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NHS gets another crack at Spooner

The Northwestern Tigers opened with a 9-0 run and never looked back as they began the WIAA Division 2 playoffs with a 65-44 win over Amery Tuesday night in Maple.

The Northwestern Tigers opened with a 9-0 run and never looked back as they began the WIAA Division 2 playoffs with a 65-44 win over Amery Tuesday night in Maple.

"What a great way to get things going," NHS coach Dan Cowley said. "I was a little worried the kids might come out more nervous than normal, but that wasn't the case. They came out aggressive and with a lot of confidence from the start. One of our biggest challenges this year has been playing with confidence.

"This group is very athletic and they work hard, but they don't always play with confidence on the offensive end. I didn't see any of that, everyone was aggressive and looking to do something with the ball when they got it."

The Tigers (15-6) advance to play at Spooner in a regional semifinal game at 7 p.m. Thursday. The Rails have defeated the Tigers twice this season, by two and five points.

"The kids wanted another chance to play Spooner," Cowley said. "They're the only team to beat us twice this year and we had chances to win both games. It should be a heck of a game."

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Aaron Corry had his best game of the year Tuesday night, finishing with 20 points, five assists and six rebounds.

Steve Tecker and Lee Brown both finished with 11 points with Tecker dishing out six assists and Brown three.

"Both did a great job breaking the press and running the offense," Cowley said. "A number of players played well for us."

Donnie Hissa was in foul trouble much of the game but still managed to score eight points and grab a team-high eight rebounds.

Cowley also said that Timmy Follis, P.J. Freeman, and John Darwin played well. Darwin led the Tigers in blocks with three.

Although NHS managed to speed out to an early lead, Amery did not give up.

"Amery is a scrappy aggressive team and they managed to battle back to make it 17-9 at the end of the first quarter," Cowley said. "We played solid in the second quarter but just couldn't get any more separation and the game stayed in single digits until Aaron Corry hit a last second 3-pointer to end the half and give us a 32-21 lead."

The third quarter began with Amery scoring on its first two possessions, making it a 32-25 game. Amery never got any closer, though, as the Tigers scored on 8-of-13 possessions to open up a 51-32 third-quarter lead.

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Corry was on fire in the quarter making a trio of 3-pointers and scoring a total of 11 points in the quarter.

"We started the fourth quarter with a 9-0 run and put the game out of reach with a 28-point lead with about five minutes to go," Cowley said. "We finished with 21 assists on 26 baskets, which means we were passing the ball very well."

Amery 9 12 11 12 -- 44

Northwestern 17 15 19 14 -- 65

Amery--Erik Loverude 2, Andy Stewart 4, Preston Paulson 6, Nick Stewart 2, Kurt Gehrman 2, Ryan Elwood 1, Brock Luehman 18, Shawn McLeod 6, David Appel 3. Totals 17 8-16 44.

3-pointers--Paulson, McLeod.

Northwestern--Lee Brown 11, Aaron Corry 20, P.J. Freeman 4, Donnie Hissa 8, John Darwin 3, Reese Bartelt 3, Tim Follis 5. Totals 26 5-11 65.

3-pointers--Corry 4, Brown 2, Bartelt, Follis.

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