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Raider boys start fast, finish strong in 63-34 win over RRC

Balanced Fulda boys win first game of new season Tuesday

December 25, 2013

	Ryan Schumacher makes his way around his RRC opponent as he heads to the basket. 
 FULDA FREE PRESS/Sheila Crowley
FULDA FREE PRESS/Sheila Crowley
Ryan Schumacher makes his way around his RRC opponent as he heads to the basket.
   Brian Fenske takes the jump shot for the Raiders. 
 FULDA FREE PRESS/Sheila Crowley
FULDA FREE PRESS/Sheila Crowley
Brian Fenske takes the jump shot for the Raiders.
Brett Cuperus looks to pass as he notches an assist. 
 FULDA FREE PRESS/Sheila Crowley
FULDA FREE PRESS/Sheila Crowley
Brett Cuperus looks to pass as he notches an assist.
by Les Knutson

Sports Writer
Vaulting to early leads of 14-5 and 21-11 last Tuesday night (December 17), the Fulda Raiders never trailed and earned a decisive 63-34 victory over visiting Red Rock Central in Red Rock Conference boys basketball action on the home floor.

It was the first victory of the new season for the Raiders, after six earlier defeats, and it came in impressive fashion as Fulda’s aggressiveness and fine team balance were evident throughout the contest.

The boys really came out and played like a team needing a win at all costs, summed up Raiders head coach Colby Pack. We were the aggressive team and we played with a lot of confidence. I am very proud of how we responded and stepped up to the challenge facing us.

Fulda’s fast start continued through the first half, as the Raiders built up a 14-point advantage, leading 31-17 with two minutes and 11 seconds to play prior to the break.

Holding a 36-20 lead at intermission, Fulda came out with increased defensive intensity in the opening minutes of the second half. The Raiders held the Falcons without a point for more than three minutes, while scoring six points themselves.

With 14:50 left in the game, Fulda was up by a huge margin, 42-20.

That lead continued to extend over the next seven minutes, as the Raiders played well on both ends of the floor and increased their advantage to an impressive 58-24 spread --- at the 7:22 mark --- with a solid 16-4 run.

We did some good things, both offensively and defensively, praised Pack, who played for RRC in his high school days a decade ago. It was a fine all-around team effort. It’s nice to get the monkey (first win) off our back. Now, we can relax and continue to play good basketball.

Statistically, the Raiders shot 41.7 percent from the field (25 of 60), including 18 of 38 (47.4 percent) from inside the three-point arc and seven-of-22 (31.8 percent) from behind it.

Fulda’s defensive effort limited the winless Falcons (0-6 overall, 0-5 conference) to a 25.5 percent shooting (12 of 47) night from the field. RRC did not make a single three-pointer in 11 attempts.

Paced by 10 rebounds by junior forward Bennett Appel and eight from sophomore guard Brian Fenske, the Raiders claimed a 42-39 rebounding edge in the game, as a total of 10 Fulda players came up with at least one ball off the boards.

Passing the ball well, the Raiders had 17 assists in the game. Fenske was credited with four of those, while freshman guard Justin Dierks and senior forward Josh Ramerth both had a trio of assists.

Three players --- senior guards Matt Kunerth and Cole Dierks, along with junior guard Brett Cuperus --- each had a pair of assists in the game.

Hitting five three-pointers (in 13 attempts), Cole Dierks topped Fulda’s balanced scoring chart with 17 points.

Three other Raiders also notched double-figures, as Ramerth (14), Appel (11) and Fenske (10) combined for 35 Fulda points.

Senior forward Ryan Schumacher netted eight points for the Raiders, while Cuperus made a two-point field goal and freshman forward Brandon Everett sank a free throw.

Cole Dierks came up with a team-leading three steals, while Schumacher and Appel each had two steals. Fenske blocked a pair of shots, while Ramerth and Appel both blocked one RRC shot attempt.

Kunerth and Schumacher each snagged five rebounds in the game and Cuperus, Justin Dierks, Fenske, senior forward Matt Funk, Kunerth and Ramerth all had a steal, contributing to Fulda’s total of 13.>

RRC 20 14 = 34

Fulda 36 27 = 63


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