FALL RIVER — Cambria-Friesland’s prep boys basketball team is not blessed with a great deal of size. Fall River’s is.
And it showed Tuesday night.
Led by 6-foot-3 senior Dylan Dykstra’s 17 points and 16 rebounds, the Pirates were able to control the paint — and the scoreboard — en route to a 65-51 Trailways West Conference win over the Hilltoppers.
Dykstra “played a heck of a game inside for us, and that’s what we need out of him to be competitive for the rest of the year,” said Pirates coach Arnie Oelke, whose team also got 19 points — nine of them on three consecutive 3-pointers during a decisive stretch late in the first half — from 6-foot senior Jared Klein.
“It seemed like they were getting three or four shots (every possession),” Toppers coach Derrick Smit said. “We were struggling to handle them on the (offensive) boards — we’re a small team and we’ve got to grow from that and learn from that.”
Cambria-Friesland’s troubles were particularly problematic immediately before and after halftime.
The Toppers (2-1, 0-1 Trailways West) led 20-19 with just over 6 minutes to play in the first half before Klein went on a personal 9-2 scoring run to give the Pirates a 28-22 lead. Then after leading 33-26 at the break, Fall River opened the second half on a 13-3 run to make it 46-29 with 10:01 remaining.
“There were some seniors with some strength against some younger guys, and they weren’t able to muscle through some of that,” said Smit, whose team has only three seniors on the roster and no one who plays significant minutes listed taller than 6-3.
“And then to (Fall River’s) credit defensively, they really locked us down — they kept us out of the paint and that’s what kind of caused that long dry stretch for us.”
Fall River’s lead did dwindle down to single digits at 50-41 when Colton DeJager made a layup off of a steal with 6:48 to go, but the Pirates (2-1, 1-0) quickly answered and it was never close the rest of the way.
“We’re going to learn from this — we’re going to learn how to move the ball more. And we’ve got to learn to box out and rebound a little bit better, because every night we’re going to be the small team out there,” Smit said. “(But) I thought our kids really fought hard throughout the whole night. I was really happy with the way they handled themselves through a stretch that didn’t go their way. They kept their heads up.”
Cambria-Friesland 26 25 — 51
Fall River 33 32 — 65
CAMBRIA-FREISLAND — Cade Burmania 12, Kobe Smit 7, Reed Prochnow 8, Colton DeJager 7, Colt Wentland 5, Joseph Pulver 10, Griffin Hart 2. Totals 16 16-28 51
FALL RIVER — Jared Klein 19, Gage Nemecek 3, Tanner Liebenthal 6, Luke Figol 4, Matthew Morton 12, Daniel Muset Velasco 2, Dylan Dykstra 12, Keegan Wodill 2. Totals 26 6-16 65.
3-point goals—CF 3 (Kobe Smit 1, Reed Prochnow 1, Joseph Pulver 1), FR 7 (Jared Klein 4, Gage Nemecek 1, Matthew Morton 2). Total fouls—CF 16, FR 22.