Southwest Christian roared back from a 51-44 deficit at 13:04 of the 2nd half, shooting 16-of-24 in the 2nd half and 31-for-48 for the game to defeat Maranatha and win the Class A title.
Leighton Sampson kick-started the Southwest Christian rally with a his 10th and 11th buckets of the day, but then guard Dominic Nibbelink took over, scoring 10 straight points to give the Eagles a 60-58 lead, their 1st since 30-28. The teams traded baskets for the next 3 minutes but Klint Knutson and Nibbelink again scored 5 points inside of 4 minutes to make it 73-64. 5 points off the offensive glass got Maranatha back within 75-70 but they could get no closer.
Maranatha, too, shot out the lights for much of the night until making just 3-of-their-last-9 shots to finish at 47.5 percent.
Sampson helped Southwest Christian to a 42-32 edge in points in the paint, but Maranatha used its quickness to get a 16-4 edge in offensive boards and an 18-2 edge in 2nd chance points. But Maranatha turned the ball over 11 times to just 5 for the Eagles, and Southwest had a 17-7 edge in points off turnovers.
Both defenses, which had performed so well before today, were susceptible to penetration. Maranatha's Isaiah Hanson and Garrison Gillard drove the baseline with some success, while Nibbelink was able to come down the lane almost at will in the 2nd half. Still it was Southwest's inside game that led the way. Sampson finished with 22 points for a total of 72 in the 3 games. Nibbelink's, 23 coming in the 2nd half, gave him 55 for the tournament.
Player of the Game: Nibbelink 29 points 7 assists
Southwest Christian and Maranatha put on an offensive clinic in the 1st half of today's Class A final--Maranatha shooting 62 percent through the 1st 14 minutes of play but falling behind the red-hot Eagles, who shot 79 percent to take a 30-25 lead late in the 1st half. But Maranatha got its running game going in the last 3:30 of the half to come back for a 37-34 halftime lead.
Southwest did it the way they've done it in their 2 previous tournament wins, pounding it inside to 6-5 junior post Leighton Sampson. Sampson hit 6-of-8 shots for 12 points. Maranatha did it, again, with their running game and the jump shots of Isaiah Hanson, who finished the half with 16 points and 7 boards. Josh Goldschmidt scored 8 points including a transition 3 that gave Maranatha a 33-30 lead near the 2 minute mark.
Despite Southwest's strength in the paint, Maranatha's quickness also enabled them to outscore the Eagles 6-0 on 2nd chance points.
The FG shooting percentages dropped a bit by halftime but Southwest is still shooting 62.5 percent and Maranatha better than 50 percent, and both are doing it against defenses that proved themselves to be quite solid during their previous tournament games.
In the 2nd half Southwest will try to stifle Maranatha's running game by minimizing turnovers and challenging the defensive rebound. Maranatha will try to deny Sampson, if it can.