HARRIS — The Rapid River boys valued their possessions here Thursday night, resulting in a 54-39 basketball victory over the Bark River-Harris Broncos.
Rapid River displayed a patient offense and took a 10-9 lead on a 20-foot jump shot by junior Nick Nelson late in the first quarter.
The Broncos were within 16-15 following a set shot from the right corner by senior Trizden Tufnell midway through the second.
Rapid River responded with a 16-0 run, gaining a 32-15 advantage on a layup by junior forward Kodey Goldi, set up on a pass from senior guard Jaiden McCarty with 20 seconds left in the second.
Tufnell’s buzzer-beating 20-foot set shot from the left wing then brought BR-H within 32-18 at halftime.
“Possession-wise, this is probably the best game we played all year,” said Rockets’ coach Hayden Hardwick. “Basketball is a game of runs. All it takes is for a team to hit one bucket. We were under control most of the game, and we had three guys score in double digits, which is nice. We scored 22 points in the second quarter and had great momentum going into halftime. The kids were fired up, and I love to see it.”
Rapid River extended its lead to 41-20 on another jumper from the left corner by McCarty midway through the third.
BR-H answered with an 8-2 run, shaving its deficit to 43-28 after the third.
The Rockets again responded, gaining an insurmountable 52-30 advantage on a jumper from the left corner by Nelson with 4:20 remaining.
“It’s tough when you’re playing against a 2-3 zone, and you can’t hit your shots. And, we had a lot of wide-open shots,” said BR-H coach Nicholas Lippens. “They came out more aggressive, and when your shots go in, you gain confidence.”
Senior guard Rease Dawley led the Rockets with 14 points. Junior guard Ian Sundling added 13, and Nelson had 12 on four 3-point shots. Senior guard Logan Getzloff scored 13 for the Broncos.
“When they went on that run in the third quarter, it made me a little nervous,” said Hardwick. “They’re going to get better. They’ll be a different team the second time around. There’s always something you can do better. Nobody’s perfect.”
Rapid River (3-1) committed just one turnover in the first half and finished with nine. BR-H (0-2) had 11 miscues.
“We started to push the pace in the second shot, but you’ve got to hit shots,” said Lippens. “We needed to get out in transition in the first half and didn’t do it.”
BR-H, which won the JV contest 49-42, travels to Ishpeming today. Rapid River hosts Munising Wednesday.
Rapid River 10 22 11 12 — 54
BR-Harris 9 6 10 11 — 39
Rapid River — Sundling 13, Dawley 14, McCarty 3, Cambron 4, S. Nelson 2, N. Nelson 12, Goldi 6. FT: 4-8; F; 11; Fouled out: None; 3-point field goals: N. Nelson 4, Sundling 2, Dawley, McCarty.
Bark River-Harris — Miley 4, Metzer 4, Lippens 4, Getzloff 13, Drossart 4, Johnson 2, Tufnell 6, Ives 2. FT: 2-7; F: 14; Fouled out: None; 3-point field goal: Getzloff.