BENTON – Shullsburg captured its third straight championship title at Benton’s Mike Alexander Boys’ Basketball Christmas Classic with an impressive showing on each end of the court in back-to-back games at the tournament.
The #2-ranked Miners (6-0 overall) opened the tournament by rolling over Scales Mound, 69-22, on Thursday, Dec. 22, in a rematch of last year’s championship game; and then claimed their third Alexander title in a row by charging past the host Zephyrs, 67-47, in the championship game at BHS on Friday, Dec. 23.
Senior center Joey Meyer led three Miners in double figures with a game-high 16 points in Thursday’s victory, and the University of Minnesota-Crookston recruit again led three Miners in double digits with a game-high 15 points in Friday’s title-clinching win.
Senior guard Noah Wand matched senior forward Jeremiah Bailey with 14 points in the Miners’ win over the Hornets, while N. Wand added 12 points and senior guard Cameron Doyle came off the bench for a career-high 11 points in Friday’s decision over the Zephyrs (3-5).
In their semifinal game against Scales Mound, Shullsburg trailed 3-2 following an early 3-pointer by sophomore guard Sam Townsend, but the Miners answered back with a 21-0 run to grab control of the game. N. Wand buried three 3-pointers during the run to shoot the Miners past SHS alumnus Erik Kudronowicz’s Hornets.
Shullsburg build up a 49-11 advantage by the halftime intermission, and coasted through the second half to post their second victory over Scales Mound this season and their 10th straight over the Hornets overall.
Senior Hunter Matye added eight points in Thursday’s win for the Miners, who had 10 different players score in the game. Townsend led the Hornets with eight points.
The Miners got off to another fast start in Friday’s championship game, racing out to a 37-14 halftime lead on the Zephyrs and cruising through the second half to win the title by a 20-point decision as they knocked off Benton for the 12th consecutive time.
Matye chipped in with nine points and sophomore guard Jacob Berendes added eight points for the Miners, who sank 10 shots from beyond the 3-point arc in the victory. Doyle netted three of those treys, while N. Wand, Matye and Berendes each sank two 3s for Shullsburg.
Sophomore guard Wyatt Bastian tallied a team-high 12 points to lead the Zephyrs, who outscored the Miners, 33-30, in the second half. Brooks Tiedeman scored eight points, while Josh Redfearn and Nick Jansen added six apiece for the hosts
Last season, the Miners won their two games at the Alexander Classic by a total of just nine points. This year, Coach Mark Lierman’s crew posted their two wins by an average of 33.5 points per game.
Shullsburg will play Southwestern (3-4)– who defeated Scales Mound, 59-38, in the consolation game of the Alexander Classic on Friday evening– in a non-conference make-up game (Nov. 22) in Hazel Green on Thursday, Dec. 29.
Shullsburg……… 37 30 – 67
Benton…………... 14 33 – 47
Shullsburg – Lance Lierman 5, Hunter Matye 9, Jeremiah Bailey 4, Jacob Berendes 8, Noah Wand 12, Nate Wedige 3, Joey Meyer 15, Cameron Doyle 11. Totals – 26 5-6 67.
Benton – Nick Jansen 6, Aaron Coffey 5, Nick Wagner 4, Brooks Tiedeman 8, Nathan Mowry 2, Wyatt Bastian 12, Josh Redfearn 6, Caleb O’Neill 4. Totals – 16 11-16 47.
3-point goals– S 10 (Matye 2, Berendes 2, N. Wand 2, Wedige 1, Doyle 3), B 4 (Jansen 1, Tiedeman 1, Bastian 2). Total fouls– S 16, B 1. Fouled out– none.
Scales Mound…… 11 11 – 22
Shullsburg……….. 49 20 – 69
Scales Mound– Kruger 3, Kaziu 2, Townsend 8, Z. Stadel 2, E. Shetler 3, M. Carlborg 2, Westbrook 2. Totals – 8 3-4 22.
Shullsburg – Lance Lierman 4, Alex Wand 2, Hunter Matye 8, Jeremiah Bailey 14, Jacob Berendes 2, Noah Wand 14, Griffin Wiegel 4, Nate Wedige 2, Joey Meyer 16, Cameron Doyle 3. Totals – 30 4-11 69.
3-point goals– SM 3 (Kruger 1, Townsend 2), SH 5 (N. Wand 4, Doyle 1). Total fouls– SM 14, SH 8. Fouled out– none.