PHILIPSBURG – Had Billy Joel wrote his song “Pressure” now instead of the early 80s, he might very well have included a verse about the Granite Prospectors.
A stifling full court press, coupled with a strong effort on the offensive boards led the Philipsburg squad to a 56-42 win over the visiting Ennis Mustangs Friday night at home. The Granite High boys and girls play host to Lincoln Saturday.
“We’ve had good pressure every game,” said Prospector Head Coach Dustin Keltner. “We’ve rebounded really well all season and tonight was no exception. We didn’t finish really well. We had a lot of good looks at the basket that just didn’t go down. The energy was there and the kids played hard.”
After playing to a 9-9 first quarter tie, the Prospectors’ press started to take effect. The locals ran out to a 26-17 halftime lead as the constant pressure forced Ennis into turnovers and lower percentage shots. Granite’s Daniel Brabender scored seven of his 15 points for the game in the second quarter to fuel the 17-8 run.
The Prospectors kept the pressure up in the third, outscoring the Mustangs 15-4 and held on as the visitors mounted a 21-14 push in the final stanza.
Brabender’s 15 was second only to teammate Kade Cutler’s 18 in scoring. Jaxon Lee and Brian Ward each added nine while Preston Metesh rounded out Granite’s scoring with five.
ENNIS – 9/8/4/21 – 42
GRANITE – 9/17/15/14 – 56
Ennis – ISwanson 8, Ostler 2, Swanson 14, Funston 6, Coffman 4, Williams 6, Fortner 2
Granite – Lee 9, Ward 9, PMetesh 5, Brabender 15, Cutler 18
Ennis 37, Granite 23
The Lady Prospectors had their offense go silent in the middle two periods, scoring just two points in a 14-point loss to the visiting Mustangs.
Ennis opened up a 7-0 lead early in the first before Granite managed to rattle off five quick points and pull with two. But then the locals were unable to find the bottom of the basket for the rest of the period and most of the second and third.
“Tonight we had a tough time offensively,” said Granite Head Coach Brandon Piazolla. “We were stagnant at times and shots didn't fall. We did a good job of limiting (Jourdain) Klein and held her to 9.”
Emma Grange scored six to lead the Lady Prospectors while Sarah Goff added six on a pair of three-pointers.
ENNIS – 12/7/13/5 – 37
GRANITE – 5/0/2/16 – 23
Ennis – Snider 6, Hokanson 2, Poladrichuck 2, McKitrick 14, JKlein 9, West 4
Home – Hill 2, Tallon 4, Struna 1, Grange 7, Goff 6, Comings 3