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Wolverine boys advance to district semifinals

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By Joel Stevens, Associate Editor

    MALVERN - The East Mills boys basketball team held Stanton to seven first half points to advance to the Class 1A, District 15 semifinals on Thursday with a decisive 45-18 victory over the Vikings.

    East Mills coach Kevin Schafer commended the play of his defense in the win, but the coach was quick to point out Stanton entered the game a struggling offensive basketball team.
    “They’ve struggled offensively as we have at times,” said Schafer of his team holding Stanton to a season-low in points. “A lot of teams in the conference have (struggled scoring). Scoring is just down.
    “There’s just not as many scorers in the conference as there was. I’m a little disappointed we didn’t score some more points. If we’re going to move on in the tournament, we need better offensive consistency. We’re capable of it, but we’ve been hit and miss. This time of year you have to be consistent.”

    The Wolverines were consistent from the get-go on Thursday. The East Mills press forced numerous first-quarter turnovers leading to an early 14-4 lead. Stanton went without a point the final three minutes of the first quarter and nearly seven minutes of the second. Luke Schafer’s lefty leaner put the Wolverines up 20-4 with just over four minutes to go in the half.
    Shayne Larson’s three-pointer with 1:48 to go in the half was the Vikings’ only points the final 11 minutes of the first half.
    East Mills led 24-7 at the half but always seemed in control. Luke Schafer’s runner made the score 30-10 with 4:32 to go in the third and all but ended the game for the Vikings.
    “One thing that always makes you scared is Stanton never quits,” said Schafer. “They never look at the scoreboard, they fly around, they never quit. Some schools, you get them down, they might lay down. But they make you nervous because they never and didn’t give up. I give the coaches and the players credit for that.”
    The Wolverines led by as many as 31 in the fourth quarter.
    Luke Schafer scored a game-high 14 points to lead East Mills. Daniel Duysen added seven and Charlie Ruff eight.
    Jeff Marshall led Stanton with nine points.
    The Wolverines advanced to play Riverside in last night’s semifinal.