Sports Editor

SUMNER — Poison was everywhere.

Outside? Sumner-Fredericksburg’s Peyton Schmitz hit his first three shots, including two 3-pointers.

Inside? The Cougars’ 6-foot-7 Klay Seehase and 6-foot-3 Kody VanEngelenburg combined for six points early and 37 total.

Union head coach Dan Hensing could only sigh after Sumner-Fredericksburg raced out to an early lead and hit nearly everything during a 72-28 Class 2A Substate 3 first round win Monday.

“Everything we tried, we were like a day late. Steps late, I guess,” he said. “Honestly, they’re well-coached and the kids play hard.

“If we’re going to get knocked out of this, that’s a nice team to get knocked out by just because I know they do it the right way and I wish them luck.”

Schmitz began the game 3 for 3 with a pair of 3-pointers to stake Sumner-Fredericksburg to an 8-2 edge, and he scored on a layup and free throw for an 11-4 lead with 3 minutes, 33 seconds left in the opening frame.

Union (6-16) shifted its defense to defend the perimeter better and the Cougars (8-14) responded by going to Seehase and VanEngelenburg.

The pair combined for the hosts’ next six points for an eight-point first-quarter lead (17-9), and the Cougars continued to rotate between inside-out and outside-in scoring every possession for the remainder of the contest.

The Knights closed within 12 (23-11) on a layup from Grant Beherens, but never came closer after that. A Behrens jumper later cut the deficit to 27-13 but Sumner-Fredericksburg ended the half on a 12-4 push, with Schmitz’s 3 providing an exclamation point shortly before intermission.

Schmitz ended with 24 on five 3s and nearly a handful of layups.

VanEngelenburg dropped in 20 and Seehase added 17; VanEngelenburg’s 3 at the 3:04 mark of the third gave the Cougars a 46-19 advantage and was part of an eight-point run that saw the lead reach 30 (49-19).

Later, Seehase’s layup off a VanEngelenburg feed pushed the game to a running clock at 61-25.

Behrens netted 10 and Ty Lorenzen chipped in nine for the Knights, who fell to the Cougars for the second time this month.

“We’ve only had one come-from-behind win,” Hensing said. “We’re a little bit better with the lead — I guess a lot of teams say that. I knew we were trying, but sometimes I felt like we were a step slow. We were a little bit off tonight, and they weren’t.”

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