The top-seeded team in the North half of Section 6A, the Henning Hornets, survived a scare from fifth-seeded Hillcrest Lutheran Academy on Monday night as they overcame a 28-24 halftime deficit to record a 54-52 victory over the Comets at ‘The Hive’ in Perham.
"This was a typical March battle," commented Henning Head Coach Randy Misegades. "We struggled early in the game to get any rhythm going on offense. In the second half we were able to do a better job attacking the basket. The Comets were really good with their half court defense, and their size gave us some matchup problems. I want to congratulate Coach Preston on his unbelievable career. We have a tremendous amount of respect for what he has built at Hillcrest. He is a great coach and leader of young men both on and off the court. It was a tremendous atmosphere in the Perham gym and the crowd was amazing from both schools."
The Hornets made 47% (21-44) of their field goal attempts on the night. They were led by Blake Wallevand (15 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks), Sam Fisher (15 points, 7 assists) and Isaac Fisher (9 points, 3 rebounds). Adam Lange contributed 6 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists).
Hillcrest shot 45% (20-44) from the field and placed four players in double digits. They were led by Thomas Zwiers with 14 points and Sander Frustol with a dozen. Nick Foss finished with 11 points and Gabriel Preston had 10. Frustol completed a double-double by gathering 12 rebounds and Zwiers added six boards. Preston had a team high 6 assists and also led the Comets with 2 steals.
“This was an incredibly intense and well-played game by both teams tonight,” commented Hillcrest Head Coach Gregg Preston. “I was so pleased with how our guys defended, controlled the tempo, took quality shots, and rebounded the ball. I was so grateful that the Lord allowed me to coach and spend time with this team that improved in every area of their game. Sander Frustol, Gabriel Preston, Nick Foss, Logan Disabella and Trevor Antuna were our five seniors who played with such class and integrity.”
Hillcrest ends their season with a record of 14-11. The loss is the last game for Gregg Preston as the Head Coach of the Hillcrest Comets. Preston is retiring from the bench after 27 seasons as head coach, compiling a record of 463 wins and 198 losses in his 661 games.
Henning (26-1) will play Mahnomen/Waubun at 6:00pm Wednesday at UM-Morris in the Section 6A semifinals.