Warriors fall in 2 OTs to Tri-ValleySIOUX FALLS — Winner forced Tri-Valley to its second straight double-overtime game Friday, allowing the Mustangs to get comfortable in extra minutes.
By: Kevin Pottebaum, The Daily Republic
SIOUX FALLS — Winner forced Tri-Valley to its second straight double-overtime game Friday, allowing the Mustangs to get comfortable in extra minutes.
The Mustangs beat Winner 76-69 in double overtime at the Class A boys’ state tournament on Friday at Sioux Falls Arena in a consolation semifinal game.
It was the second consecutive double-overtime game for Tri-Valley, which fell to St. Thomas More 67-64 in the first round on a buzzer-beater shot.
“These are fun ones,” Tri-Valley head coach Rob Grady said. “Both games were a blast. These are the kind of games the kids dream of playing in. They’ll remember these games the rest of their life.”
Winner held a 67-65 lead in the second overtime, but with the score tied at 69, Tri-Valley senior Kyle Erickson hit a 3-point shot that gave the Mustangs a 72-69 lead. From there, the Warriors were unable to find the basket again.
Winner had the final shot of regulation and the first overtime but was unable to connect on either.
“They played with a lot of heart and desire,” Winner head coach Jim Drake said. “It was a tough one for us.”
The Warriors led by five points with less than four minutes remaining. Winner needed a defensive stop late in the game, and with less than 10 seconds left, the Warriors were able to knock the ball away from Tri-Valley.
Donovan Brother of All scooped up the ball and threw it down the court where Nathan Naasz had just enough time to catch the ball, turn around and put up a quick shot. The attempt was too strong, and the game went into overtime.
The first overtime saw multiple leads for each team, and Tri-Valley looked to take the lead with under 45 seconds remaining. Winner’s Kyle Mathis swatted the ball away on a shot attempt, and the Warriors held on to the final shot.
After Ben Connot’s look at the bucket unsuccessful, the ball was loose on the floor with a few seconds remaining. Winner eventually grabbed it but was unable to get another shot off.
Although the Warriors were unable to earn a spot in the fifth-place game, Drake was pleased with the team’s ability to bounce back after a 74-30 loss to Dell Rapids in the tournament opener.
“We’re proud of the way our guys came back and played after a really disappointing first round,” he said.
Mathis felt better about his performance on Friday. The leading scorer for Winner struggled against Dell Rapids, scoring five points, well off his average for the season of 14.1.
“It felt a lot better today,” Mathis said after the game. “Against Dell Rapids, I got frustrated.”
Mathis put up 24 points in the loss to Tri-Valley after missing his first five shots from the field. He finished 9-of-24 from the field and brought down eight rebounds.
The biggest factor for Winner’s success in Friday’s game, a game in which the team led by as many as 10, was its height advantage. The Warriors scored 14 second-chance points, while bringing in 20 offensive rebounds.
The Mustangs connected on 19-of-23 from the line. Tri-Valley shot 25-of-47 from the field for 53 percent and connected on 83 percent of its free throws.
The Mustangs were led by Erickson with 26 points. Kenton Welbig recorded a double-double in the game with 19 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
“I think the biggest thing was you’ve got to keep them off the line,” Drake said. “They’re a great free-throw shooting team.”
Connot was the next top scorer after Mathis with 17 points.
Austin Schroeder finished with 15 points. He and Naasz each finished with a team-high nine rebounds.
The Warriors shot 27-of-70 from the field for 39 percent and hit nine of 13 free throws. Winner outrebounded Tri-Valley 38-30 and turned the ball over 11 times compared to Tri-Valley’s 18.
With the win Tri-Valley (17-8) will compete for fifthth place against Clark/Willow Lake at 1:45 p.m. today at Sioux Falls Arena.
Winner (19-6) takes on Chamberlain at noon today in the seventh-place matchup. The Warriors defeated Chamberlain 70-57 early in the season.