Hancock moves to brink of state tourney
MOORHEAD — Hancock boys basketball players played with heavy hearts on Monday but also with conviction, downing Ortonville 61-54 to advance to the Section 6A championship game.
The Owls played just hours after learning several people from Hancock schools were injured in a crash involving a van from the school and a semi at an intersection north of Holloway.
Prior to the game, the Owls held a team meeting and, led by their captains, came to the decision to play the game.
"We talked as a team before the game, do we want to play tonight for postpone it," Hancock head coach Cory Bedel said. "We decided to play and to play for them. The kids really played well, too. The whole community of Hancock was thinking about them and praying for them tonight, we were just a game."
Despite emotions running high, the Owls settled down. They took a seven-point lead into the break and played the Trojans even in the second half to move on.
Ortonville stormed back in the second half, claiming a four-point lead with six minutes to go. But the Owls had a response to notch their third win over the Trojans this year.
"It's tough to beat a team, especially that team, for a third time," Bedel said. "They tied it and then jumped out to that lead. I only had two timeouts left so I didn't want to burn them, but the kids came down and hit some big shots."
The South Sub-section champion Owls, now 25-2, play North champ Mahnomen/Waubun (17-11) for the 6A championship at 7 p.m. Friday at Concordia-Moorhead.
The winner earns a spot in the Class A state tournament March 22 at Williams Arena.
"There's one more to go," Bedel said. "Hopefully they make it a little easier on me."
Hancock's Noah Kannegiesser again led the Owl charge, finishing with 36 points. He also had seven assists and five steals. Kannegiesser is now 110 points away from tying the all-time area scoring record for both boys and girls.
Bennett Nienhaus had nine points and eight rebounds, Cole Reese had eight points and Peyton Rohloff had six points and a team-high nine rebounds.
Hancock will be looking for its first state tournament berth since 2003, but for the time being, the attention of the town will turn back to Monday's accident.
"It was no question in their minds tonight when they were playing, but the kids played their hearts out for everyone back home," Bedel said. "A win's nice, but that's not what everyone is concerned about right now."
Hancock 61, Ortonville 54
Ortonville (20-7) 22 32 — 54
Hancock (25-2) 29 32 — 61
ORTONVILLE - Scoring: Tyson Powell 15, DaVonte Edwards 12, Mitchell Meyer 10, Caden Wellnitz 10, Peter Treinen 7 ... 3-point shots: Meyer 1 ... Rebound leader: NA ... Assist leader: NA ... Steal leader: NA
HANCOCK - Scoring: Noah Kannegiesser 36, Bennett Nienhaus 9, Cole Reese 8, Peyton Rohloff 6, Daniel Milander 2 ... 3-point shots: Kannegiesser 5, Nienhaus 3, Cole Reese 1 ... Rebound leader: Rohloff 9, Connor Reese 8, Nienhaus 8 ... Assist leader: Kannegiesser 7 ... Steal leader: Kannegiesser 5
H-F 72, BBE 54
Hinckley-Finlayson only had six players score but they did plenty of it in a win over BBE in the Section 5A semifinals on Monday in Foley.
H-F's Trevor Johnson led four players scoring in double figures with 20 points and Travis Visser finished with 16 points and 18 rebounds. Johnson also had eight steals.
BBE's Parker Schwinghammer had 26 points and Evan Wiener had seven points and seven rebounds.
BBE (12-17) 29 25 — 54
H-F (25-4) 29 43 — 72
BBE - Scoring: Ethan Schwinghammer 5, Evan Wiener 7, Parker Schwinghammer 26, Ryan Illies 6, Ashton Dingmann 7, Kyle Felling 3 ... 3-point shots: Wiener 1, P. Schwinghammer 5 ... Rebound leader: Wiener 7, P. Schwinghammer 4 ... Assist leader: Dingmann 2 ... Steal leader: Jayden Miller 2
HINCKLEY-FINLAYSON - Scoring: Anders Prater 15, Lavone Kroschel 11, Trevor Johnson 20, Kolton Furey 5, Travis Visser 16, Chayne Dunkley 5 ... 3-point shots: Johnson 2, Furey 1 ... Rebound leader: Visser 18 ... Assist leader: Kroschel 2 ... Steal leader: Johnson 8