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Thunder Hawks come up short in back-and-forth battle with JCC

MARSHALL -- Montevideo's impressive season came to a heartbreaking conclusion at Southwest Minnesota State University in the Section 3AA final Thursday night, losing 70-65 in a seesaw overtime battle to Jackson County Central.

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Montevideo’s Preston Herfurth, left, goes for the circus shot under the basket to avoid the reach of Jackson County Central’s Bodey Behrends in the second half of Thursday’s Section 3AA final at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall. (Photo by Jacob Kuyvenhoven - Tribune)

MARSHALL - Montevideo’s impressive season came to a heartbreaking conclusion at Southwest Minnesota State University in the Section 3AA final Thursday night, losing 70-65 in a seesaw overtime battle to Jackson County Central.

“It was a great basketball game” said Montevideo coach Dan Douglas. “The fans got a great show tonight, I thought our kids battled and battled and battled, and I’m so proud of them. I’ve been proud of them all season, but tonight especially. This has been an incredible year.”

The Thunder Hawks suffered a big loss near the end of the second half, as junior center Travis Dreyer went down with a knee injury and didn’t return. The Thunder Hawks trailed by one at the time and hit halftime down 32-31.

“That was big” said coach Douglas. “He’s our inside guy, and he’s really played great the second half of the season.”

But Montevideo held tough without Dreyer, even forcing Jackson County Central’s star center Bodey Behrends to foul out with its smaller lineup pressuring him. Thunder Hawk junior point guard Isaac Douglas, the coach’s son, found himself in the spotlight several times. He hit three big 3-pointers in the second half to keep Montevideo in it as the Huskies attempted to make a surge.

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In fact, they played well enough that Douglas had a chance to put the game away for good.

Montevideo had the ball with the game tied at 65 coming out of a timeout with 14 seconds to go. Montevideo’s leading scorer, senior Troy Diggins, missed a runner, but the Huskies turned it over under the basket after getting the rebound. This forced them to foul Douglas and send him to the line for a one-and-one just before the Thunder Hawks got off a buzzer-beating layup.

But he missed the potential game-winning free throw with a second left on the clock, and Jackson County Central seized the opportunity in overtime to grab an early lead and force Montevideo to foul,

“I really feel for Isaac” said coach Douglas. “I know how hard he’s going to take this. But it’s just how the game goes, and we wouldn’t have been there without him. It’s just going to be tough.”

Diggins and Preston Herfurth each scored 16 points for the Thunder Hawks, and Colton Timmer paced the Huskies with 20 points.

Despite the crushing loss, coach Douglas doesn’t have any regrets. “We gave ourselves a chance to win it” he said. “And at the end of the day, that’s all you can really ask for.”

Jackson County Central 70, Montevideo 65

Montevideo (21-8) 31 29 5 - 65
JCC (23-5) 32 28 10 - 70

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Montevideo
Scoring: Isaac Douglas 9, Riley Emery 6, Preston Herfurth 16, Travis Dreyer 8, Troy Diggins 16, Jared Saue 10 … 3-point shots: Douglas 3, Emery 1, Herfurth 1, Diggins 2, Saue 2 … Rebound leaders: Diggins 8, Saue 8 … Assist leaders: Diggins 3, Herfurth 3 … Steal leaders: Saue 2

Jackson County Central
Scoring: Matt Ringkob 11, Jacob Christopher 17, Ryan Christopher 6, Bodey Behrends 10, Colton Timmer 20, Chris Gumto 6 … 3-point shots: J. Christopher 2, R. Christopher 1, Timmer 2 … Rebound leaders: N/A … Assist leaders: N/A … Steal leaders: N/A

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