Boys basketball: Jaguars one win away
What sticks out among all the wins and 20-, 30- and 40-point victory margins on the Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa schedule this season is a five-point overtime win in late February.
That game might have saved the Jaguars' season on Tuesday.
Battle Lake, truly worthy of their Battlers nickname, rebounded from a 17-point deficit in the final 5-1/2 minutes and pushed BBE to the very end before losing, 64-60, in the Section 6A South Sub-Section championship game at the University of Minnesota, Morris.
BBE guard Brian Goodwin made a key steal with 16 seconds left and scored his teams' final seven points, including five critical free throws, in the final 2:46 to lead the Jaguars' back to the section championship game at 7 p.m. Friday against Ada-Borup (22-5) at Concordia College in Moorhead.
Tuesday's free throws were a reprise of some clutch foul shooting Goodwin performed in the overtime win over Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted on Feb. 24.
"I felt good," said Goodwin, who led the Jaguars with 21 points. "I didn't feel any pressure. I just got up there and knocked them down. I had to do the same thing (against HLWW) so that helped here."
"Who could have imagined that's the way it would end after the way that game started?" said BBE head coach Dave Montbriand. "They (Battle Lake) really started playing well. They really stepped up and started making their shots."
The Battlers' recovery and near-miss were little consolation to Alex Ukkelberg, who led the team with 28 points and orchestrated the comeback from his point guard spot.
Battle Lake fell behind 27-8 in the game's first 11 minutes, and after taking the lead under 10 midway through the second half, the Battlers found themselves down 57-40 with 5:25 to play.
"We just had to slow down," Ukkelberg said. "To be honest, we were a little intimidated at first by their size and athleticism. We just had to get back to doing what we do best. We were right there at the end."
Montbriand said the Jaguars were reeling a bit, even holding the lead, in the final minutes.
"It didn't look good for us, even up one point," Montbriand said. "But we made a couple defensive stops and Brian Goodwin made some free throws. (Battle Lake) didn't get very good shots the last couple of times on offense."
Leading 61-60 with 38 seconds left, Goodwin was fouled on a drive to the basket. One official ruled a jump ball but his call was overruled by a second official.
Goodwin made both foul shots for a three-point lead.
On Battle Lakes' next possession, Connor Goodwin and James Kuefler trapped Battle Lakes' Petric VanErp under the Battlers' basket, and Brian Goodwin stole VanErps' pass attempt out of the trap with 16 seconds to play. Goodwin was fouled and hit one free throw to close out the scoring.
"It helped a lot that I had been there once before (this season)," Brian Goodwin said. "I didn't have any nerves. Just go up there and make 'em."
BBE 64, Battle Lake 60
Battle Lake (25-2) 22 38 -- 60
BBE (29-0) 39 25 -- 64
BATTLE LAKE - 21 FG (5 3-pt); 13-16 FT; rebounds not available; 11 fouls ... Scoring: BATTLE LAKE (25-2) - 21 FG ... 5 3-pt ... FT: 13-16 ... Reb. NA ... Fouls: 11 ... Scoring: Zachary Wilkie 4, Dan Marso, 7, Alex Ukkelberg 28, Petric VanErp 10, Aaron Butler 2, Tyler Ukkelberg 9 ... 3-point shots: not available
BELGRADE-BROOTEN-ELROSA - 24 FG (8 3-pt); 8-12 FT; rebounds not available; 13 fouls ... Scoring: Alex Wosmek 4, Trey Heinsius 2, Brian Goodwin 21, James Kuefler 5, Billy Borgerding 12, Kirby Montbriand 12, Connor Goodwin 8 ... 3-point shots: not available