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By Randy Larson, Regina coach
WELLMAN – Regina’s boys basketball team won its fourth in a row Tuesday night, defeating conference rival Mid-Prairie, 42-40.
Both teams held the lead often with the score 9-9 after first quarter. It was 20-16 Mid-Prairie at half and 32-30 Regina after three.
The game coming down to the last 10 seconds.
Regina had the ball, down one, and after missing a shot. Mark Ward, Drew Cook and Kenyon Browning crashed the boards and Ward out-fought everybody for the loose ball in front of the basket, laid it in and was fouled at the 10-second mark. After he made the free throw, Mid-Prairie missed a heavily contested jump shot and Regina got the rebound for the win.
Cook missed a double-double by one board, scoring 11 and grabbing nine rebounds. Browning had 10 points, five rebounds and three steals and Ward scored eight points, shooting 2-3 from the floor and 4-6 from the line, and added six rebounds.
Regina won the rebounding battle, 30-25, and had only five turnovers in the second half. Regina played zone the first half and man-to-man the entire second half, and held M-P to almost exactly 10 points each quarter. Nathan Stenger led with four assists against only two turnovers and made a big second half 3, as did Johnny Ries, Browning and Cook.
Regina Coach Randy Larson praised his team’s fight, poise and depth.
“We got good contributions on ‘D’ from all 10 who played and obviously Mark played very well, playing with such confidence and energy and making his shots and free throws that I wanted him in at the end and boy did that pay off,” he said. “Our hustle and athleticism on the boards made us some luck there at the end and then we finished it off with solid defense and the big rebound in the last 10 seconds.
“Kenyon and Drew continue to give us hard-to-guard inside-out scoring and doing great work on the boards and we knocked down the 3s we needed. Nathan is becoming really poised for any player, incredibly so for a ninth grader, and Donovan, Balke, Streb and Sehl really contributed on defense. Alex got a big block, as did Donovan, Phil Arendt and Drew. We also had 10 steals and only five turnovers all second half. We saw the floor a little better against the press and I thought it never hurt us. Phil went 2-2 from the floor, getting us some big baskets inside. We got some critical looks against their zone with a new zone pattern that assistant coach Jared Galpin installed. It’s fun to win our eighth in a row against one of our big rivals Mid-Prairie and to win in such a noisy gym against a good team that beat #8 in the state West Branch here earlier this year. The guys loved doing it with the man-to-man.”
Regina improves to 5-3 in the conference, 6-6 overall. The Regals are at West Branch on Friday and Solon on Saturday night.