Carmien's hustle, muscle pay off
FISHER — Hans Carmien is probably Fisher's most physically imposing basketball player.
The center has shown some of his raw offensive capabilities, bulling his way near the basket. Friday night he managed to display more touch from close range in helping the Bunnies pull out a 54-46 win against Heart of Illinois Conference foe Ridgeview to run Fisher's winning streak to seven games.
Carmien poured in 13 points, including eight in the second half, and came down with seven rebounds to provide a nice complement to Fisher forwards Dylan Chapman and Taw Fredrickson, the Bunnies' two best offensive options.
"Hans is a huge post player," said Fredrickson, who scored a game-high 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds, "and no one can really stop him."
Carmien asserted himself in the second half to allow Fisher (13-4, 5-2) to pull away from the Mustangs (11-4, 3-2) after the Bunnies held a 27-24 halftime lead.
It was the second straight game in double digits for Carmien, and the hard-hitting linebacker on the football field said he is starting to feel more comfortable on the basketball court. It shows.
"I think I just got out of the football mentality and started playing with a little more finesse," Carmien said. "I was able to get the ball in the post, and when they collapsed on me, I could make a move or kick it out to the wing to Taw and Dylan."
Chapman added 14 points, three rebounds and three steals for the Bunnies, who forced Ridgeview into 25 turnovers and limited the Mustangs to 36 percent shooting (17 of 47) from the field.
Two key offensive rebounds by forward Carson Perrero midway through the third quarter set up a three-pointer from the top of the key by Fredrickson to put Fisher ahead 38-31.
"That's Carson Perrero," Fisher coach Ron Ragle said. "He has bought into his role, and that's what our team needs. His role is to not necessarily shoot the basketball but do all the other little things."
Ridgeview — which received 13 points and eight rebounds from forward Josh Weier and 13 points from guard Trevor McIntosh — never cut its deficit to fewer than seven points the rest of the game.
Chapman dealt with foul trouble, picking up his second foul with 4:24 left in the first quarter and sat until 2:25 remained in the first half. Fredrickson picked up his slack in the first half with 13 points, and then Carmien stood out in the second half.
Carmien's basket with 53 seconds left in the third quarter off an assist by forward Tate Estes (two points, three rebounds) put the Bunnies up 41-32, and Fisher carried that advantage into the fourth quarter.
Fisher's 10-3 run eventually ended with a jumper by Chapman that made it 45-34 with 6:40 remaining, and Ridgeview trailed by double digits until the final 20 seconds.
Fredrickson and Chapman have had to carry most of the scoring load all season for Fisher. Add Carmien into the mix and the Bunnies become even more potent.
"It opens everything else up," Ragle said. "It brings us from people just looking at Taw and Dylan to playing Hans. He's a force in there."