High-scoring trio lifts Sioux

Ethan Miller, Chance Kitzman and Hunter Braaten will likely have to do most of the heavy lifting for Westhope-Newburg this season.

They did plenty of it on Saturday.

The trio combined for 61 of the Sioux’s points in a 66-40 win over Rolla at the inaugural Hoopster Classic at the Minot State University Dome.

“We have to really step up beings we lost a lot of seniors last year,” said Miller, a senior who had a game-high 22 points. “We expect a lot from us.”

Miller scored 10 of his team’s first 15 points in helping the Sioux get out to a 15-7 lead after one quarter.

Then Kitzman exploded, scoring eight straight points that gave the Sioux a 25-11 cushion. Rolla was never within single digits thereafter. Kitzman, a junior, finished with 21, while Braaten had 18 from his point-guard position.

“We’d like to see more balance, but obviously those three are our main three cogs,” said W-N coach Bob Beaudrie, whose team improved to 6-2. “The first few games, it was just Hunter. He was getting 30 and they were getting eight or nine. We can’t have that to be a successful team. We need all three of them around that 15-20 range.”

While Kitzman and Miller scored points in bunches, Braaten proved steady throughout. Beaudrie said most of the team’s success comes from being unselfish.

“I don’t think anybody really cares who’s doing the scoring and how it’s getting done,” he said. “They recognize who the hot guy is and try to get them the ball.”

W-N led 32-15 at halftime and 53-25 after three quarters, though it did give up small runs to Rolla in the fourth quarter.

Rolla was paced by Karson Schoening’s 14 points. Jared Loing added 10 for the Bulldogs, who dropped to 2-7.