EAST CHAIN - The Jackson County Central Huskies boys basketball team took its first lead over Granada-Huntley-East Chain a minute before halftime, and did not relinquish it, surging to a 70-56 nonconference victory in East Chain on Monday night.
For the Huskies, senior point guard Taylor Christopher caught fire in the final minute of the half, sinking a crucial free throw and a 3 to take the 29-28 lead at halftime.
Huskies center Jon Harmening took control early in the second half, scoring 11 of his game-high 22 points and snagging seven of his 13 rebounds to help his team to their victory.
UP?AND?IN — Granada-Huntley-East Chain’s Dylan Petrowiak goes up for a layup against the Huskies’ Josh Thaemlitz in the first half of a nonconference basketball game on Monday in East Chain. Mustangs’ guards Josh Wolter and Josh Johansen look to rebound against JCC defenders Darnell Taylor-Breck and Austin Hinckeldey. Photo by Leanna Becker
"I thought that we started out really well. Once again we got out to an early lead and we settled down," said GHEC head coach Scott Chirpich. "Offensively we started to rush and weren't taking good care of the ball and couldn't stop their run before half."
The Mustangs had managed a seven-point lead when Harmening scored with 11:46 remaining in the first half to make it 12-7.
With six minutes left in the half, Dylan Petrowiak stole a pass from Christopher intended for forward Austin Hinckeldey, and drove the length of the floor for the layup. Petrowiak proceeded to draw a charging foul on the ensuing possession, maintained a GHEC 24-18 lead.
Another GHEC fast-break opportunity, in which Logan Pytleski sent a pass to Josh Johansen for the layup with just over a minute left in the first half, helped the Mustangs hold on to their lead at 28-26.
In the second half, the Huskies' Josh Thaemlitz started out their offense right where they left off, drawing a foul and making a free throw to make it 30-28.
Johansen was finally able to get the Mustangs on the board with a 3 at the 14-minute mark.
GHEC was able to get the game back within seven, but couldn't mount a comeback.
GHEC's Konnor Kristenson had nine of his team-leading 16 points in the second half, amd grabbed five rebounds. Johansen scored 13 points, shooting 3 of 4 behind the arc.
Petrowiak and Pytleski each tallied eight points.
Granada-Huntley-East Chain (0-2) travels to Madelia for a 7:30 p.m. Valley Conference game on Thursday.