Riley Lindberg scored the only basket of the fourth quarter for Fremont Bergan Friday night, but it came at an opportune time for the Knights.
Lindberg grabbed a missed free throw by teammate Dylan Kucera and scored a put-back basket that gave the Knights some breathing room. They held on to defeat Howells-Dodge 52-47 for the championship of the Knight Classic at the Wikert Event Center.
Dre Vance, who finished with 17 points for the Knights, hit a field goal in the waning seconds of the third quarter to give Bergan a 46-32 lead entering the final period.
Kade Hegemann’s 3-point basket then started a 12-1 run for the Jaguars. Josh Brester, who led H-D with 14 points, hit consecutive 3s to cut the deficit to 47-44 with 2:16 left.
The Jaguars had two opportunities to draw closer, but came up empty. Vance hit two free throws with :47 to make it 49-44. Kucera was fouled 17 seconds later. He misfired on two free throws, but Lindberg was there to extend Bergan’s lead to three possessions.
The Jaguars used a trey apiece from Brester and Dax VanLengen to jump to a 6-0 lead early in the first quarter. The Knights, though, responded by outscoring H-D 17-8 the rest of the period.
“They came out and hit a couple of shots,” Bergan assistant coach Doug Moore said. “We knew this would be a challenge, but we stuck with it. We shot the ball well in that first quarter.”
Grant Frickenstein, who finished with a game-high 20 points, had seven in the opening period and 14 at halftime. The Knights led 30-25 at the break.
“Grant is just tough to guard,” Moore said. “He can hit the 3 and he can also go to the rim.”
The Knights extended the lead with a 9-2 run to open the third quarter, including three points from Vance.
“He is crafty with the ball,” Moore said. “He can get in the lane and can finish for us. He is also a good foul shooter.”
The win improves the Knights to 6-2 while Howells-Dodge falls to 6-4. Bergan will play the host school at 3:45 Dec. 29 in the Ashland-Greenwood Holiday Tournament.