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Ridgewater drubbed by Vermilion in state opener

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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Ridgewater men's basketball team ran into a brick wall in the second half of their MCAC state quarterfinal game against Vermilion Friday.

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The Warriors saw their 52-47 halftime deficit balloon in the second half, leading to a 103-87 loss. The loss pits Ridgewater, the No. 3 team in the South, against No. 4 Hibbing, which lost to host Minneapolis, the nation's No. 1 team, 97-58.

The Warriors ran into trouble with Vermilion's pressure, said coach Bob Knutson.

"They had three of the best guards that we have seen in a while. Their press got to us," Knutson said. "There was a five-minute stretch where we made several turnovers and they increased their lead to double digits."

Cory Nietfeld paced the Warriors with 22 points and nine rebounds. Casey Sussenguth contributed 19 points and 11 boards. Shawn Neu scored 16 points and Beau Bredeson had nine assists.

Central Lakes, Roch-ester and Minneapolis all won openers to advance to the semifinals.

Vermilion 103, Ridgewater 87

Ridgewater 47 40 -- 87

Vermilion 52 51 -- 103

RIDGEWATER - 37-81 FG (5-16 3-pt); 8-11 FT; 45 rebounds; 14 fouls ... Scoring: Ben Moser 8, Shawn Neu 16, Tyler Ray 2, Dan Hennen 2, Chad Mulder 2, Derek Eisenschenk 10, Casey Sussenguth 19, Tom Boike 6, Cory Nietfeld 22 ... 3-point shots: Moser 2, Neu 1, Eisenschenk 2 ... Rebound leaders: Sussenguth 11, Nietfeld 9, Neu 6 ... Assist leaders: Beau Bredeson 9, Nietfeld 6 ... Steal leaders: Nietfeld 4

VERMILION - 38-75 FG (12-26 3-pt); 15-18 FT; 39 rebounds; 16 fouls ... Scoring: Russell 18, Brant 27, Hendry 3, Shurn 11, Thomas 34, Daniel 10 ... 3-point shots: Brant 6, Thomas 5, Hendry 1 ... Rebound leaders: Russell 8, Lissick 5 ... Assist leaders: Russell 7, Thomas 6 ... Steal leaders: Russell 5

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