Tiger boys improve to 5-0
The Northwestern High School boys basketball team improved to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the Heart O’ North Conference Thursday night with a 76-41 victory over the Cumberland Beavers.
The game was tied at 8-8 early in the first quarter, but a 9-0 run by the Tigers put Northwestern in front for good.
By halftime, the Tigers led by 15 points, and they pushed their lead to 20 during the third quarter.
Five players finished in double figures for Northwestern. Brayden Bartelt led the way with 16 points, Alex Tecker had 14, Jeffery Priem and Nate Pearson added 13 points apiece, and Trevor Paulus finished with 11 points.
For the Beavers, Brendon Grunseth had 17 points to lead all scorers. Jonah Lundequam had 10 points.
Priem gave the Tigers momentum in the first quarter when he went hard to the basket for a layup and drew a foul. He left the floor with a bloody lip, but Tyler Blair stepped in to complete the 3-point play at the free-throw line for a 15-8 Northwestern lead.
On the next possession, Tecker made it 17-8 on a put-back.
Cumberland answered with a 3-pointer from Grunseth, but Northwestern picked up a quick basket on an inbounds play to lead 19-11.
Northwestern pushed its lead into double figures on the first play of the second quarter. Priem then gave the Tigers a 13-point lead with a 3-pointer from the corner, and Pearson made it 26-11 on a fast-break layup.
Another 3-pointer by Grunseth cut Northwestern’s lead to 10 before Priem knocked down back-to-back shots at the arc to extend the Tigers’ lead to 16. At the half, Northwestern led 34-19.
A free throw and 3-pointer helped Cumberland get to 36-23 in the opening minutes of the third quarter, and another pair of free throws made it 36-25.
The Tigers responded by going inside to Pearson and Tecker, who combined for six unanswered points.
Northwestern led by nearly 20 at the end of the third quarter, 49-30, and outscored Cumberland 27-11 in the final eight minutes of play.
The Tigers will be back in actions Dec. 27 and 28 at the Esko (Minn.) holiday tournament.
Northwestern 19 15 15 27 — 76
Cumberland 11 8 11 11 — 41