Class B state tournament
By Jarann Johsnon
Tickets for the Class B boys’ state basketball tournament should have been printed with a Surgeon General’s warning on them – Warning: Viewing the Class B state tournament may cause emotional anxiety, shock and false hope.
Last weekend Rugby won the state tournament in Bismarck, but there were several other highlights during the tournament: a double-overtime game, a rematch of last year’s championship game, and a dominating performance by Mr. Basketball.
The first day was highlighted by a battle between New England and Lamoure-Litchville-Marion (LLM). LLM wasn’t favored to win the game because of their lack of height, no player over 6-2, and New England’s abundance of height – seven players over 6-feet tall.
The chatter about the game being a height mismatch ended quickly when Anthony Olson, LLM senior, turned a lob pass into an alley-oop dunk. After Olson’s dunk it was clear that LLM was at state to play, not to cower under their bigger opponents.
The game was even at 17 after one low-scoring half. LLM did a good job of containing New England’s star player and Region 7 Senior of the Year recipient Dan Prince in the first half – allowing him zero first-half points.
In the second half Prince came alive, scoring in double-figures and pushing his team to a 51-47 lead with 23 seconds left in the game. But New England couldn’t figure out a way to break LLM’s full-court pressure and committed two consecutive turnovers on inbound plays that resulted in LLM scores and a tie game.