Lions pull away from South Border
Linton-HMB opened up an insurmountable lead by halftime and then cruised in the second half for a 69-51 victory over South Border in Wishek on Dec. 21. The victory lifted Linton-HMB above .500 (4-3) for the first time this season, and the Lions improved to 2-1 in District 6. South Border, meanwhile, remained winless (0-5) on the season, including a 0-2 mark in District 6.
Linton-HMB got off to a great start, and the Lions all but put the game away by the end of the first period. Linton-HMB scored the first 13 points of the game, and South Border couldn’t get on the board until Ross Knoll put in a basket at the 3:31 mark. A basket by Adam Wishek on South Border’s next trip cut the deficit into single digits, but Linton-HMB ripped off 10 straight points after that, and the Lions took a 23-6 cushion into the second period. South Border hit on just 3 of 12 (25%) field goals and committed 10 turnovers in the opening period, while Linton-HMB sank 7 of 13 field goals and 8 of 10 free throws in the frame, and picked up 10 points from center Mason Ryckman.
Linton-HMB held at least a 15-point lead throughout the second period, and six Lions scored during a 20-7 run that gave Linton-HMB its biggest lead of the game (43-15) with just over 2:00 left in the quarter. The Lions took a 45-20 advantage to the intermission.
Linton-HMB shot 61 percent (17 of 28) from the field and committed just 3 turnovers (0 in the second period) in the first half, while South Border shot just 41 percent (9 of 22) from the floor, went 1 for 4 from the free throw line, and turned the ball over 15 times in the half. Ryckman scored 12 points, while Brooks Flyberg netted 11 and Ryan Schneider tallied 8 points for Linton-HMB in the half. Hunter Pinke paced South Border’s first-half attack with 8 points.
South Border used a 6-0 run early in the third period to close the gap to 47-26, but that’s as close as the Mustangs could get until the outcome had already been determined. Linton-HMB answered with a 7-0 run to match its biggest lead (54-26) with 3:45 left in the period, and the Lions took a 58-34 cushion into the final period. The Lions built as much as a 26-point advantage on three different occasions during the fourth quarter, with the last coming at 69-43 on a three-pointer by Andrew Small with 2:40 left. South Border scored the final 8 points of the game to make up the final margin.
Linton-HMB cooled off considerably in the second half, but the Lions still finished 27 of 53 (51%) from the floor and 10 of 15 (67%) from the line, while committing just 10 turnovers. South Border shot 44 percent (22 of 50) from the field, hit 3 of 6 free throws, and turned the ball over 23 times in the contest.
Ryckman finished with a game-high 16 points, while Flyberg went 4 for 4 from behind the arc and tallied 14 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals for Linton-HMB. Schneider scored 10 points, grabbed 8 rebounds and dished out 3 assists, Small chipped in 9 points, and Tyler Humann (5 rebounds, 5 assists) and Austin Bernhardt scored 6 points apiece for the Lions. Jacobson led South Border with 15 points, and Pinke netted 12 for the Mustangs.
Linton-HMB: Mason Ryckman 16, Brooks Flyberg 14, Ryan Schneider 10, Andrew Small 9, Austin Bernhardt 6, Tyler Humann 6, Jon Purintun 4, Travis Baumiller 4.
South Border: Adam Jacobson 15, Hunter Pinke 12, Danny Sayler 5, Ross Knoll 5, Adam Wishek 4, Jadyn Lippert 3, Matt Kretschmar 3, Ben Schuler 2, Cameron Schulz 2.