BV delivers Minn. powerhouse 71-61 loss

By: 
Jill Meier, Journal editor
A swarm of DeLaSalle Islanders surround Brandon Valley’s Jackson Hilton. Hilton scored 12 points in the Hoop City Classic game. Jill Meier/BV Journal

Jaxon LaBrie puts up a shot while Minneapolis DeLaSalle’s Jalen Travis defends. LaBrie led all scorers with 19 points in Brandon Valley’s 71-61 victory over Minneapolis DeLaSalle Saturday at the Sanford Pentagon.

Heading into Saturday’s Hoop City Classic meeting with Minneapolis DeLaSalle, the Lynx were concerned how they would handle the Class AAA Minnesota powerhouse.
Turns out, Brandon Valley had little to worry about, as they cruised to a quality 71-61 victory over the Islanders on the hardwood of the Sanford Pentagon.
The Lynx put up the first three points of the holiday affair, compliments of Jaxon LaBrie, who dropped in his first of five tre’s in the game, and with the exception of a one-point deficit early on, the Lynx never relinquished the lead the rest of the way.
BV head coach Brent Deckert was as satisfied with the win as a kid on Christmas morning who got everything they asked for.
“That was a really good win and Jaxon had a great game,” the veteran coach said. “We’ve had different players step up at different times. Tonight, when Joe (Kolbeck) needed to get to the rim, he got there, and Jackson Hilton was a little more aggressive taking it to the basket.”
Along with spot on shooting by the Lynx, Deckert said his team also got some relief when DeLaSalle’s big, Jalen Travis, got into foul trouble early on in the game.
“It helps when you shoot it in and when their big gets in foul trouble,” he said. “He is very, very good player and if he would not have been in foul trouble, we would’ve had to double team him over and over again, which would have led to other issues they could’ve caused with their athleticism.”
LaBrie was certainly a force to be reckoned with Saturday. The senior, who finished with a game-high 19 points, dropped in BV’s initial 3-pointer, followed by a pair of free throws from fellow senior Gavin Terhark to put the Lynx up 5-0. Following a series of possessions, DeLaSalle’s Keijuan White answered with a bucket from beyond to make it a 5-3 game. Seconds later, LaBrie cashed in his second triple-counter. The Islanders’ Cade Haskins plugged the next four points, two which came off a steal before BV’s Aydin Lloyd hit a short jumper to maintain BV’s slight 10-7 edge.
The Lynx closed out the quarter with a 3-pointer from Kolbeck, a basket by Jackson Hilton and three points by Jaksen Deckert, the result of drawing a foul on a reverse layup. With 41 ticks to play in the stanza, BV led 18-11.
The Lynx kept the Islanders at bay through the second quarter. Once again, LaBrie got the party started by dropping in a quick two. DeLaSalle’s Evan Boyd answered with a 3-pointer to narrow the 20-14 gap. Hilton next recovered a loose ball and took it to the hoop for two, and that instigated a satisfied grin from the junior and gave the Lynx a 22-14 advantage.
Midway through the second, the Islanders got within three of BV, but LaBrie came to the aid with a timely 3-pointer, followed by a bucket off a steal for the 27-19 lead. LaBrie continued to have his way when Jaksen Deckert fired the ball out to him, and the senior canned his fourth 3-pointer to spread the margin, 32-21. The Lynx closed out the first half with a pair of free throws by Hilton, and DeLaSalle got a free throw and a bucket from Amir Whitlock. At the half, BV was up 34-24.
The Lynx continued to dominate the Islanders in the second half. After giving up a basket and a free throw to start, Kolbeck went full speed to the hoop and followed up with a 3-pointer for the 39-27 score. DeLaSalle responded with a bucket before LaBrie netted his fifth tre of the night, which was essentially cancelled out by a DeLaSalle 3-pointer. The Lynx pushed the margin to 13 on Terhark bucket and the ensuing free throw. With four minutes to play in the quarter, BV led 45-32.
The Lynx closed out the quarter with 3-pointers from Lloyd and Deckert and baskets by Kolbeck and Tietjen. After three quarters, the Lynx had widened the gap to 55-37.
DeLaSalle scored the first six points of the fourth before Hilton dropped in back-to-back buckets for the 59-45 tally. Kolbeck upped the ante when he scored and drew the foul, and with 4:33 to play, the Lynx possessed a 62-49 advantage. BV closed out the game with four points from Kolbeck, two apiece from Hilton and Terhark, and a free throw by Lloyd and although not enough, DeLaSalle got an eight-point contribution from Whitlock in the 71-61 ending.
BV’s hustle and DeLaSalle playing their second game in two days were factors in the victory.
“I think it helped us a bit that they had played yesterday,” Deckert said. “I think that they had a long road trip and they probably expended a lot of juice yesterday against Mitchell.”
But the coach still had high praise for his team.
“This is a great team victory and I don’t have enough good things to say,” he said.
The Lynx certainly earned that praise by shooting lights-out ball Saturday. From two-point range, BV capitalized on 17-26, a 65 percent performance. Beyond the arc, the Lynx dropped in 9-15, a 60 percent effort, and they netted 10-of-12 free throws, a stellar 83 percent production.
“It seemed like when we got there, we just knocked it in and they missed some critical ones where they could have kind of tightened it up a little bit,” Deckert said. “When you have empty possessions like that when it’s a 10- to 13-point game, those are big.”
Along with LaBrie’s 19 counters, three other Lynx also finished in double digits. Kolbeck rallied for 14 points, and Hilton and Terhark both added a dozen to the cause. Deckert and Lloyd both supplied six points.
For DeLaSalle, Whitlock led the Islanders with 18 points, three steals, two assists, three rebounds and a block. The Islanders shot 50 percent from the field and 29.4 percent from the perimeter. 
Kolbeck and Terhark both grabbed six of the team’s 21 total rebounds; Payton Tietjen had three. Deckert, Kolbeck and Lloyd were each credited with three of the team’s 12 assists, while Hilton picked off three of BV’s seven steals. The Lynx forced the Islanders into five additional turnovers.
“DeLaSalle is a very, very good team. Their program has won 12 of the last 24 state championships in AAA basketball Minnesota, and there’s some unbelievably high-level basketball in Minnesota right now. So, for us to be able to get this one here – and I don’t care where we’re playing – they’re an outstanding program and there’s a lot of people that look at them and think that they are heads and tails above a lot of teams, so we feel very, very pleased with that,” Deckert said.
The 4-1 Lynx next host Mitchell at 7 p.m. Thursday before they begin a three-game road schedule. Jan. 10, BV heads to Brookings, followed by road games on Jan. 14 at Sioux Falls Roosevelt and Jan. 16 at Watertown.
 
DeLaSalle           11 24 37 61
Brandon Valley           18 34 55 71 
 
Brandon Valley (2PFG, 3PFG, FT, TP): Jaxon LaBrie 2-3 5-8 0-0 19; Jaksen Deckert 1-2 1-2 1-1 6; Joseph Kolbeck 4-5 1-3 3-3 14; Aydin Lloyd 1-3 1-1 1-2 6; Payton Tietjen 1-2 0-0 0-0 2; Jackson Hilton 5-7 0-0 2-2 12; Gavin Terhark 3-4 1-1 3-4 12. Totals: 17-26 9-15 10-12 71.

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