Cassopolis falls to Pirates 70-50 in quarterfinals

Published 10:04 am Thursday, March 14, 2019

RICHLAND — The title run of the Cassopolis Rangers came to an end in the Division 3 quarterfinals as undefeated Pewamo-Westphalia posted a 70-50 victory at Gull Lake High School Tuesday night.

The Pirates (26-0) and Rangers (23-2) were deadlocked at 10-10 after the opening quarter.

Pewamo-Westphalia used a 22-6 run in the second quarter to open up a 32-16 halftime advantage.

The Pirates would never look back as Cassopolis struggled with turnovers and poor shooting throughout the contest.

The Rangers were also hampered by the fact that leading scorer Tyrese Hunt-Thompson was in foul trouble early in the game.

Thompson, who was averaging more than 27 points per game in the state tournament, got hit with two personal fouls in the first quarter, including one of three charging fouls called against the Ranger senior.

He would eventually foul out in the fourth quarter with the game already decided. Hunt-Thompson finished with 18 points.

“They just outworked us,” said Cassopolis coach Ricky Evans. “That is the bottom line. They had a good plan to stop us from going inside.”

The Rangers attempted to battle their way back into the game in the second half, but the early deficit was too much for Cassopolis to overcome.

The Pirates took a 46-34 lead into the fourth quarter.

Cassopolis was able to get the lead under double digits in the final eight minutes, but Pewamo-Westphalia was money at the free throw line and was able to hold off the Charging Rangers.

The Pirates finished the night 15-of-18 from the free throw line.

Andre Smith made four consecutive foul shots late in the fourth quarter to seal the victory. Smith finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Hunter Hengesbach led the Pirates with 19 points, while Aaron Bearss added 11 and Nate Worth 10.

Brayden Saxton was the only other Cassopolis player to reach double figures as he ended the night with 11 points.

Pewamo-Westphalia will face Erie-Mason at 2 p.m. today in the Division 3 semifinals at the Breslin Center on the campus of Michigan State University.