B-B-E gets past BL, 64-60 [UPDATED]Published 11:11am Wednesday, March 14, 2012 Updated 11:59am Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Down 20 early and 17 with six minutes left, it seemed the No. 1 Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa boys basketball team was going to cruise to a Section 6A championship game berth over Battle Lake. The Battlers kept on battling, fighting and scratching, but the Jaguars were just too strong.
Despite a comeback in the last six minutes of the game, Battle Lake fell 64-60, in the Section 6A South Sub-Section title game in the University of Minnesota-Morris.
The Jaguars, 29-0, will challenge Ada-Borup on Friday night in Moorhead for the section title. BL (25-2) ended its season with their lone loss in Class A.
“I’m very proud of our effort,” said Dan Peterka, Battle Lake’s coach. “We could have packed in after going down big in the first half; we fought back, had a great second half. If we get a shot to fall down the stretch, we had a chance to move on.”
Despite a significant height and depth advantage, Battler Alex Ukkelberg, who recorded a game-high 28 points, kept his team in the contest with strong defense, and even better offense.
Up 61-55, the Jaguars again appeared to put the game out of reach after Battler Zachary Wilkie missed a wide-open 3-pointer with 120 seconds left on the clock.
After a timeout by Peterka, the Battlers forced a turnover and made great use of their third-to-last possession. Freshman Petric VanErp cashed in a 3-pointer, while B-B-E’s Connor Goodwin was called for a simultaneous off-the-ball foul. Wilkie would convert both free throws to make it a one point game, 61-60.
“I thought we had a chance after that five-point play,” said Peterka. “We needed better offensive possessions down the stretch to give ourselves a chance.”
On the ensuing possession, B-B-E’s talented guard Brian Goodwin, who led all Jaguar scorers with 21, drove the lane and two referees came up with two different verdicts. One ref ruled a jump ball (the Jaguars owned the possession arrow), while the other ruled a foul on BL. After the foul call won out, Goodwin made both free throws, and B-B-E was back in control for good.
VanErp, the hero the last trip down, was forced into a trap on BL’s last meaningful possession, and would turn it over with an errant pass. Brian Goodwin captured the steal, and would make one free throw to seal the deal.
BL trailed the whole way, and found themselves down 28-8 early on in the first frame.
“Who could have imagined that’s the way it would end after the way that game started?” said B-B-E head coach Dave Montbriand. “They really started playing well. They really stepped up and started making their shots.”
The early advantage was just too much for the feisty Battle Lake squad.
VanErp scored 10, while Tyler Ukkelberg recorded nine and Dan Marso registered seven points.