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Ellsworth’s runs too much for Fulda boys; Panthers win Thursday, 79-58, Appel, Dierks play well for Raiders

December 25, 2013

by Les Knutson

Sports Writer
A trio of strong runs by the perennially-talented Ellsworth Panthers were too much for the Fulda Raiders to overcome Thursday night (December 19) in a Red Rock Conference boys’ basketball game, as the visiting Panthers left the Fulda gym with a 79-58 victory.

Coming on the heels of an impressive 63-34 win over Red Rock Central two nights earlier, the Raiders jumped out of the gates with a nice start, claiming an 11-5 lead on Ellsworth in the game’s first three minutes.

The Panthers, who were playing their 10th game of the season, responded with a 22-2 run over the next 10 minutes and 21 seconds to earn a 27-13 advantage. They held the lead for the rest of the game.

Ellsworth (8-2) was up by a 37-23 spread at intermission.

The Panthers continued to play well in the second half, opening up a 20-point lead at 55-35 with 11:10 remaining in the game.

The Raiders countered with a fine 8-1 run, slicing Ellsworth’s lead to 56-43 at the 9:39 mark.

But, the Panthers scored the game’s next 12 points --- over a span of 3:44 --- and put the contest out of reach, leading 68-43 with 5:55 left on the clock.

“We had a nice start and made a good run midway through the second half,” said FHS head coach Colby Pack. “But, Ellsworth had three bigger runs, which allowed them to pull away from us.”

Pack was pleased with Josh Ramerth’s early burst to start the game, scoring eight quick points and dishing an assist to Cole Dierks for a three-pointer.

“Josh’s all-around play at the beginning of the game was a bright spot,” praised Pack. “Then, Bennett Appel played a very strong second half for us, scoring 14 of his 16 points after the break.”

Ramerth (18), Appel (16) and Dierks (11) combined to score 45 of Fulda’s points, while Justin Dierks (five) Ryan Schumacher (three), Brett Cuperus (three) and Brian Fenske (two) tallied the remaining 13.

Appel (seven), Ramerth (six) and Cole Dierks (four) were Fulda’s leading rebounders, while Schumacher and Ramerth each blocked a shot.

Cole Dierks, who hit a trio of three-pointers in the game, had a team-leading six assists for the Raiders, while Ramerth (four), Appel (three) and Cuperus (two) also had multiple basket-resulting passes in the game.

Fulda had a total of 19 assists, compared to just eight turnovers. But the Raiders had only three steals --- one each by Appel, Fenske and Schumacher.Raiders shot 40.7 percent from the field (22-of-54), including seven-of-20 (35 percent) from behind the arc. Fulda was seven-of-10 at the free throw line, paced by Appel’s six-of-seven performance.

Ellsworth, led by the combined 47 points of Justin Kruse (24) and Drew Cheskie (23) shot a blistering 55.9 percent from the field, making 33 of 59 shots.

Fulda (1-8 overall, 1-5 in the conference) lost a close game to the Edgerton Flying Dutchmen, 61-56, at Edgerton Friday night. The write-up on that contest will be in next week’s issue of the Fulda Free Press.>

Ellsworth 37 42 = 79

Fulda 23 35 = 58

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