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Boys basketball: Benson revs up its offense

Prep boys basketball report for Monday, March 7, 2022, in west central Minnesota. The eighth-seeded Braves avenge an earlier loss to No. 9 Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley, 72-50

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Benson junior Juan Espinoza, middle, puts up a layup between a pair of C-G-B defenders during a Section 6A-South pigtail game on Monday, March 7, 2022 at Benson. Espinoza scored the bucket and drew a foul.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

BENSON — With the offense firing on all cylinders Monday night, the Benson boys basketball team is moving on in the Section 6A-South playoffs.

The eighth-seeded Braves held a 31-11 advantage at halftime in their sub-section pigtail game with ninth-seeded Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley.

That 20-point edge held for a 72-50 victory, even after a high-scoring second half that saw the two teams combine for 80 points.

"I thought they played well tonight," said Benson head coach Mike Felt. "They played hard and were alert on defense. We had guys step up on the offensive end."

The game was able a bit of revenge for the Braves. The two teams previously met on Dec. 17, 2021 at the Case IH Tournament in Benson. In that matchup, the Wolverines came away with an 84-71 victory.

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"Our guys did a lot better job this time (on defense) knowing their personnel and what their players can do and trying to take away their strengths and doing their job," Felt said.

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Benson senior Brandonn Traut, left, chucks up a 3-pointer while C-G-B's Jenn Jorgenson defends during a Section 6A-South pigtail game on Monday, March 7, 2022 at Benson.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

Up 10-7 with 11 minutes, 5 seconds left in the first half, the Braves went into halftime on a 21-4 run. Benson hit five 3-pointers in the opening half.

Leading the charge was junior Juan Espinoza. The 6-foot-4 guard had a Braves-best 29 points.

"We did a good job moving the ball against their zone," Felt said. "We were hitting the inside and then finding the open guy once the defense helped. We were trying to pick apart that zone. The guys were moving the ball and finding each other."

On Thursday, Benson heads to Brooten to play the sub-section's top seed, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa. Tip-off is schedule for 7 p.m. The winner plays in the sub-section semifinals at 1 p.m. Saturday at Minnewaska High School in Glenwood.

Section 6A-South

Benson 72, C-G-B 50

C-G-B (3-23)      11   39 — 50

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Benson (4-23)       31   41 — 72

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Benson senior Dylan Ascheman, 24, defends C-G-B's Cole Gilsdorf during a Section 6A-South pigtail game on Monday, March 7, 2022 at Benson.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune
More boys basketball coverage:
Recent boys basketball coverage in west central Minnesota.
Prep boys basketball report for Friday, Jan. 27, 2023, in west central Minnesota. Jaguars edge Mainstreeters 59-57 in a matchup of state-ranked teams

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