GENEVA – The Exeter-Milligan Timberwolves are headed back to the Class D2 State Tournament after their 41-30 win over the Giltner Hornets in the boys D2-7 final at Fillmore Central on Monday night.
This was the third meeting of the year between the teams with each holding one win coming in.
Exeter-Milligan led 21-16 at the end of the first half as the Hornets committed a turnover late and sophomore Jackson Beethe drilled a baseline 3-pointer to push the Timberwolves’ lead to 21-16 at the break.
In the second half the Exeter-Milligan defense forced the Hornets into six third quarter turnovers and the Timberwolves held the Hornets to 1 of 9 from the field as they built their lead to 28-19 through three quarters.
Exeter-Milligan head coach Dean Filipi said after the win this team complement each others skills.
“This team plays very well together. They do a lot of things as a team and you can tell on the floor that they get along well,” said Filipi. “They earned it this year. We may have had a few hiccups along the way, but I knew this team had a real good nucleus returning and you just never know what will happen, but this team has really come together nicely.”
The Timberwolves’ win was their ninth in a row, with their last loss coming to Giltner in the Crossroads Conference semifinals at York in January.
The Timberwolves had great balance against the Hornets as three players finished in double figures, led by Beethe with 14. Colton Bossaller with a pair of first half 3-pointers had 11 and junior Max Zeleny had 10 points and a boatload of rebounds.
“These kids play hard and they get after it on the floor,” Filipi said. “We will take who we get at state and I’m sure we will come out and play hard and give it all we can.”
Giltner’s scoring was led by Dayne Hinrichs who finished with 15, but scored eight in the fourth quarter late. The next in line scoring wise for the Hornets was Rody Lyon with six.
Giltner was 12 of 43 from the field and just 4 of 23 on 3-point shots. They ended the season at the line with just 2 of 5.
EM (21-4) knocked down 16 of 46 shots from the field and that included 4 of 11 on 3-pointers.
The Timberwolves were 5 of 10 at the charity stripe.
Giltner turned the ball over 16 times to the Timberwolves’ nine and Exeter-Milligan out-rebounded the Hornets 31-28.
Giltner ends the year 15-10.
The pairing for the Class D2 State Tournament should be available at www.nsaahome.org on Tuesday.
9 7 3 11- 30
9 12 7 13- 41
GIL (30)-Roth 3, Lyon 6, Humphrey 2, Hinrichs 15, Linden 4. Totals- 12-43 (4-23) 2-5 30
E-M (41)- Beethe 14, Zeleny 10, Pribyl 4, Babula 2, Bossaller 11. Totals- 16-46 (4-11) 5-10 41.