R-P returns to state semifinals

Seth Thompson (13) of Rushford-Peterson controls the ball against Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City in the Class 1A state quarterfinals on Thursday at Williams Arena.

MINNEAPOLIS — Cole Kingsley usually does more passing than scoring for the Rushford-Peterson boys basketball team. The junior point guard reversed his role a bit on Thursday as the Trojans reached the semifinals of the Class A boys basketball state tournament for the third straight year.

Kingsley, who entered state quarterfinal play averaging a modest 8.0 points a game, scored 18 points as the third-seeded Trojans topped Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City 71-63 at Williams Arena.

Kingsley had 11 points at the break, including his first 3-pointer of the season, as R-P built a slim 34-31 lead.

"I was just taking what the defense gave me," Kingsley said. Early on that was a lane to the basket, which he gladly excepted.

"Cole's a real penetrator," R-P coach Tom Vix said. "He's a real gamer."


"I knew if I drove the lane I could kick it out for the three(-pointer)," Kingsley.

The Trojans (30-1) need Kingsley's scoring burst the first half as Vix was not pleased with the team's rebounding or interior defense. ACGC held an 15-10 edge on the boards in the first half and 33-22 advantage for the game.

"I don't think we did a very good job on our baseline defense," Vix said.

"The first half they outrebounded us pretty badly, but we did a good job the second half," the coach added.

Jorli Hauge, a 6-foot-4 senior forward, had 10 rebounds for R-P. He also scored 13 points.

"Mr. Vix gave us a talk at halftime," Hauge said. "We just got back to fundamentals and rebounding."

Senior guard Austin O'Hare hit a pair of 3-pointers in each half for R-P. He was 4-for-7 from 3-point distance and finished with 14 points.

But R-P also had a lot of great inside passes, leading to easy baskets. The Trojans had 17 assists, led by O'Hare with five. Alex Vix collected four assists while Kingsley, who averages 5.1, and Hauge had three each.


"We had some really nice assists tonight," coach Vix said.

"We have great team chemistry," Hauge said. "I think we feed off each other on the court."

R-P ended up shooting 53 percent (27-for-51) from the floor.

"I think we got easier shots the second half," Vix said.

ACGC stayed in the game most of the way, however. Gabriel Eisenbacher, a 6-4 freshman, came off the bench to score 18 points, 16 in the second half. The Trojans did play solid defense on guard Brody Larson. Larson scored 15 points, while collecting seven rebounds and seven assists, but entered the game averaging more than 22 points a game.

"I thought our defense on (number) 15, Larson was great," Vix said.

And while the Falcons were within striking distance, R-P was never really threatened in the second half. The spread was a consistent 7-10 points much of the final half. The lead could have been more, but R-P was just 9-for-20 at the line.

"I don't think we played our best game," Vix said, "but we played good enough to win."


Defense ended up playing a big factor for the Trojans. R-P forced 21 turnovers, while committing just 12, and had 14 steals. Hauge had three steals while Alex Vix, O'Hare, Kingsley, Seth Thompson and Noah Carlson all had two each.

"We like to have a lot of pressure on defense," Kingsley said.

Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City finishes the season 21-8. R-P will face second-seeded Maranatha Christian Academy (26-3) in the state semifinals for the second straight year. That game is at 2 p.m. today at Target Center. Last year Maranatha defeated the Trojans in the semifinal game.

Rushford-Peterson 71,ACGC 63


Brody Larson 8, Taylor Larson 15, David Kinzler 7, Jaden Amdahl 0, Colton Minnick 13, Gabriel Eisenbacher 18, Adam Johnson 2, Erik Cihlar 0.

Other stats:21 turnovers.



Alex Vix 8, Charlie Krambeer 6, Seth Thompson 8, Austin O'Hare 14, Cole Kingsley 18, Jorli Hauge 13, Noah Carlson 4, Jacob Merchlewitz 0.

Other stats:12 turnovers.

Halftime:R-P 34, ACGC 31.

Free throws:ACGC 12-16, R-P 9-20. Field goals:ACGC:24-47, RP 27-51.

Three-point goals:ACGC 3-18 (T.Larson 3), R-P 8-20 (O'Hare 4, Krambeer 1, Vix 1, Kingsley 1).

Rebounds:ACGC 33 (B.Larson 7, Eisenbacher 7, RP 22 (Hauge 10, Kingsley 4). Assists:ACGC 12 (B.Larson 7), RP 17 (O'Hare 5, Vix 4, Kingsley 3, Hauge 3).

Rushford-Peterson fans celebrate their lead against Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City on Thursday in the Class 1A state quarterfinals at Williams Arena. R-P won 71-63.

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