It took just five games for the Bishop Ryan boys basketball team to earn its statement win.
It took just two tries for the Lions to knock off a ranked opponent.
Less than a week removed from falling short against No. 4 Rugby, Ryan handed sixth-ranked and previously unbeaten Hazen a 78-69 loss Friday. Senior guard Brody Bosch finished with a game-high 28 points and the Lions received 25 points off the bench.
Bishop Ryan senior guard Brody Bosch drives against Hazen’s Wyatt Carr on Friday at Bishop Ryan.
"The kids have worked hard and have accepted the challenge," Ryan coach Brock Teets said. "It's a good team win tonight. We had a lot of kids contribute. We got a little deeper into our bench tonight. They came in and held it together."
The Lions (4-1) ripped through Hazen's defense on dribble penetration and also did damage from behind the arc. Sophomore Tyler Daws hit a game-high four 3-pointers off the bench and Bosch and senior guard Austin Eggl each hit a pair.
Ryan led throughout most of the first quarter and held an 18-13 advantage after senior Nick Berentson's lone basket in the opening half. The Bison (6-1) responded with a 9-2 run to end the first quarter, taking the lead in the final seconds on a 3 by senior guard Dominick Opp.
Daws caught fire in the second quarter, hitting two 3s as part of a 14-4 run to end the half. His first trey pulled Ryan even at 29 and his second gave the Lions a 34-31 lead.
"Our team played pretty well all around," Daws said. "I just stepped up and knocked a couple Js down."
Ryan led 40-33 at the break and limited the Bison to three field goals in the second quarter.
Ryan junior forward Jared Will totaled 13 points but his biggest contribution came on defense. The 6-foot-4 forward matched up against Hazen's big man - 6-2, 262-pound Austin Cieslak - and limited him to 12 points.
"The game plan was hopefully limit him," Teets said. "It's tough to stop a kid like that. I thought Jared Will played one of his best defensive games of the year. He really accepted the challenge because Cieslak is a beast."
With Cieslak somewhat contained, the Lions pushed their lead to double digits as Bosch shouldered the load in the third quarter. Limited to nine points in the first half, Bosch scored 11 in the third quarter and Ryan led by 12 with a quarter to go.
"That was a great team win," Bosch said. "Every one was feeling it. It makes it a lot more fun. Everyone did great tonight."
Hazen climbed back in it with a 7-1 run to start the fourth quarter, but the Lions' 3-point shooting kept the Bison from a furious comeback. Bosch hit his second 3 of the contest for a 65-53 lead and back-to-back treys by Daws midway through the frame pushed Ryan's advantage back to double digits. Hazen could only get as close as nine the rest of the way.
"They definitely shot the ball from behind the arc better than we did," Hazen coach Randy Johnson said. "They were all big 3s. Everyone put us down a little bit deeper so we had to be able to guard them from the perimeter. Then they hurt us on dribble penetration. I think the dribble penetration hurt us the most."
Daws finished with 14 points, as did Hazen's leading scorer Wyatt Carr.
Both teams are in action today. The Lions host No. 8 Shiloh Christian at 6 p.m. and the Bison travel to Bowman County at 5:30 p.m.
Mike Kraft covers high school athletics and hockey. Follow him on Twitter @MKraft23_MDN.