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Dominant second half lifts Kiel boys basketball over Xavier to advance to sectional final

Dominant second half lifts Kiel boys basketball over Xavier to advance to sectional final
Posted at 10:38 PM, Mar 06, 2024

BRILLION — It was a bumpy first half for the No.1 seed Kiel boys basketball team on offense, but they stayed in the game thanks to their defense and they went scorched earth on offense in the second half to defeat No. 2 Xavier, 60-37 in the sectional semifinal.

The Raiders shot just 1/12 from beyond the arc in the first half and found themselves down 23-17 at the break.

"We knew the shots were going to start falling. Defense travels — we knew that," said Raiders head head coach Marcus Rumpff.

Down 26-19 the Raiders went on a 22-0 run and controlled the game from there to get the win.

"It's pretty special. These guys just continue to surprise in every way and do things that haven't been done before in Kiel," said Rumpff. "During that stretch it felt like everything we put up was going in."

The Raiders defense held the Hawks to just 3 points for over a 13 minute stretch in the second half.

"This team strives on our defense and our defense translates to our offense and then we start hitting those threes," said Raiders senior guard Aidan Murphy.

Kiel Senior forward Grant Manz had a game-high 18 points. He had quite a few assists that led to senior guard Aidan Murphy putting up 17 points.

"They would double in the post and we have shooters all around so you just gotta kick and get it out the wide-open guy, make an extra pass, pass up a good shot for a great shot and that's what got us going," said Manz.

The Raiders take on the winner of Freedom and Southern Door at Chilton on Saturday. Winner goes to the Division 3 state tournament.