MACCRAY holds off Canby in double OT

MARSHALL – With the atmosphere of a championship game, regulation wasn’t enough for the Canby and MACCRAY boys’ basketball teams, seeded third and second, respectively, in the 3A-North sub-section.

The Lancers and the Wolverines battled to a regulation tie and a tie in the first overtime before MACCRAY (21-5 overall) edged out Canby (19-7) in the second overtime, 77-75.

“I thought it might go down to the last possession, and that’s just what it did,” said Canby head coach Jon Hanson. “Only it did it three times. I wasn’t really expecting that.”

The game started slowly with each team taking a couple misses before the Wolverines struck first. But it was the Lancers that would get hot, scoring 14 straight points to take the largest lead of the game, 14-2 with 10 minutes, 22 seconds left in the half.

“That’s what we needed to do,” Hanson said. “We got a good start like we had to have, but you knew they weren’t going to stay cold forever.”

MACCRAY worked its way back into the game, regaining the lead 23-22 with 2:50 left in the half, but it would be Canby that would take a 27-24 lead into the half.

“We knew we had to keep going, attack, keep our foot on the gas,” said Canby’s Michael Sisk. “We couldn’t let up. We knew they were going to come out firing and they did.”

The second half turned into a back-andforth battle with six ties and eight lead changes.

With 3:53 left in regulation, Sisk missed a pair of free throws but Zach Nuy got a rebound and passed it back to Sisk, who was fouled and gave the Lancers a five-point lead late.

“It’s tough. They hit a few shots near the end, but we fought back,” Sisk said.

With under a minute left Canby was able to maintain a one- to two-basket lead thanks in part to a 5-for-6 free throw performance from Michael Slaba in the final minute, but he was called for a foul on a 3-point shooter.

“The good thing was they couldn’t have anything more than a tie out of that,” said Hanson. “You don’t feel quite so bad. He was playing defense. It happens. You see it all the time.

“The kids don’t try to do it, they get caught up in the moment and it can happen.”

MACCRAY’s Taylor Thissen cut the lead to two and then 5-foot-3 guard Jacob Aviles tied the game for the Wolverines at 62-62.

Canby didn’t get off a shot, sending the game into overtime.

“It’s right where we wanted to be,” Hanson said. “The game is still anyone’s. If we play good defense, we would be right in it.”

In the first overtime Thissen scored six of MACCRAY’s eight points while 3s from Stafki and Cole Brusven, along with a layup from Sisk, gave Canby its points.

After the Lancers and the Wolverines each missed a shot, MACCRAY took a timeout with 19.8 left on the clock and set up the final shot.

Carter Asche took the final shot for the Wolverines, but it missed, sending the game into the second overtime.

“That gave us a lot of momentum,” Stafki said. “It gave us a chance to say, ‘We can beat these guys.'”

In the second overtime MACCRAY struck first with a basket from Thissen, who led the Wolverines with 25 points, but Canby quickly answered with a shot from Sisk, who led the Lancers with 25.

Bailey Boike hit the go-ahead shot and Thissen extended the lead by making the front end of a pair of free throws, but Stafki nailed a 3 from the wing to tie the game 75-75 with 41 seconds left in the second overtime.

“We had to get back on defense and stop the fast break,” Stafki said. “Basically we had to get ab stop.”

MACCRAY again held for a late shot and this time Thissen was able to get a runner to go, giving the Wolverines the lead and Canby called time out with 5.2 seconds left in the game to set up the final shot.

The Lancers got the ball down the floor quickly and Canby went for the win when Michael Slaba put up a 3 from the deep left wing that caught the front iron, and MACCRAY corralled the rebound to hold on to the 77-75 victory.

“Both teams played their hearts out,” Hanson said. “There wasn’t much gas left in the tank for either team.

“It was a great season. Our four seniors had a great last year. They really stepped up from the last two years. All their dedication paid off. They had a great senior year.”

MACCRAY will advance to the Section 3A-North championship game on Saturday, where they will face top-seeded Dawson-Boyd for the right to go on to the section championship.