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Tigers hit 14 3-pointers, open playoffs with win over Braves

Menahga's Grant Tolkkinen (11) drove around Nevis' Luke DeWulf during Thursday night's Section 5A playoff game. Vance Carlson / Enterprise

The Nevis boys basketball team connected on nine 3-pointers in the first half to take control and eliminate Menahga from the Section 5A playoffs with an 81-56 victory Thursday night at the Tiger Arena.

Nevis, the No. 2 seed in the North, made 14 3-pointers in the game to advance.

"I was really happy with the way we moved the ball offensively and took quality shots," said Nevis head coach Scott Kramer. "We hit 14 of 20 3s, which is an improvement as of late and also what you need at tourney time."

Luke DeWulf hit three 3-pointers, Jack Landquist scored on three layups and Zach Henry hit a 3-pointer as Nevis jumped out to an 18-6 lead with 12:57 to play in the first half. Zach Floyd scored on a pair of layups and Charlie Hodge hit a jumper for the No. 10-seeded Braves.

Floyd and Jonah Howard connected on 3-pointers and Floyd had a layup as Menahga cut the gap to 21-14 at the 10:55 mark before a 3-pointer by DeWulf and back-to-back 3-pointers by Dylen Spain-Brist pushed the Tigers' lead to 30-14 at the 7:27 mark.

Two layups and a basket off a rebound by Landquist and a layup by Tom Wormley were offset by a layup and jumper by Tristan Aho, a jumper by Howard and a 3-pointer by Hodge before DeWulf hit another 3-pointer before the buzzer to give Nevis a 42-27 advantage at the half.

Nevis opened the second half with two layups by Jack Landquist, a layup by DeWulf and a layup off a steal by Michael Landquist for a 52-32 lead with 12:02 remaining.

Owen Anderson scored on three straight layups and Anthony Wurdock converted a three-point play for the Braves, but a three-point play by Jack Landquist, a 3-pointer by Michael Landquist and a 3-pointer by Henry gave the Tigers a 61-41 advantage at the 8:04 mark.

Aho followed a three-point play with a layup and Gavin Hillukka hit a jumper as Menahga trailed 64-48 with 5:02 to play before a layup by Wormley and a three-point play by Henry made it 71-48 with 4:04 left.

Anderson and Jordan Honga scored inside before Eddie Kramer hit three straight 3-pointers for the Tigers to cap off the scoring.

Michael Landquist finished with 23 points, DeWulf scored 17 points and Henry added 13 points for the Tigers, who defeated Menahga 62-34 on Dec. 12. Wormley had five rebounds, Michael Landquist added five steals, four rebounds and four assists, and Jack Landquist hauled down three rebounds. Henry also had four assists while DeWulf had three assists and three steals as Nevis improved to 22-5.

Aho scored 16 points for the Braves, who end the season with a 9-18 record.

In Thursday night's other North quarterfinal games, No. 1 Cromwell-Wright defeated No. 8 Bertha-Hewitt 69-55, No. 4 Browerville/Eagle Valley defeated No. 5 Sebeka 66-59 and No. 3 Walker-Hackensack-Akeley defeated No. 6 Pine River-Backus 50-34.

"We were able to jump out to an early lead and never look back," said Kramer. "DeWulf and Henry hit some early 3s to get us jump started and Jack did his job in the middle. We were able to keep it going after halftime as we coasted down the stretch."

MENAHGA: Hodge 2 0-0 5, Aho 6 4-6 16, Floyd 4 0-0 9, Howard 2 2-2 7, Hillukka 1 0-0 2, Honga 1 1-2 3, Hotakeinen 0 2-2 2, Wurdock 1 1-1 3, Anderson 4 1-3 9. Totals: 21 (FG), 11 for 16 (FT).

NEVIS: DeWulf 6 0-0 17, Henry 4 2-4 13, J. Landquist 9 5-5 23, M. Landquist 2 0-0 5, Wormley 3 1-2 7, E. Kramer 3 0-0 9, Lindow 0 1-2 1, Spain-Brist 2 0-0 6. Totals: 29 (FG), 9 for 13 (FT).

Halftime: Nevis 42, Menahga 27. Three-pointers: Hodge 1, Howard 1, Floyd 1, DeWulf 5, Henry 3, M. Landquist 1, E. Kramer 3, Spain-Brist 1. Team fouls: Menahga 13, Nevis 15.