March 12, 2014

Near miss

Eagles make 2014 State Tournament one of the most exciting ever

By Jerry W. Kram

In North Dakota, the Class B State Basketball Tournament is one of the top events of the year. The 2014 tournament will go down as one of the most exciting in history, thanks in large part to the New Town Eagles.

Courtside spectators didn’t know how the final two games of the opening round of the tournament could live up to the first two games. Both games were in doubt until the final shot of the game as Oak Grove beat Flasher 67-65 and Linton-HMB beat Cavalier 53-51. Beulah fell in the final game 52-50 to create a trifecta of photo finishes. New Town’s game against the undefeatedked Rugby Panthers outdid them all as the Eagles pushed the number one ranked team in the state into overtime.

The game was a seesaw battle for the entire 32 minutes of regulation, with neither team ever leading by more than five points. New Town a slight advantage in the first half, and led after the first quarter 15-14 on a mile long buzzer beater by Joe Baker. That shot was the number one highlight on ESPN that night. Baker had two more three pointers in the first half. Payton White Owl also had two from outside the arc. Baker and Wayne Fox each had eight points in the first half. The Eagles ended the first half with a five point lead.

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