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Bryce Dulin (12) breaks away and rushes down the court for the Nixa Eagles as they took on Bullitt East in the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions at JQH Arena Image by Chase Snider/KTTS News
Marquan Botley (2) from Prestonwood Christian goes for the drive against St. John Bosco's Daniel Hamilton (5) during the first round of the 2013 Tournament of Champions at JQH Arena
Hillcrest Hornet Juwan Johnson fights through Paul VI's Josh Reaves and Tyler Scanlon in the first night of the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions at JQH Arena
Bryce Dulin (12) breaks away and rushes down the court for the Nixa Eagles as they took on Bullitt East in the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions at JQH Arena
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The Nixa Eagles have advanced to the semifinals of the 29th Annual Bass Pro Tournament Of Champions at JQH Arena in Springfield, holding off a late charge to beat Bullitt East from Kentucky 62-53.
Chan Hocklander had 17 points to lead four Eagles in double figures. Jalen Norman had 15 points for the Eagles before limping off the court with a knee injury just a minute into the third period. Norman's injury will sideline him for the rest of the tournament and word from the locker room is he could be out for several weeks.
MSU recruit Austin Ruder had 13 points for Nixa, while Bryce Dulin put in ten.
For Bullitt East, 6-9 senior forward Derek Willis finished with 17 points and eight rebounds. Willis is ranked 126th in the nation by Rivals and has committed to play college basketball at Kentucky.
Rusty Troutman had 15 points for the Chargers, while Trey Rakes added 11.
The Chargers jumped out to a 14-9 lead at the end of the first quarter, but Nixa came back to carry a 23-22 advantage into the locker room at the half before extending its lead to nine points after the third quarter.
But Bulllitt East put up a fight in the fourth, pulling within five at 56-51 with 1:29 left in regulation when Rakes drained a three pointer. But Dulin hit two big free throws for the Eagles with 1:04 left, putting his team up 58-51 and the Chargers could get no closer.
Nixa, who is now 13-1 on the season, will play Montverde Academy (Florida), preseason ranked #1 in the nation by ESPN, in Friday night's semifinals.
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