1A: Cory Mountain scores 51, but Maranatha beats AlBrook 91-84
- Article by: Jim Paulsen and Ron Haggstrom
- Star Tribune
- March 23, 2006 - 11:18 PM
Maranatha and Ellsworth have plenty of firepower, and put it on display Thursday in the Class 1A quarterfinals at Williams Arena.
They both advanced to today's semifinals at the Target Center, along with Osakis and Rushford-Peterson.
Maranatha 91, AlBrook 84: For all of the points that were scored, it was rebounding that made the difference for Maranatha Christian Academy, which withstood a record-setting 51-point performance by AlBrook's Cory Mountain. The Mustangs, ranked No. 1 in Class 1A, survived a barrage of three-pointers and a record-setting individual performance to defeat AlBrook.
Two rebounds in particular were big, both by Maranatha sophomore forward David Hanson. He picked off a defensive rebound with 35 seconds left after AlBrook missed a potential game-tying three-pointer -- it would have been its 16th three-pointer of the game.
Hanson then grabbed an offensive rebound 18 seconds later after his older brother Stephen missed two free throws. He got the ball to teammate Daniel Young, who was fouled and calmly sank two free throws with 13 seconds left, giving the Mustangs an 89-84 lead.
AlBrook coach Don Ranta felt going into the game his team would be at a disadvantage against the taller Mustangs.
"We just don't have the size," Ranta said. "We knew we'd have to push the ball up the floor and score before they could get set up."
The strategy nearly worked, thanks to the hot hand of Mountain. He nearly single-handedly kept the Falcons in the game in the first half, scoring 28 points as Maranatha, behind the smooth play of guard Alex Thomas, took a 45-36 lead into the locker room.
Mountain broke the state tournament scoring record of 50 set by Jimmy Jensen of Bemidji against Woodbury in 1978.
Rushford-Peterson 46, Sleepy Eye St. Mary's 43: Rushford-Peterson normally looks to senior guard Tyler Drinkall when they need something: a big basket, a steal, a rebound. But Drinkall struggled for much of the game, making just two of 12 shots and seven of 13 free throws.
So they turned to 6-8 junior center Matt Ulrich. He responded by making all six of his shots for a game-high 15 points. He also came up with the biggest defensive play of the game when he blocked a layup by Sleepy Eye St. Mary's Jeff Meyer that would have tied the score at 38 with just over four minutes to play.
Drinkall was the only other Rushford-Peterson player in double figures, with 11 points. Cener Bryan Milliard led Sleepy Eye St. Mary's with 14 points and Meyer added 12.
Ellsworth 74, Stephen-Argyle 62: Sophomore guard Cody Schilling can fill it up in a hurry, and so can his teammates. He scored nine of his 21 points in a three-minute span in the first half, leading the Panthers past Stephen-Argyle (28-2).
Ellsworth (27-4) started slowly offensively, and Schilling wasn't involved in the offense. The Panthers only made six of their first 17 shots before Schilling took the ball behind the three-point line and scored on a driving layup.
"They were really keying on him down low," Ellsworth coach Markus Okeson said. "Once we moved him to the perimeter, it opened things up for himself and his teammates."
In spite of a slow start, Ellsworth wound up shooting 52 percent from the floor in the first half while building a 15-point lead. It never led by less than 10 points the rest of the way.
Osakis 62, New York Mills 54: The unbeaten Silverstreaks proved it's not about how you start the game, but how you finish it. Osakis (30-0) used a late 12-point run to pull away from New York Mills (21-6) for the victory.
Kendall Proell's three-pointer and Wade Lang's free throw and layup gave the Silverstreaks a 56-49 lead with 2:30 remaining.
"We finally started to get out and run like we can," Lang said. "Once we got up on them, they started breaking down."
New York Mills tied it at 49 on Erik Peeters' jumper with six minutes left, but didn't score again until only 1:37 remained.
"We don't start that great," Lang said. "We're a second-half team."
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