By Russ Green-Sports Editor
The Wellington-Napoleon defense proved to be too much for Hardin-Central Saturday afternoon in the title game of the Class 1, District 13 tournament at Braymer. The Tigers forced 25 Bulldog turnovers, while Christian Bryant paced the offense as Wellington-Napoleon stopped the Bulldogs 60-35.
The Tigers, now 20-6, advance to the sectionals scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday against 21-5 North Andrew at Excelsior Springs High School. Hardin-Central ends the year with a 20-8 showing.
Bryant hit for a game-high 25 points to lead the Tigers. Bryant also grabbed 14 rebounds to complete the double-double for the afternoon. Eleven of those rebounds came on the defensive end. The Tigers came up with 14 steals and held Hardin-Central to 35 percent shooting, including just one of 5 outside the arc.
Wellington shot 45 percent from the field and hit 6 of 17 3-point tries.
Hardin-Central held a brief lead when Clif Kugler’s basket pushed the Dawgs on top 7-5 with 2:28 remaining in the opening period, but the Tigers responded with a 7-2 run to close out the quarter and continued that run into the second period by scoring the first 5 points.
Wellington began to control the play with a swarming defense that forced Hardin-Central turnovers. As a result, Wellington held a 17-7 scoring advantage in the period.