1A player doubles as an anthem singer

  • Updated: March 22, 2012 - 11:21 PM

Sophomore Nick Benton might be a backup center for Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, but he was still plenty nervous before the tip-off against Lakeview Christian in the Class 1A quarterfinals on Thursday. Benton was part of the school's acoustic group that sang the national anthem before his team's 11 a.m. game at Williams Arena.

Sophomore Nick Benton might be a backup center for Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, but he was still plenty nervous before the tip-off against Lakeview Christian in the Class 1A quarterfinals on Thursday.

Benton was part of the school's acoustic group that sang the national anthem before his team's 11 a.m. game at Williams Arena.

"I was more nervous for the national anthem," Benton said. "We've never been on that big of a stage."

The group performs periodically before home football and basketball games. He has been with the acoustic team since his freshman year.

"That was fun," said Benton said, whose team won 85-76. "You could hear your voice through the whole arena."

Win-loose performance

After his team's victory Thursday afternoon, Jerry Pratt of Minneapolis Washburn joined a long postgame request parade for bags of ice, citing a balky hip.

"Did you do that missing your dunk?" the team trainer chided back.

It drew hearty laughs from everyone nearby, but in fairness Pratt earned his bruises against St. Paul Johnson.

The senior finished with 17 points (four on crowd-pleasing two-handed dunks), five rebounds and a first-half block that he sent clear over press row and nearly into the Target Center seats some 30 feet away.

"Man, that felt good," he said. "It kind of loosened our team up and got us going for the rest of the half. It was a solid game for me, but as long as everyone else around me is playing good, I'm feeling good."

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