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From Top Dog to Undedog: Kendrick Wins Football, Basketball Titles In Same Year
Third-seeded Kendrick defeated top-seeded Richfield to win the 1AD2 basketball championship
Published: 3/4/2023 4:42:21 PM
Brandon Baney
Managing Editor/Broadcaster


For the second consecutive sports season, a group of young men from Kendrick High School claimed a state championship.  But whereas they entered the 1AD2 football championship as heavy favorites, Saturday's basketball title tilt with top-seeded Richfield provided third-seeded Kendrick a chance to play the underdog role.

One 59-57 nailbiter later, and the Tigers were celebrating their first basketball championship since 1985.

After Richfield led 18-14 after one quarter of play, Kendrick exploded in the second quarter, outscoring Richfield 24-8 to take a 38-26 lead into the half.

From there, Richfield found its footing in the third, outscoring Kendrick 15-9 to trim the gap to 47-41.  Richfield continued their hot streak through the fourth quarter, and drew to within two late.

Leading 56-54 with just over a minute to play, Hunter Taylor hit a three to give Kendrick some breathing room at 59-54.  Richfield's Jamen Fuchs quickly answered with a three of his own, bringing Richfield to within 59-57.

Following a missed free throw, Richfield had good locks from Clay Kent and Luke Dalton but their shots fell short, and a last gasp possession with four seconds remaining ended in a turnover, allowing Kendrick to hold on for the win.

Freshman Nathan Tweit continued his strong play at state, finishing with 20 points and 15 rebounds, while senior Jagger Hewett added 12 points and came away with 6 steals.  Tweit was named Player of the Game.

Luke Dalton (21 points, 12 rebounds) and Kobyn Benzeval (16 points, 11 rebounds) each finished with a double-double for Richfield.

KENDRICK (20-3) - Nathan Tweit 20, Jagger Hewett 12, Hunter Taylor 11, Ty Koepp 6, Wyatt Cook 6, Lane Clemenhagen 4, Mason Kimberling 0

RICHFIELD (23-5) - Luke Dalton 21, Kobyn Benzeval 16, Jamen Fuchs 11, Hudsun Lucero 6, Clay Kent 2, Jace Fuchs 1

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