TOPEKA — Bremen point guard Ben Hueni willed his team to victory with 16 second-half points as the Lions beat Fairfield 50-43, while the Class 2A No. 7 host Warriors outscored LaVille 41-24 in the second half of the other semifinal for a 64-51 at Westview Friday night.
BREMEN 50, FAIRFIELD 43
Bremen coach Kyle Hanyzewski had a simple message for his team going into Friday night’s sectional match-up with Fairfield — one win, and the Lions would play for a championship.
Bremen will do just that Saturday night.
Led by Ben Hueni’s game-high 17 points, 16 of which came in the second half, Bremen scored a 50-43 win to reach the Class 2A Westview sectional final. The Lions will face host and No. 7 Westview (20-2), a 64-51 winner over LaVille in Friday’s other semifinal.
“We wrote it on the board in the locker room — one upset, one game. By the time I got back in there after the game, they’d changed it to two upsets, two games,” Bremen coach Kyle Hanyzewski said. “They needed this. We’ve struggled, obviously, but they believed. We knew we were capable of this.”
Hueni played like someone possessed in the second half in willing Bremen to victory.
“Ben has worked so hard on his pull-up jumpshot and ball handling and he feels so confident when the pressure is on,” Hanyzewski said. “I don’t think I’ve been around a harder worker in my life. He rose to the occasion tonight.”
Plagued by bad starts all season, Bremen (4-17) had one of its best Friday night. Austin Huff had four points and Ethan Pike added a 3-pointer as Bremen led 8-4 after a quarter. Fairfield (10-11) missed its first nine shots, but Chandler Kauffman made its next two to cut the deficit to four.
Fairfield tied it at 12-12 three minutes into the second period but was held scoreless the rest of the half, as J.J Schafer and Jesse Glingle had baskets to give Bremen a 16-12 halftime lead.
Helping Bremen’s cause, the Lions outrebounded Fairfield 16-6 in the first half.
“Austin Huff and Mitch Huppert were wild men in the paint,” Hanyzewski said. “We thought we could get boards if we really wanted them, and those two guys especially showed heart and helped us get some extra shots.”
Three straight 3-pointers gave Fairfield a 23-18 lead midway through the third quarter. Hueni responded with five straight points, and the teams went to the fourth quarter tied at 26-26.
Hueni’s ninth point of the final period came on a 3-pointer that gave Bremen a 41-35 lead with 1:40 remaining. Bremen finished off the game by going 9-of-10 at the foul line.
Pike finished with 13 points and a team-high seven rebounds for Bremen.
Kauffman led Fairfield with 16 points, followed by Derek Vogelzang with 12.
With one upset down, Bremen looks to repeat the feat Saturday night.
“We talked about playing for a championship, and now that we’re they’re it becomes about winning a championship,” Hanyzewski said. “We know we’ll have to play our best game of the year and work as hard as possible to get the victory.”
LaVille coach Michael Edison knew his team needed a perfect game and an off night for Westview to get a win Friday. It didn’t happen.
Over the final two quarters, sectional host Westview showed why it is the No. 7 team in Class 2A, as it rallied for a 64-51 victory to reach Saturday’s final against Bremen.
Led by Jordyn Williams’ 26 points, LaVille led at halftime. The Lancers couldn’t stop Justin Jantzi down the stretch, as the Westview senior finished with 28 points.
Despite the loss, LaVille (12-10) finished with the program’s first winning record in 18 years.
“I was proud of our guys,” Edison said. “I was just talking to our three seniors (Trenton Stout, Codee Kimbel and Drew Dutoi) about how it was two years ago when I had them, and just how far they’ve come and the team has come. So much of it’s due to them.”
Williams had 10 points in the first quarter to push LaVille to a 15-9 lead. LaVille upped its lead to nine early in the second quarter, but Westview cut it to 27-23 at halftime.
Jantzi had 12 of his team’s 16 points in the third quarter as Westview (20-2) turned a four-point deficit into a 39-33 lead.
“Third quarters this season for some reason have been our downfall,” Edison said.
As the period came to a close, Williams heaved a three-quarter-court shot that banked in, but the basket was waved off. The call couldn’t have been any closer.
“Both refs said they we’re 100 percent sure it was no good,” said Edison, who along with the LaVille cheering section exploded in protest when the shot was nullified. “They assured me, so I took their word for it. I wasn’t 100 percent sure, but I have the tape and can look at it.”
Westview finished strong and led by as many as 17 in the fourth quarter. Free throws clinched it for the Warriors, who finished the game 16-of-18 at the charity stripe.
Behind Williams’ team-high, Andrew Hostetler (12 points) and Nick Amor (11) also scored in double figures for LaVille.
• CLASS 2A WESTVIEW SECTIONAL
WESTVIEW 64, LAVILLE 51
Score by quarters
Westview: 9 14 16 25 — 64
LaVille: 15 12 6 18 — 51
WESTVIEW (64): Adam Castle 2, Judah Zickafoose 0, Brant Yoder 6, Adrian Brandenberger 4, Dominique Neely 7, Seth Wagler 11, Kurt Lambright 6, Justin Jantzi 28.
LAVILLE (51): Trenton Scott 0, Jordyn Williams 26, Landon Manuel 0, Codee Kimbel 2, Tim Wicks 0, Andrew Hostetler 12, Nick Amor 11, Justin Baker 0.
BREMEN 50, FAIRFIELD 43
Score by quarters
Fairfield: 4 8 14 17 — 43
Bremen: 8 8 10 24 — 50
FAIRFIELD (43): Derek Vogelzang 12, Garrett Scott 2, David Pinion 0, Tanner Foust 9, Alex Mast 2, Brian Ulrich 0, Chandler Kauffman 16, Austin Beer 2.
BREMEN (50): Ben Hueni 17, Ty Holmes 0, Jesse Glingle 2, Ethan Pike 13, Jacob Box 1, Josh Brenneman 4, Tim Zimmer 0, J.J. Schafer 2, Austin Huff 7, Mitch Huppert 4.