Saturday Small School Showcase

Prologue
Its a pair of standout small school games on a late season Saturday.  Seems like I just did the Washburn and Target Center swing but we'll do it again.

Game 1: #1A Maranatha at Washburn
A late start as we don't get JV officials for 30 minutes, but that means more time to enjoy the outstanding hot dog and 12 oz of Coke.   The most right former Reverend Al Sharpton joins the JV guys for the varsity game.  As usual, The Reverend gets his money's worth with a pair of late And 1 calls from behind the play when the guy right in front under the rim had a great view.  Jeremiah Hanson with 6 in a row during an early 11-2 run.  17-11 Maranatha at the 11:15 mark.  Washburn right back on a 12-3 run of their own.  That run ends with Nick Anderson coming off the high screen and kicking out for a pair of corner 3s.  25-22 Washburn at the 6:32 mark.  But Washburn doesn't go back to that high ball screen.  Strange considering you have the best pick and roll PG in the state outside of some kid named Tyus Jones.  Back to back turnovers for MCA lead to Washburn layups.  36-32 Washburn at the half.

Washburn tries to pull away with an 8-0 run.  49-40 Washburn with 13:05 left.  Isaiah Hanson counters with a 8 in a row for MCA.  A triple, the kind roll on a pullup and let's add another line drive bomb to pull MCA back within 49-48 with 10:20 left.  We stay close then Evan Shepherd on the drive for 2.  Then finally back to the high screen and Anderson finds Quinton Garvis for a big 3.  Garvis with a layup and Anderson making both ends of the bonus with 1:20 left.  66-58 Washburn in control.

Garrison Gillard a tough 2, Washburn misses a front end.  Nobody finds Jeremiah Hanson as he comes up court so he pulls up and buries the 3.  Washburn takes timeout trapped in the corner with 35 seconds left.  On the inbounds, Anderson gets it and Garrison Gillard mugs him but no call and Gillard makes the layup with 35 seconds left.  66-65 Washburn hanging on.  Anderson fouled and again clutch at the charity stripe making both ends of the bonus with 28 ticks left.  Maranatha comes back and good Washburn D.  Nothing at 25, nothing at 20, nothing at 15, we need a bucket, nothing at 10.  Trap on the side ball screen and Jeremiah Hanson throws back to a WIDE open Isaiah Hanson for the right wing 3 with 6 seconds left.  That forces overtime tied at 68.

Tied at 71 as we get under 2 minutes left in OT.  MCA with a long possession of many chances but they get nothing.  Washburn comes back, Anderson a slick cross over and finds Noah Scarver who looks to go up and flush it but Garrison Gillard smacks that away.  Josh Goldschmidt the other way for a layup.  73-71 MCA 1:10 left.  Nick Anderson counters with a pair of free throws at 1:02.  Goldschmidt a great look from the right corner for 3 and that's no good.  But Jeremiah Hanson snares the misses.  Grantham Gillard makes 2 freebies with 25 seconds left, 75-73 MCA.  No high screen for Anderson (why?) but he drives and is fouled with 9 seconds left.  He misses both, gets his own rebound and leaves that short with 4 seconds left.  MCA makes 4 free throws to seal it.  79-73 Maranatha survives in overtime.  Isaiah Hanson 16 of his 24 in the 2nd half and overtime.  Soph guard Grantham Gillard 21 points and clutch 6-6 FTs in the overtime.  Garrison Gillard 18, Jeremiah Hanson 11.  Jeff Jones leads Washburn with 14, Nick Anderson and Evan Shepherd 13.

Game 2: #5AA Fairmont vs #2AA Byron (at Target Center)
A quick start for Fairmont with their star guard Mitch Pfingsten banking in a 3 in an opening 10-0 run.  Byron's size would allow them to make a comeback as Fairmont went cold.  A 17-6 run sees a nice set play out of a elbow double stack for a lob dunk to Jack Nelson.  Pfingsten sitting during that most of that with 2 fouls.  17-16 Byron at the 5 minute mark.  Byron gets 1 more field goal, an inside out 3.  Fairmont leads 23-21 at half.  Only 1 player on either side with more than 1 FG in the 1st half and that was Fairmont's Bryce Holm with 2 FGs.

The 2nd half is all Fairmont.  Pfingsten jumper and a pair of freebies to end a quick 11-2 Fairmont run to start the 2nd half.  Brandon Schubert 4 free throws and bucket to keep Byron within striking distance.  41-29 Fairmont 11:32 left.  Byron comes out of the timeout with a 1-3-1 zone.  When you have their kind of length against a perimeter oriented team, I could see that being a problem.  But not in this game.  Pfingsten buries a 3 and is fouled on another 3 for all 3 free throws.  That extends the Cardinals lead to 18.  Out of that timeout at 11:32, Byron would not make another field goal for the next 7 minutes.  Pfingsten closes his scoring night with a 3 point play.  That pushes the lead to 27.  Fairmont goes on to a 63-42 win.  Mitch Pfingsten with 15 of his 20 in the 2nd half.  Byron had won 18 in a row until yesterday.  Then a loss to Hayfield and a loss to Fairmont.  With those teams being potential state qualifiers, that could really hurt the Bears for a chance at a seed if they advance to state.

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