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Chiefs top Cabrini, advance to district semis PHOTO GALLERY

  • Huron's Tyler Olson (3) led his team with a game-high 22 points. With the win, the Chiefs advance to Wednesday's district semifinals against Huron. Photos by Dave Chapman

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After a fairly easy first half, the Huron boys’ basketball team had to really wake up in the second half for a win in Monday’s district quarterfinals.

The Chiefs were outscored by Cabrini in the middle quarters of the match up, but fortunately for Huron a four-point advantage at the half and a five-point edge in the final outing translated into a win.

Host Huron topped Cabrini 61-54 for the win and an advancement to Wednesday’s district semifinals.

The Chiefs led 28-24 at the halftime buzzer before things got even closer in the second half.

Cabrini’s Scott Smith hit one of his two free throws with 4:11 to play in the third to tie the game 35-35.

Thirty seconds later, Robert DeBlander caught a long pass and was all alone under the Monarchs’ basket and made the easy lay up to give his team a 37-35 lead, its first of the game.

Huron’s Chris Schultz hit a three for a Huron lead, Cabrini’s David Szczensy made a field goal for a Cabrini lead.

And so it went.

Huron held a 41-39 edge heading into the final eight minutes and held on through some close calls.

Every time the Monarchs made a push, Huron responded with a push of its own to keep its distance.

When Smith was given a technical foul with 2:15 to go, Huron’s Tyler Olson took the shots and sunk both to give his team a 54-49 lead.

“Unfortunately it was his fifth foul and he’s one of my top scorers, so when he came out of the game, it was a little tough there in the fourth quarter,” Cabrini Coach Gerry Klos said. “But it’s basketball; it is what it is. Both teams played hard and it was a good game.”

Cabrini made one last push for a 56-52 game, but Olson hit a triple with 40 seconds to go and the home team hung on for the win.

Olson led the hosts with a team-high 22 points and seven rebounds.

Austin Bell had a great fourth quarter and scored eight of his night’s 10 points in the final eight minutes.

“Austin Bell was probably the highlight of tonight,” Huron Coach Jim Kalbfleisch said. “Olson always plays solid and he’s our go to, but Austin had a real good game tonight.”

Justin Carey finished the night with eight points and two rebounds, Zach Schlarb had five points and six boards and Grant Wood and Justin Wolber had four points each.

Cabrini was led by Smith who finished with 15 points and four boards. He went nine-of-12 from the charity stripe in the loss.

Szczensy and DeBlander had 13 points each. Szczensy had nine rebounds and DeBlander had three.

Klos said it has been an up and down season for his team but he was proud of them for battling in the second half.

“At halftime, we just wanted to make sure we were seeing our help side defense just to make sure that they’re seeing the screens and slips,” he said. “We actually did a better job of that in the second half.

“I think the second half was our best half. It was game of runs (and) they made more runs than we did.”

Klos said he knew it was going to be challenging going against a big Huron team.

“Every team we went against, we’re the smallest team and so we knew it was gonna be a tough game,” he said. “We had to do what we could do and it didn’t work out.”

Kalbfleisch said his team didn’t play their best game and said Cabrini played a strong one.

“We felt it would be an even game and it was,” he said. “We had some problems playing zone and we were trying to play a little better man-man and get a little more offense.

“(And) we thought we did that. We got some good shots.”

With the win, Huron advances to Wednesday’s district semifinals to take on a strong Summit Academy team.

“They’re probably one of the better teams in the district,” Kalbfleisch said. “We’re gonna have to play about 100 times better than we played tonight to beat them.”

Last Updated: 3/4/2014 2:21:19 PM EST