Tanagers hoping to defeat Canton Friday

Tanagers hoping to defeat Canton Friday By Parker Knox
Sportswriter Vermillion will be seeking its sixth victory of the boys basketball season when the Tanagers host Canton in the regular-season finale Friday night at the VHS gym. The Tanagers defeated Wagner, 53-50, and lost to Madison, 64-42, last week to head into the final week of play with a 5-14 record.  Postseason play begins with a District 8A semifinal game at Beresford next Thursday, March 5.  That night's two winners will clash for the district championship at Augustana's Elmen Center on March 7. "They (Wagner) had played their best game of the year coming in," said Coach Jay Drake, "but we got off to a great start and held them to two points in the first quarter." From a 10-2 first-quarter edge, the Tanagers held on for a 19-14 advantage at halftime and a 34-25 lead after three.  The contest became a bit more interesting than Drake would have preferred in the fourth quarter. "We didn't finish on the defensive end, and they scored 25 (in the fourth quarter)," Drake commented, "but we made just enough free throws to hold on at the end." Vermillion sank 14 of 25 from the stripe compared to Wagner's five of seven. Cole Andre had a team-high 18 points, including three three-pointers and five-of-eight from free-throw distance, and two steals.  Blaine Olson contributed 13 points and eight rebounds.  Kyle Nemec had nine points and five boards.  Kylen Freidel had four points but five assists and a pair of steals. The Madison rematch was highly competitive through a 19-19 first period.  Just as in the first game against the Bulldogs, Andre canned three treys in the first period.  But in the second stanza Madison soared to a big lead as the Tanagers took some quick shots and fell behind by 38-24 at halftime. Drake noted that his boys performed better against Madison's dynamic duo of Chad White and Tony Fiegen, who had combined for 51 points against VHS the first time.  This time White and Fiegen accounted for 23 points (White 13 and Fiegen 10), but the rest of the Bulldogs stepped up. Olson with 12, Andre with 11 and Freidel with eight led VHS scoring.  Olson, Andre and Nemec had five rebounds each while Freidel contributed three steals and three assists. Wagner …. 2  14  25  50 Vermillion ..  10  19  34  53 VHS: Ustad 0-0 0-0 0, Steele 2-2 0-0 4, Rasmussen 1-1 0-0 2, Andre 5-11 5-8 18, Johnson 1-3 1-2 3, Freidel 0-4 4-7 4, Olson 5-7 3-7 13, Nemec 4-6 1-1 9.  Totals 18-34 14-25 53. Wagner: 21-52 5-7 50. Madison ….  19  38  55  64 Vermillion .. 19  24  30  42 VHS: Ustad 1-2 2-2 5, Steele 0-1 0-0 0, Rasmussen 0-1 0-0 0, Andre 4-12 0-0 11, Robinson 1-1 0-0 2, Johnson 0-4 0-0 0, Freidel 3-10 2-3 8, Husby 0-1 0-0 0, Ekstrom 0-0 0-0 0, Olson 5-9 2-3 12, Jerred 0-0 0-0 0, Nemec 2-4 0-0 4.  Totals 16-45 6-8 42. Madison: 26-50 9-10 64.

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