-kept secret in Marcus," Breck coach John Gray said. "I think the secret is out."

Hill's basket following an offensive rebound two minutes later sealed Pequot Lakes' fate. Hill also had eight assists and six rebounds.

"I'm supposed to be the leader of the team," Hill said. "I'm just using my skills to make my teammates better."

Dover-Eyota 80, Maple River 64: Travis Meiners scored 18 of his 30 points in the first half when Dover-Eyota (28-1) built a 21-point cushion en route to a 16-point victory over Maple River (26-5).

The senior guard didn't waste any time setting the tone. He initiated Dover-Eyota's fast break from the opening possession.

"We created our offense off the fast break," Meiners said. "We felt we could run on them."

Meiners finished the first half 7-for-11, including making all three of his three-point attempts.

"We got off to a fast start," Meiners said. "That was one of our best first halves of the year."

Braham 76, New London-Spicer 52: The Bombers took a physical pounding -- they were fouled 24 times -- but kept making shots. Isaiah Dahlman scored 36 points and his brother Noah 20 to lead Braham. The Bombers led only 31-25 until Alex Bendickson's three-pointer with seven minutes left in the first half started a 14-4 run from which the Wildcats, led by Todd Herman's 19 points, never recovered.

The Wildcats (25-6), as many teams before them, could not stop 6-7 senior guard Isaiah Dahlman. He made three-pointers over shorter defenders, he spun in the lane for layups, he scored on fast breaks.

Isaiah Dahlman was 14-for- 23 from the field and 6-for-10 at the foul line, and he also had 11 rebounds and three steals.

"That's what he does," Braham coach Bob Vaughan said. "There is no coaching involved. Get him the ball. He makes mistakes, he gets double-teamed like any player. But just keep playing, keep playing, keep getting him the ball and good things will happen."

His 36 points moved him up another notch on the list of the state's all-time leading career scorers. He needed eight points to pass former Roseau girls' basketball star Megan Taylor, who was second with 3,300 points.

Pelican Rapids 72, Benson 50: "Are you all right?" Pelican Rapids forward Taylor Huseby asked Daniel Fragodt after knocking him down late in the second half. By then the Braves were far from OK, trailing 68-43. Nathan Schulstad scored 21 points and Huseby 16 for the No. 2 Vikings (29-2), who recorded their 26th victory in a row.

Benson, plays an up-tempo game and takes quick shots, but the Braves committed 31 turnovers.

Vikings coach Brad Strand put his two top defensive players, Adam Johnson and Schulstad, on Benson's Fragodt brothers, Joey and Daniel, their team's leading scorers.

"We did not want them to go off for 20-30 points," Strand said.

Daniel Fragodt led Benson (22-5) with 19 points, but no one else had more than nine.

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