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Dunk sparks Park River/Fordville-Lankin to win over Hatton-Northwood

A little razzle-dazzle extended the Park River/Fordville-Lankin boys high school basketball season.

The Aggies went on a game-closing 16-4 run to defeat Hatton-Northwood 60-56 on Tuesday in the Region 2 tournament quarterfinals at Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.

The Aggies took their first lead—and the lead for good—on a highlight-reel play. On a fast break, Jace Jehlicka threw a behind-the-back pass to the trailing Adam Zavalney, who finished with a dunk and a 55-54 lead with 1:52 remaining.

"We've done that once in a game, last year,'' Jehlicka said of the behind-the-back pass. "But we've done it in practice multiple times. I knew I could get it to him. And Adam had a nice way of finishing it. I didn't see that (dunk) coming.''

Said PR/F-L coach Seth Kuchar: "I'm not surprised by those two. Adam has 8-9 dunks in games this year. And Jace makes that play in practice.''

The closing run started with six free throws to pull the Aggies within 52-40. Two Jamie Gorres free throws gave the Thunder a 4-point lead with 3:41 left. But Hatton-Northwood went scoreless for the next 3:30. A Bryce Wood 3-pointer preceded Zavalney's dunk, then the Aggies hit five free throws in the final 1:18.

"I wouldn't say we're a great free-throw shooting team. But we got it done today,'' Kuchar said.

Hatton-Northwood managed just 18 points in the final two quarters after building a 38-26 halftime lead.

"We stopped taking the ball to the basket,'' H-N coach Keenan Konschak said. "We settled for 3-pointers a little too much. And we missed some bunnies inside.''

Adam Zavalney and Jehlicka had 16 points each to lead the Aggies, with Nathan Zavalney adding 10.

Gorres and Connor Konschak had 16 points each to lead the Thunder.