Tough tandem to stop

Bohl, Hedberg carry Ryan past DLB in District 12 opener

Alex Eisen/MDN Bishop Ryan senior Ben Bohl (3) takes a shot over Des Lacs-Burlington defender Scott Drovdal (24) Friday evening at the Minot Auditorium.

The opening night of district play across the region and the Lions’ dynamic duo struck again.

Senior guards Ben Bohl and Mason Hedberg guided the No. 9-ranked Bishop Ryan boys basketball team to a 62-38 victory Friday evening against Des Lacs-Burlington at the Minot Auditorium.

Bohl and Hedberg combined for 50 of Ryan’s 62 points.

“Ben (Bohl) and Mason (Hedberg) are going to get their (points) every night, but we need more guys who are ready to step up,” Ryan head coach Jeremy Feller said. “Tonight, those two carried a lot of the load. It’s nice to have that senior leadership, and hopefully they can keep training the sophomores to take over next year. Not only that, we will need those sophomores down the stretch to be big (contributors) as well.”

The Lakers (5-5, 0-1 District 12) held an early five-point lead in the first quarter, 8-3, but couldn’t stop Ryan (7-2, 1-0 District 12) from getting easy shots in the lane.

Alex Eisen/MDN Ryan senior Mason Hedberg (right) rises up in front of DLB junior Dante Gunville (10) Friday evening in Minot.

A tightly contested first quarter rightfully finished tied at 13-13.

DLB junior Dante Gunville kept the score tied at 18 apiece by matching a Bohl triple with a 3-pointer of his own.

Surprisingly, that was the Lions’ only made 3-pointer of the game.

Bohl scored Ryan’s first nine points of the second quarter. Hedberg filled in the gaps. The duo scored all 17 of Ryan’s points in the quarter to put the Lions up 30-21 at halftime.

“We felt like we were in the mentality that it was a Saturday,” Feller said. “We slept in and laid around until 4 (p.m.) and showed up to play. We didn’t really have that chip on our shoulder or intensity. DLB has a good basketball team with shooters, so I told them, ‘If you let them get going, this could be an interesting basketball game.'”

DLB junior Will Pearson opened the second half with a 3-pointer. He tied Gunville with a team-high 10 points.

The Lions, heeding Feller’s advice, put the contest out of reach with a 21-0 run that spanned the end of the third quarter and the start of the final frame.

Bohl, who racked up a game-high 29 points, caught fire like he did in the second quarter and scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter.

“Chinaza (Udekwe) and some of the other guys kind of had an off-night and that’s OK,” Bohl said. “Those nights happen. I have off-nights. Mason (Hedberg) has off-nights. It’s just whoever puts the ball in the hole. Tonight, I guess it was us (Hedberg and I).”

Hedberg didn’t score in the fourth quarter, but had already done his damage with 21 points.

The 38 points allowed was nearly a season best for the Lions — they held Kenmare to 35 points on Dec. 18. Nonetheless, the defensive performance wasn’t flawless.

“(DLB) didn’t make a lot of shots and it wasn’t because we were contested them,” Bohl said. “They just missed shots tonight. We didn’t pressure them as much as we wanted to. It wasn’t our style of defense, we were too laid back.”

The Lions have a quick turnaround, hosting Bottineau at 4 p.m. this afternoon. DLB welcomes Lewis & Clark-Berthold to Burlington on Monday at 7:15 p.m.

Alex Eisen covers Minot State athletics, the Minot Minotauros and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.