Saturday, March 26, 2011

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

One year ago, 3 Thursday night semi-finals in the MN High School Basketball Tournament went into OT for a total of 6 OT periods. Who could have imagined that yesterday's Friday night finals would do one better: 3 OT games for a total of 7 OT periods!

• The 1st afternoon semi went normally enough as Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (BBE) routed Maynard-Clara City-Raymond (MACCRAY) 86-69. What is all the more remarkable is that BBE trailed 19-8 early on, then turned the tables on MACCRAY 33-10 the rest of the 1st half. Kevin Kuefler scored 29 for BBE, Seth Hinrichs 23 for MACCRAY.

• The 2nd semi went into OT when Alex Fink of Springfield hit 2 FT at 0:03 to tie Chisholm at 41-all. The Tigers took a 56-53 lead at 1:40 of OT on a Cody Milbrath jumper. Chisholm missed a 3 on its next possession, and then the procession to the FT line started. Springfield made 10-of-13 FT in the OT to win 63-55. Fink led all scorers and rebounders with 21 and 12.

• Then the Class AA semi-finalists took the floor, and things started to get exciting. Rochester Lourdes and Redwood Valley had already played 3 OT and the score remained tied at 41-41. Alex Kapraun of Lourdes made a 3-pointer at 1:42 of the 4th OT and Redwood never caught up. The final was 48-42 as Kapraun scored 20 for the winners. The shooting percentages were 33 percent for Redwood and 31 percent for Lourdes.

• Finally, Perham and Waterville-Elysian-Morristown played 2 OT to determine a winner. Perham's only leads on the night had been at 11-10, when Nick Tobkin hit a FG and later a FT for a 39-36 Perham lead in the 2nd OT. WEM never caught up. WEM had led 15-11 at the half, as both teams shot in the 20 percent range. WEM never trailed in the 2nd half and led 32-26 with 2:37 left to play, when Mike Wiskau hit a layup, Tobkin a "J" and Mike Schumacher a layup at 0:56 to tie it up. WEM missed on a game-winning attempt at 0:01. Conrad Masburg of WEM led all scorers with 17.

In case you're wondering, 4 OT is NOT a tournament record. The record remains 5 OT played by Blaine and Moorhead in the 1987 Class AA semi-final. There was no scoring in the 3rd or 4th OT, but Blaine broke it open with 10 points in the 5th OT for a 62-56 final.

Today's Finals/Forecasts

Class A--BBE 32-0 vs. Springfield 25-3. BBE looks like a buzz-saw. I think they would win in Class AA and be competitive up to AAA. BBE 77 Springfield 62, MVP Kevin Kuefler

Class AA--Rochester Lourdes 24-7 vs. Perham 30-1. Lourdes played 4 OT yesterday but Perham played later on into the night. Will fatigue be a factor? Perham 56 Lourdes 45, no OT. MVP Jordan Cresap

Class AAA--Columbia Heights 25-6 vs. Orono 27-4. 2 good stories. Heights in its 1st tourney in 80 years, Orono the cardiac kids with 2 comeback buzzer-beating wins. Orono 66 Columbia Heights 65. MVP Jordan Smith

Class AAAA--Hopkins 30-1 vs. Eden Prairie 27-4. Hopkins looking to become only the 3rd boys team to 3-peat at the highest level, the others being Edina and Mpls. North. Pretty good company. Hopkins 79 Eden Prairie 62. MVP Joe Coleman

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