Second-half surge carries Tetons past Royals 83-64

Ray Maloney, Sports

If only Lake Region State College coach Curt Herman could bottle intensity.

The intensity by his team that was absent in a narrow win over Concordia College's junior varsity team was also absent in a loss last week at North Dakota College of Science. Intensity was on display last Sunday when Herman's team dismantled the Cobbers in a rematch that the Royals won 118-68.

It was noticeably absent once again as Williston State College used a 46-27 run in the second half to break away from a 37-37 halftime tie to defeat the Royals 83-64 Wednesday at the Devils Lake Sports Center.

"We just can't seem to maintain our intensity for a whole 40 minutes," Herman said following the 19-point loss to the Tetons. "After we got behind by double digits in the second half ... it seemed like we stopped doing the little things.

"We seem to lose our concentration," Herman added, "then it's too late and it goes into a landslide."

An avalanche is more like it.

Williston's Derik Hawkey hit a pair of 3-pointers within 42 seconds early in the first half that started the Tetons on their march past the Royals. His first trey, with 16:52 left in the game, broke a 39-39 deadlock. His second, at 16:10, put the Tetons in front 45-39.

Hawley finished with four 3-pointers in the game, all in the second half, as Williston finished the game with 11 treys. Blake Nash added three 3-pointers of his own in the game, while CJ Vinger and Jake Reynen added two and one, respectively.

LRSC, meanwhile, managed just three of 16 shots from behind the arc in the game.

JR Coronado put back a missed shot by Isiah Clark to pull the Royals to within 45-41 with 15:50 remaining. Moriba Defreitas's back-to-back baskets put Williston in front 49-41 and the Royals would get no closer.

Williston's defense also played a huge role in the outcome. The Tetons constantly pressured the Royals on the perimeter and limited LRSC in getting the ball down low.

"(WSC) made it difficult in getting the ball into our posts," Herman said.

JR Coronado led four Royals in double figures. He finished with 15 points on the night, while Mark Cooper, Jr. and Gus Kueber chipped in with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Josh Colon joined that trio in double figures with 10 points.

Coronado also grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds, while Kueber added 10. But, the Tetons, behind six rebounds each  by Charles Ward and Moriba Defreitas, held a 37-33 rebounding edge in the game.

Hawkey finished with 16 points to lead Williston State. He was joined in double figures by Nash and Ward, who finished with 15 and 14 points, respectively, while Thad Perry added 10 points for the victors.

Williston State improved to 5-1 in the Mon-Dak Conference with the win. The Tetons are 2-0 in state play and are 16-5 on the season.

The Royals return to action on Sunday when they entertain United Tribes at the Devils Lake Sports Center.

Williston State (83): Thad Perry 4-5 2-2 10, Derik Hawkey 6-11 0-0 16, Marc Price 1-3 3-4 5, Blake Nash 6-16 0-0 15, Jake Reynen 2-4 0-0 5, CJ Vinger 3-5 0-0 8, Charles Ward 5-13 3-3 14, Matt Kvernum 1-4 0-0 2, Moriba Defreitas 4-8 0-2 8. Totals: 32-74 8-11 83.

Lake Region (64): Isiah Clark 2-7 2-2 6, Gus Kueber 4-7 2-2 11, Dustin Paulson 1-3 0-0 2, Tyson Hansen 4-5 1-2 9, Mark Cooper, Jr. 5-13 0-0 12, Josh Colon 5-8 0-0 10, JR Coronado 5-9 4-5 14. Totals: 26-57 9-11 64.

3-pointers: WSC 11-33 (Hawkey 4-6, Nash 3-8, Vinger 2-4, Reynen 1-2, Ward 1-6), LRSC 3-16 (Cooper, Jr. 2-7, Kueber 1-2). Rebounds: WSC 37 (Ward 6, Defreitas 6), LRSC 33 (Coronado 15, Kueber 10). Fouls: WSC 14, LRSC 11. Fouled out: none. Assists: WSC 23 (Nash 8), LRSC 20 (Clark 6). Steals: WSC 10 (Ward 4), LRSC 3 (Clark 2). Blocked shots: WSC 1 (Defreitas 1), LRSC 5 (Kueber 2, Colon 2, Coronado 1). Turnovers: WSC 10, LRSC 20.

Halftime tied 37-37.

Records: Williston State 5-1 Mon-Dak, 2-0 state, 16-5 overall.