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Echo Press photo by Lori Mork Brandon-Evansville's Brandt Bitzan (12) looked for an outlet pass after grabbing a rebound for the Chargers. Bitzan scored eight points for the Chargers in their opening round of Section 6A-South basketball tournament play.

Hot shooting Chargers end Ashby's season in 6A-South

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Brandon-Evansville used a 47-percent shooting night to move past the Ashby boys' basketball team in the opening round of the Section 6A playoffs on Monday night.

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Phillip Krueger drained four threes on his way to a game-high 25 points, a season-high for the Charger. Kyle Steffenson also netted three three-pointers to chip in with 11 points.

Krueger also had six assists and three steals.

That helped the Chargers pull away in what was a close game most of the night. Brandon-Evansville led by just three at the break. Ashby kept things close in the second half but the Chargers closed things out down the stretch.

"Several factors stand out in the win," said Charger head coach John Holsten. "We had great bench play from Brandt Bitzan, who confidently made all of the shots he took in the game and was our third-leading scorer with eight points.

"Jared Goehringer also came off the bench and led the team in rebounding with eight boards. The Chargers also received good defensive efforts on the perimeter from Tyson Meissner and Sean Henneman, and effective defense in the post area from Adam Wagner.

"They guys kept their poise down the stretch, making seven of eight free throw attempts when the Arrows were forced to foul," Holsten said. "The team played excellent defense in the last three minutes of the game, getting consecutive stops and limiting Ashby to one-shot possessions."

The Arrows had three in double figures. Jon Quernemoen led the way with 15, while Riley Mickelson and Jordan Lillemon had 14 and 11, respectively.

The win for the Chargers set up a match-up with second-seeded Hillcrest Lutheran Academy last night, Thursday. Ashby ended its season with a 10-14 record.

"I would like to thank the seniors for their hard work and dedication to the team," Arrows head coach Ryan Risbrudt said. "All three of them, Jordan Lillemon, Justice Witt and Patrick Rohloff, will not just be missed because of their leadership, but for their commitment to the team, knowing what their role was to make this team better, and always doing what's best for the team. They always knew it was about 'us' and not 'me.' "

GAME STATISTICS

BRANDON-EVANSV 29 32 - 61

ASHBY 26 26 - 52

BRANDON-EVANSVILLE LEADERS - Sean Henneman - 7 points; Phillip Krueger - 25 points; Brandt Bitzan - 8 points; Kyle Steffenson - 11 points; Tyson Meissner - 2 points; Adam Wagner - 2 points; Jared Goehringer - 6 points. Field goals 48 percent. Free throws 57 percent. Turnovers 8.

ASHBY LEADERS - J.P. Moe - 1 point, 1 assist; Jordan Lillemon - 11 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals; Jon Quernemoen - 15 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal; Justice Witt - 2 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal; Tanner Langlie - 9 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists; Riley Mickelson - 14 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist

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