March 14, 2019

So Close

By Jerry W. Kram
It is cliché to talk about last second victories, but the Region 8 Boys Basketball Tournament championship game was literally not decided until the final 1.4 seconds were on the clock.
That was when the` Powers Lake Ranchers’ Kyle VanBerkom drove the lane to put up the basket that denied the Mandaree Warriors their first trip to the state championship in a decade. The basket also gave the Ranchers their first region championship since before World War II. The final score in overtime was 74-72.
At the start of the game, it looked like the Warriors would continue to roll over their opponents like they had eliminating the Kenmare Honkers in the first round and the White Shield Warriors in the semifinals. The Warriors scored the first eight points of the game and were up 13-4 after three minutes.  The Ranchers woke up after their lethargic start as Noah Fredickson started to make his presence felt. The Ranchers went on an 8-2 run to make the score 15-12 Mandaree with three minutes left in the quarter. Mandaree’s lead was down to two with 1:33 to go, but Coach Donovan Abbey let the boys start to run and they finished the quarter with a 10-2 run and a 28-18 lead after one. Ashton Grady had 10 points in the first quarter to lead the Warriors.

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