Boys basketball: BOLD goes cold in Section 2A-North semifinals
Third-seeded Lester Prairie rallies to beat the No. 2 Warriors 66-55 to advance the 2A-North final while BOLD's season ends with an 18-9 record
ARLINGTON — Lester Prairie was going to keep pace with BOLD.
Even as BOLD held a 39-30 lead early in the second half in the Section 2A-North semifinals, the Bulldogs’ counter came in a flash with eight points in a 47-second span. And when the Warriors’ offense went cold for nearly nine minutes, Lester Prairie never slowed down.
The third-seeded Bulldogs advanced to the sub-section championship with a 66-55 win over second-seeded BOLD on Thursday at Sibley East High School.
“We knew they could really get out and run so it was an emphasis to make sure we’re sprinting back and getting to our spots and containing their drives,” said Lester Prairie head coach Andrew Dahl. “They’ve got some good athletes. But we like to play fast, too. … It was a good style for us, especially in that second half.”
Lester Prairie was the second sub-section upset of the night. In the first game Thursday, fourth-seeded Cedar Mountain knocked off top-seeded Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s 62-60 after the Cougars’ Blake Steffl hit the game-winning floater with two seconds left to play.
The first half played to BOLD’s favor. The Warriors were up 35-30 thanks to generating second-chance opportunities. The team finished with nine offensive rebounds.
“We came out with a lot of energy,” said Warriors sophomore guard Jack Gross. “As the game went on, we got tired and that faded a little bit. We came out of the gates with a lot of energy.”
Junior forward Andrew Meyers gave BOLD a boost in the paint. Nine of his 12 points came in the first half. He shot 4 of 8 from the field.
“He was rebounding well and getting nice post position,” said BOLD head coach Jake Brustuen. “He probably left a few finishes that he wants back, but he kept attacking the rim and kept going hard. That’s all you can ask for is the effort.”
The Warriors increased the lead to 39-30 in the second half after back-to-back jumpers from Gross and Ryan King.
“We were making shots and it felt like everything was going in,” Gross said. “We were playing really well together.”
Lester Prairie followed with back-to-back 3-pointers by Trever Schauer and Tanner Scheevel. A layup by Gavin Ecksein cut BOLD’s lead to 39-38 with 16:09 left in the game.
“We know we have some good shooters,” Dahl said. “We know we’ve been struggling from the 3-point line the last few games but a couple guys stepped up and hit some big ones and that gets the momentum going. We’re confident in our shot and we want to hit as many as we can. We try to play a little NBA style as much as possible.”
The Bulldogs tied it three times early in the second half, only for BOLD to hold onto the lead. With 10:50 left, King hit another jumper to put the Warriors up 47-45.
That was the last field goal BOLD hit for the next 8:54. In that stretch, Lester Prairie went on a 16-3 run. It took the lead for good after a three-point play by Schauer with 10:02 left. He finished with a game-high 20 points.
“They match up as well as anybody against us,” Brustuen said. “They’ve got good size and good athletes. They can get up and down the floor as fast as we can. We knew that’s what we still wanted to do and they would do everything they could do to take it away.
“The second half when we couldn’t throw a ball in the ocean, it caught up to us when we couldn’t get out and run and our shots weren’t falling, whether it was from three or mid-range. We were getting the looks; they just weren’t going.”
The scoring drought finally ended for the Warriors with a Daylen Weber 3-pointer with 1:56 to play. By then, BOLD trailed 61-53. The Warriors shot 35% from the field (21 of 59).
“The second half, we just didn’t make shots,” Gross said.
The Warriors wrap up the season with an 18-9 record. After starting the season 2-5, BOLD went on a 12-game win streak en route to getting the two seed in 2A-North.
“It’s been a really fun year,” Gross said. “We just kept playing well. It was a good year.”
Lester Prairie 66, BOLD 55
Lester Prairie (18-10) 30 36 — 66
BOLD (18-9) 35 20 — 55
LESTER PRAIRIE - Scoring: Caiden Herrmann 1, Alek Hodny 12, Devin Bahr 4, Connor Radtke 10, Tanner Scheevel 12, Gavin Eckstein 7, Trever Schauer 20 … 3-point shots: Radtke 2, Scheevel 2, Schauer 3 … Rebound leader: n/a … Assist leader: n/a … Steal leader: n/a ... Block leader: n/a
BOLD - Scoring: Jack Gross 18, Ryan King 18, Andrew Meyers 12, Daylen Weber 3, Zane Boen 2, Brayden Gass 2 … 3-point shots: Gros 1, Weber 1 … Rebound leader: Meyers 7 … Assist leader: Gross 4 … Steal leader: Gross 3 ... Block leader: Meyers 2, Gass 2