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Bruins wear down the Storm

SPRING VALLEY — It looked to be a defensive struggle in the early goings of the St. Bede and Bureau Valley match-up Wednesday night in the Colmone Classic held at Hall High School, as both teams failed to score in the first three minutes.

After shaking off the early offensive cobwebs, both offenses started to click, but the St. Bede Bruins eventually downed the Bureau Valley Storm 61-54.

St. Bede junior guard Jarret Olson continued to play well offensively at the Colmone Classic as he hit four three-pointers with a game-high 23 points. Junior guard Justin Shaw added 11 points for the Bruin offensive attack.

Bureau Valley was led by junior guard Parker Neuhalfen (16 points) and junior forward Tommy Johnston (15 points), who combined for 31 of the 54 BV points.

“Johnston and Neuhalfen are pretty difficult to guard. I don’t know what they average, but I know one got 16 and the other got 15, so that’s 31 of their points. We figured that looking at the box scores, they get half of their points and over half their shots,” said St. Bede coach Mike Kilmartin. “We played it that way and tried to make the other people beat us.”

The St. Bede offense got rolling midway through the third quarter as an 11-0 run highlighted by one of Olson’s four, three-pointers gave the Bruins a 44-32 lead at the 2:34 mark of the third quarter.

Shaw added two fastbreak buckets during the 11-0 run as the Bureau Valley transition defense couldn’t contend with the Bruin fastbreak.

“We missed a lot of bunnies tonight that led to some transition baskets for them. They beat us down the floor, plain and simple,” Bureau Valley coach Jason Marquis said. “You can make every excuse in the book; when one kid sprints harder down the floor he’s going to get rewarded with a layup. They got some of those layups tonight, and we didn’t get many of those.”

Neuhalfen and Johnston did all they could to make a late run as the pair combined for 12 of 17 BV points in the fourth quarter

“If we were going to lose, we were going to lose shutting down their best players. And I wouldn’t say we shut them down, but obviously we controlled them enough to win the game,” said Kilmartin.

Bureau Valley cut a 10-point fourth quarter Bruin lead to four on a three-pointer by senior center David Miller to make the score 52-48 at the 1:42 mark of the fourth. This combined with two, three-pointers from Johnston with under 15 seconds left to play wouldn’t be enough as four steals by the Bruins’ defense led to easy transition points by St. Bede, including back-to-back transition layups by senior guard Sam Halm.

“We held the ball quite long in quite a few possessions — probably two minutes or so without turning it over and getting a decent shot,” Kilmartin said. “I was really proud of the kids down the stretch.”

Notes: St. Bede advanced to Saturday’s third-place game at 6 p.m. BV met the Hall JV Friday, looking to play its way into the fifth-place game at 4:30 p.m.

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