February 23, 2012

Heartbreak in Hazen

Heartbreak in Hazen
Troopers fall in region opener

By STU MERRY

There’s a reason the opening round of regional basketball tournaments in North Dakota is called sudden death. One loss and you’re done.
That fate befell the Garrison Troopers boys basketball team Monday in Hazen. The Troopers fought back valiantly against a stubborn, physical Flasher Bulldog team, only to come up a couple buckets short. While the Troopers’ season is over, the Bulldogs lived to play another day, defeating Garrison 76-72 in the opening round of the Region 5 Tournament.
The Bulldogs opened on a tear, leading 14-6. Undaunted, a Brookes Reinholt put-back knotted the score at 16, but Brookes picked up his third foul at 6:56 of the second quarter. Other Troopers also found themselves in foul trouble early, forcing Coach Jason Mattheis to go to his bench often. As the game progressed, those bench players showed their worth, outscoring the Flasher subs 13-4.
It was raining threes early for Flasher. The Bulldogs pushed the lead to 24-16. At intermission it was 42-35. The game was still in reach for the Troop.
In the second half, those threes started falling for Garrison, while Flasher’s shooters went 0-9 from beyond the arc. But it seemed like every Trooper basket had a reply from the Bulldogs.
At 3:15 of the third quarter, Ian MacDonald brought the Trooper faithful to their feet, draining a three to cut the deficit to 51-49. Flasher didn’t flinch, building a lead to 59-51 in the fourth quarter.
Ian canned another trey at the 5:10 mark and the score was 61-58. Unfortunately, he picked up his fourth foul, then was assessed a technical and found himself, and his high school career, suddenly over at 4:47. He finished the game with 31 points and five boards.
 


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