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State: Bancroft-Rosalie vs. High Plains, D-2, 3.15.14

Bancroft-Rosalie players celebrate their 62-47 victory over High Plains in the Class D-2 boys state championship game Saturday, March 15, 2014, at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Once Bancroft-Rosalie settled in and got its offense rolling, the Panthers were nearly unstoppable on the way to a 62-47 win over High Plains in Saturday’s Class D-2 title game at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Bancroft-Rosalie finished with four players in double figures. Preston Peters led the way with 14 points — 11 in the second half. Kenneth Appleton added 12 points, Nick Sjuts had 11 and Drew Zitek finished with 10.

A week ago, High Plains beat the Panthers 67-55 in the district tournament. Saturday had a different look. The Panthers hit 11 three-pointers, four more than in last week’s game.

“We saw some things on film we thought we could do a better job with and we fixed those things,” Bancroft-Rosalie coach Mike Sjuts said of the rematch. “The first time, we gave up a lot of easy points inside. Rebounding, we did a good job of going and getting the ball.”

After trailing 17-8 with two minutes remaining in the first quarter, Bancroft-Rosalie scored 11 straight points. The Panthers continued to score at ease, and they finished the half on a 22-6 run to take a 30-23 lead at the break.

“We didn’t get the ball inside in the second quarter like we did the first,” High Plains coach Cameron Hudson said. “We hit some threes early, and sometimes that can work against you because we didn’t keep going inside like we planned to.”

High Plains was able to cut its deficit to three points, trailing 41-38 with two minutes left in the third quarter, but Bancroft-Rosalie (26-4) ended the period on a 6-0 run and then scored the first three points of the fourth quarter to stretch its lead to 50-38. High Plains never got back to within 10 points.

“It wasn’t for lack of effort,” Hudson said. “They have so many scorers, and when we left someone they knocked down the shot.”

Logan Fleming had a game-high 16 points to lead the way for High Plains (27-2), and Cole Klingsporn had 14 points in the loss.

“They have some super kids,” Mike Sjuts said of High Plains. “Those two guards, Klingsporn and Fleming, are as good as anybody in the state.”

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Weekend editor

Alex Lantz is a sports copy editor.

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