Rushford-Peterson (31-1), the #3 seed, will meet Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (30-1), the #1, in the Class A final
Rushford-Pete hangs on 53-51
The Trojans led 29-19 at the half and scored the first 4 points of the 2nd half, and looked to be in control. But Maranatha picked up the defensive intensity and rallied to tie at 44 at 5:15 and 51 at 1:50.
But Rushford Pete responded each time. Cole Kingsley drove to the rim for a 2 + 1 the first time, and Jorli Hauge followed with a 2 off the offensive glass for a 49-44 lead at 3:00. But Maranatha came back on 2 throws by Jake Meyen, a 2 off the dribble drive by Damario Armstrong, and a 3 from the left corner by Josh Goldschmidt.
But Austin O'Hare scored off the offensive glass at 1:25 to make it 53-51 and neither team could score the rest of the way. A Goldschmidt 3 from the left wing bounced away at the buzzer.
O'Hare and Kingsley scored 14 and 13 for RP, Goldschmidt, Armstrong and Meyen 13, 12 and 11 for Maranatha. RP shot 51 percent for the game, but Maranatha had 7 3s to 3 for RP, and the Mustangs also made 8-of-8 FT to stay in the game.
Rushford-Peterson in command of Maranatha 29-19 at the half-way point
Rushford-Peterson's disciplined offense has produced a 50 percent shooting performance so far, exemplified by a last second basket by Cole Kingsley to account for the half-time score. RP held the ball for 54 seconds, then with 1 second left in the first half Kingsley took it into the lane for an easy 8-footer.
The turnovers are 8-2 and the points off turnovers 8-0 in favor of RP. Alex Vix leads all scorers for RP with 9 points.
Belgrade-Brooten-Elrose advances to its third state final in four years
BBE defeated Fond du Lac Ojibwe 76-58 to advance to the Class A final. It was an entertaining game that often made the fans at Target Center smile. But FDO's high risk/high reward game didn't click quite often enough. The Ogichidaag shot 34 percent from the field, 29 percent on 3-pointers and had 22 turnovers.
Of course BBE shot just 3-of-19 3-pointers and so were unable to put FDO away until midway through the second half. BBE led 45-32 at the half. FDO got within 45-38 and 54-46 when the shots really stopped falling. A 12-3 BBE run with Brian Goodwin scoring 9 made it 66-49 at 7:30, and FDO never challenged after that.
Goodwin scored 25 and Billy Borgerding 21 for BBE. Davonte Williamson scored 18 for FDO but fouled out 75 feet from the hoop at 6:56 to pretty much put an end to the hopes of the Ogichidaag (Ojibe for warrior).
At the half: BBE 45 FDO 32
FDO has lived up to its billing on the offensive end of the court with some 3-point shots and some great slashes to the basket. Then there was an alley oop dunk by 6-3 junior forward Davonte Williamson. Win, lose or draw, FDO is giving fans a reason to smile.
But BBE is getting to the rim at will both with the ball and on the offensive glass. FDO is plenty quick horizontally, but they don't get off the feet and up in the air after the rebound on either end of the floor with any alacrity at all. So if BBE misses on its initial offense, it's scoring off the glass.
BBE is shooting 47 percent to 37 for FDO, rebounds are 25-19 BBE, turnovers are 12 for FDO and 7 for BBE. Billy Borgerding has 14 for BBE to lead all scorers. His teammates Brian Goodwin has 12. FDO's Williamson has 13, Trevontae Brown has 12. Jordan Diver, who scored 25 per game on the year, has just 2.
Class A Semi-Finals: A Very Short Preview
It can't have the drama that we had yesterday with 7 OT and two game-winning buzzer-beater shots totaling 90 feet, but the Class A semis should be interesting games.
Fond du Lac Ojibwe's run and gun team vs. #1 seed Belgrade-Brooten-Elrose, who have no problem with running. First to 80 wins? 90? 100?
And Maranatha scored 95 yesterday, too, so you could see some scoring there. Except Rushford-Peterson will probably try to slow 'em down if it feels that Maranatha as too much of an advantage up-tempo.
We'll have a half-time report and a final report for each of today's Class A semis.