The defending State Champion Henning Hornets won the Section 6A title again with a 57-45 win over the West Central Area Knights at Concordia College on Thursday.
After the Knights took a 19-18 lead, the Hornets finished the half on a 17-4 run including a halftime buzzer beating 3-pointer to take a 35-23 halftime lead. The Knights started the second half on a 6-0 run to cut the lead to 29-35 but the Hornets always had an answer on the way to their win. The Hornets hit 9-19 three-pointers for 47% and 23-41 shots overall for 56%. "We gave them a few points off turnovers, but man they can shoot it," said Knights Coach Kraig Hunter. "Our defensive field goal percentage has been pretty good all year, but they hit shots. For us on the other hand, not a good shooting night. Some of that has to be credited to their defense but we were able to get quite a few good looks and had several shots rim in and out."
The Knights were 16-45 for 36% and hit 7-23 threes. From the free throw line, the Knights were 6-8 and the Hornets 2-4. The Hornets grabbed 26 rebounds and the Knights 23.
Scoring for the Knights were Gage Staples with 17, Jack VanKempen 12, Grant Beuckens 5, Tate Christenson 5, Jacob Bright 3, and Brady Reeve 3. VanKempen with 8 rebounds and Staples with 5 were the leading rebounders. Christenson was the assist leader with 3 and Bright the steal leader with 3.
Scoring for the Hornets were Brandon Trana with 19, Blake Wallevand 13, Parker Fraki 11, Isaac Fischer 8, Blaine Wallevand 5, and Tanner Arhndt 1.
Henning (29-1) will advance to the state tournament. The Knights finish at 27-3. "We played a tough schedule this year. Fourteen of our games were against teams with 18 or more wins and nine with 20 or more wins including five AA teams that were good such as Morris and Pelican Rapids. Our only losses were twice to the state champions and one to AA state ranked Osakis. It was a fun ride with many great memories. These kids worked so hard but even more important was the way the always represented our school and community with their great character," said Hunter.
“Could not be prouder of a group of kids,” said Henning Head Coach Randy Misegades. “They stayed so composed all night and made play after play. Our kids played with a chip on their shoulder and wanted to prove they were best team once again in Section 6. They did that tonight.”