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Sacred Heart tops Win-E-Mac 74-63

Win-E-Mac had a stingy 51.8 defensive scoring average entering Saturday.

That average went up after running up against the East Grand Forks Sacred Heart High School boys basketball team.

The Eagles had 46 points in the first half alone. They went on to claim a 74-63 win at Grand Forks Central High School in the annual Compton Memorial/South Forks Lions Shootout.

"I think we're a better defensive than offensive team,'' Win-E-Mac coach Vern Johnson said. "But they're good. They made plays and we got in some foul trouble and kept putting them at the free-throw line. That's a big difference.''

Sacred Heart was 18-of-20 on free throws in the first half.

Brenden Bethke sparked the Eagles' fast start. He had 10 points in the first quarter alone en route to a season-high 28-point night for the junior guard.

Sacred Heart led 22-18 after one quarter, then 3-point baskets by Noah Chine and Bethke started a 16-2 run to start the second quarter.

"We played great offensive basketball in the first half,'' Eagles coach Destry Sterkel said. "And that's how we've been playing lately.

"We played well together. We did a great job getting out in transition. The kids were getting the ball to the open player. And we can hit those shots.''

Jordan Tomkinson added 24 points in support of Bethke for the 17-1 Eagles.

"Brenden is so athletic,'' Sterkel said. "He runs the floor and can hit shots. He's playing great right now.''

Mikah Olson had 16 points and Brekken Lindberg 14 for 11-7 Win-E-Mac, which saw a six-game winning streak snapped. The Patriots were playing without two starters, who were at robotics competition.

"We had to make some adjustments without them,'' Johnson said. "We were a little out of sync in the first half. But you have to play with who you have.''