Rushford-Peterson Falls Short in Quarterfinal Thriller" /> Rushford-Peterson Falls Short in Quarterfinal Thriller"> <p style="margin:0in 0in 8pt">Rushford-Peterson Falls Short in Quarterfinal Thriller | KAALTV.com
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Rushford-Peterson Falls Short in Quarterfinal Thriller

March 23, 2018 01:17 PM

(ABC 6 News)- In their opening game of the 2018 Minnesota Class A boys basketball state tournament, the Rushford-Peterson Trojans proved not once, but twice, how difficult they were to knock out.

In Thursday's Class A quarterfinals against the third-seeded Case Lake-Bena Panthers, the Trojans, who were at state for the 15th time since 1991, made two buzzer-beating baskets—once at the end of regulation to force overtime, and a second time at the end of the first overtime to force a second overtime.

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Despite the heroics from Trojans senior guard Payton Hahn, who hit the game-tying three-pointer at the end of regulation, and senior forward Ben Ansell, who tied the game with a putback layup following an offensive rebound at the end of the first overtime, the Trojans couldn't get a third-buzzer beater to go their way in the second overtime, falling to the Panthers in double overtime, 63-61.

All the way through, the game was close—no team led by more than eight points at any time during the entire game.

“It’s always tough (to lose games like this),” Trojans junior guard Landon Skalet said. “It’s great having great role models like the seniors, and it gives me more incentive to work harder to try and get back here next year.” 

In the final seconds of the second overtime period, the Panthers led 61-60 before forcing a Rushford-Peterson turnover--the Panthers forced 20 Trojan turnovers in the game. Following the turnover, Cass Lake-Bena's Ethan Brown hit two free throws to extend the Panthers' lead to 63-60.

On the ensuing possession, Rushford-Peterson's Luke O'Hare drew a foul with 0.3 seconds remaining in the second overtime. O'Hare made his first free throw, then purposefully missed his second free throw, but the Trojans' last-chance tip-in attempt off the missed free throw was no good, sealing the win for the Panthers.

“Give (the Panthers) a lot of credit, they hit big shots when they needed to,” Trojans Head Coach Tom Vix said.  “I thought we did too. I thought it was a great basketball game.”

For the Trojans, Ansell led all scorers with 17 points. Hahn and Skalet each added 13 points, while Jacob Paulson added a double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds). 

Cass Lake-Bena's Noah DeLapaz (15 points), Jarell Jacobs (13 points), and Arnold Kingbird (12 points) reached double-figures in scoring for the Panthers.

Cass Lake-Bena will play North Woods in the Class A semifinals. Rushford-Peterson will play in the Class A consolation bracket.  

The Class-A State Semifinals and Finals will be available to watch on KAAL’s digital sub-channel, 6.2 THIS TV.

KAAL-TV

Copyright 2018 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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