Lynx shock Riders in semifinals, 57-51
March 25. 2013 2:31PM
With nine consecutive wins and a state finals berth, you’d have to regard Brandon Valley as something a little more formidable than a typical No. 5 seed these days.
Any doubts about that were dashed as the Lynx handed No. 1 Roosevelt their first loss to a South Dakota team this season, knocking off the Riders 57-51 in Friday’s Class AA state boys semifinals at the Arena.
It was a surprising loss only when based on numbers assembled earlier in the season. The Lynx were 9-6 when the win streak began, with one of those losses a 82-55 loss to Roosevelt. Things have changed since then, however, with the ultimate proof an impressive front-to-back effort in the semifinals.
“It feels good because the whole state thought Roosevelt was going to win this,” said junior forward Jacob Adams, who scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. “We knew they’d be putting full-court pressure on us all night. We just had to get the ball up the court, be calm about it and work from there.”
Neither team uses a traditional post player and neither team was hitting consistently from the perimeter, so the contest was going to be won or lost somewhere in between. Turnovers, layups and foul shots were the only source of offense much of the time.
That meant if the Lynx could get the ball past midcourt against a press that had lifted the Riders to a 21-1 record, they were going to have an opportunity to stay with Roosevelt.
With 2:14 to play, Adam Bauer’s free throws gave the Lynx a 53-51 lead. It seemed unlikely that was going to be enough, but the Riders kept missing.
“They knocked down free throws until the very end, and we couldn’t make a shot when we needed to make a shot,” Roosevelt coach Lee Taylor said. “You can always look back in every game, whether it’s a win or a loss, and go back and pinpoint everything you can do better. We didn’t talk about what we could do better in that locker room tonight. We talked about what a great season we had and that we should be proud.”
The Riders, partially through the efforts of their press, had a 13-7 lead after one quarter, but the Lynx answered convincingly in the second quarter, with Devan West hitting a pair of free throws in the last second to send Brandon Valley into halftime up 25-24.
A team on an eight-game win streak might not need a real confidence boost, even against a No. 1 team, but it didn’t hurt that, by adapting quickly in handling the Riders’ full-court pressure, they were increasing their prospects for victory considerably.
“We played them once, we saw it and we knew it was coming,” Brandon Valley coach Brent Deckert said. “You can’t replicate what they do in practice. We could stick seven guys out there if you want, I suppose, but we knew they’d be running and trapping us all over the place. It’s just a process you get better at as the year goes on.”
Chris Phillips grabbed an offensive rebound and put it in to give the Riders a 41-38 edge at the end of the third quarter. If there were to be a take-off point for a Rider victory, that would have been the place for it. Instead, senior reserve Jacob Bruget scored off a steal and Nic Peterson, who led the Lynx with 15 points, knocked down a 3-pointer to put Brandon Valley up 43-41.
The Lynx pushed the lead to 47-42, but with 3:27 to play they were looking at a 51-49 deficit after a string of six consecutive points from Roosevelt’s Jeremiah Clark.
It was the last field goal recorded by either team. Chase Marso made four consecutive free throws, the last of which came with 57.2 seconds to play to give the Lynx a 57-51 lead. A flurry of unsuccessful 3-pointers followed for the Riders.
“Coach Deckert does a tremendous job getting his teams prepared,” Taylor said.
“When you got a kid like Chase Marso on your team – a steady rock – give them credit. We just came up short tonight.”
The Riders got 13 points from Clark. Tyler Howard and Nate Cole had 10 each. Marso added 10 for the Lynx, who outrebounded the Riders 39-26.
“Every time out (Coach Deckert) told us to be calm about it,” Jacobs said. “He told us everything would fall into place. Get the ball to the guards and let them do the work. They had it all planned out for us.”
BRANDON VALLEY (18-6)
Chasse Marso 2-10 6-6 10; Nic Peterson 5-13 2-2 15; Devan West 1-2 5-6 7; Adam Bauer 1-2 4-4 6; Jacob Adams 5-12 2-8 14; Nate Winter 0-1 0-0 0; Jacob Bruget 1-2 3-4 5. Totals: 15-42 22-30 57.
Clark 5-11 3-4 13, Howard 4-10 1-2 10, Boggs 0-3 1-2 1, Cole 4-9 1-1 10, Moody 0-1 0-0 0, Phillips 3-5 0-1 6, Wilber 0-5 2-2 2, Kooima 2-4 0-0 6, Kirwold 0-1 3-4 3. Totals: 18-49 11-16 51.
Brandon Valley 7 18 13 19 57
Roosevelt 13 11 17 10 51
3-pointers: BV 5-17 (Marso 0-4, Peterson 3-6, Bauer 0-1, Adams 2-6), SFR 4-21 (Clark 0-5, Howard 1-2, Boggs 0-2, Cole 1-5, Phillips 0-2, Wilber 0-1, Kooima 2-4). Rebounds: BV 39 (Adams 10), SFR 26 (Cole 6). Assists: BV 10 (Marso 3), SFR 6 (Cole 3). Total fouls: BV 19, SFR 24. Fouled out: Howard.