Block leads Langford Area past HansonThere were a few tense moments, but Langford still managed to throw a Block party at Wachs Arena Thursday night.
By: Dave Vilhauer, Aberdeen American News
ABERDEEN — There were a few tense moments, but Langford still managed to throw a Block party at Wachs Arena Thursday night.
Tyler Block produced a huge 3-pointer in the final minute, and the Lions held on for a 45-41 semifinal win over Hanson during the boys’ Class B state basketball tournament.
Block’s shot from the corner with 51 seconds remaining and broke a 41-41 tie.
“You always see those shots. It’s one of those, no-no-no, yes, it went in,” said Langford coach Paul Raasch. “Tyler hit a big shot. He was ready to shoot it, got his feet set and the result was good for us.”
The two had talked about taking a 3-pointer when Langford called a time out about a minute earlier.
“I asked coach when we had that last time out, if I was open to take the clutch three and he said, yeah,” Block said. “I got my feet set and I was ready to shoot.”
The senior reserve said he knew it was going in the second it left his hand.
“It was perfect rotation,” Block said. “It rattled a little bit, but I knew it was going in.”
Langford still had to defend the Beavers, who had their own look at a 3-pointer, but that attempt was off the mark.
“They drew up a nice play at the end,” Raasch noted. “I’m kicking myself, because I saw that play on five different films and we didn’t even talk about it. We got a hand up, so it wasn’t a wide open three. It was a good look, but we contested it.”
So after 31 minutes of even basketball, it came down to one team making a shot and the other missing one.
“That’s exactly what I told my kids,” said Hanson coach Josh Oltmanns. “Their shot went in and ours didn’t. We had a look at it and that’s the way it goes.”
Hanson bolted out to an 8-2 lead before Langford scored 11 unanswered points and played with a lead nearly the entire way.
The Lions, who led by nine in the second quarter, were clinging to a three-point edge late in the third before scoring five points in the final 15 seconds of the period to take a 37-29 lead into the fourth quarter.
“The end of the quarter was a gut-buster for us,” Oltmanns noted.
The Beavers hung tough, but those points would eventually prove costly.
“That was a big run for us,” Raasch said. “I thought it was going to carry us, but it got us a lead where we could withstand a run by them.”
Hanson eventually caught Langford and tied the score at 39 and 41, both times on free throws by Jordan Marquardt, who led all scorers with 22 points despite a box-and-one defense by the Lions.
“I just kept attacking the hoop, getting fouled and knocked down free throws,” Marquardt said.
That set the stage for Block’s 3-pointer which proved to be the game-winner.
It proved to be a block party in more ways than one as the Lions racked up nine blocked shots, led by Drew Planteen with six.
Langford relies on its defense and that turned out to be a huge factor in the game, especially when the Lions forced Hanson to play from behind.
“That was a big confidence booster for us,” said Langford’s Kyle Johnson of playing with the lead. “Once we get up, we know we can play our ‘D’ and just keep going. That’s our goal, usually to keep teams under 45 and we did that tonight.”
The Lions did not have a single player in double-figure scoring. Weston Hoglund and Johnson each had eight. Langford finished with seven players with at least five points.
“They’re all the same type of player, too,” Oltmanns noted.
Jacob Bartscher contributed 10 points and seven rebounds to the Hanson total. The Beavers, 18-6, take on Wolsey-Wessington at 2:45 this afternoon in consolation action.
“We’re just going to have to come out and play better defense and hit shots,” Marquardt said.
Langford, 22-2, meets Viborg-Hurley in the semifinals at 8:45 this evening.
Raasch said his team is focusing more on how they play and not who they play.
“We want to come out and play as well as we can,” Raasch said. “You don’t have a lot of time to prepare for somebody. We’re going to just work on coming and playing a really good game. If we’re good enough to win, then we’ll move on.”