BOYS BASKETBALL: Panthers pull another upset

MONTEVIDEO – After splitting victories during the regular season, the Minneota/Lincoln HI Vikings and the Tracy-Milroy-Balaton Panthers figured to have a close battle during their Class 2A Section 3 Tournament semifinal game Tuesday at Montevideo High School.

No. 7 seed TMB was able to pull its second straight upset of the section tournament, defeating No. 3 seed Minneota/ Lincoln HI in a 74-71 thriller.

After trailing the entire second half, Dylan Tolk hit a 3-pointer to give the the Vikings a 71-70 lead with a minute left. But Derek Larson found Spencer Smith down low to finish a field goal as the Panthers regained a 72-71 edge.

As the clock ticked down, Minneota/Lincoln HI’s Daniel Harrison drove to the basket and was fouled by TMB’s Brett Swenhaugen.

Despite having a hot hand for the Vikings, Harrison missed the first free throw of a 1-and-1 situation.

With the ball back in the Panthers’ possession, Tolk fouled Smith, sending Smith to the free-throw line for two shots.

“There was a lot of pressure,” Spencer Smith said. “It was make it for go home so I knew I had to put them in.”

Smith knocked down both free throws, giving TMB a 74-71 lead.

In a last ditch effort the Vikings set-up a three-point opportunity for Harrison in the corner but the ball bounced out as time expired.

“They stopped us when they needed to and got some free throws at the end that hurt, but at least we had a good look,” Minneota/Lincoln HI head coach Dave Busselman said. “The kids really played their hearts out.”

In the opening minutes of the game, both teams worked to gain an advantage. Minneota/Lincoln HI broke the scoring with a putback from Tolk.

As the Vikings started to build momentum behind a 3-point shot from Austin Buysse, the Panthers responded with a shot from beyond the arc from Josh Kirk. There were a total of 21 3-pointers in the contest with Tolk and Buysse each with five.

The Panthers found themselves in foul trouble late in the first half, giving the Vikings the chance to build-up to a seven-point advantage.

“In first-half, Minneota was in position to open a 10-point lead,” said TMB head coach Rick Haberman. “At the 5-minute mark, we were in a little bit of foul trouble and we had some adversity to overcome, but we said we had to keep it close so we can regroup at half-time.”

The Panthers regained their composure as the first half winded down, using an 8-0 run to earn a 43-39 lead.

“Instead of keeping it close, we got hot at the end and were able to take a four-point lead going into the locker room,” Haberman said.

TMB was able to hold onto its narrow lead throughout the second half, limiting the Vikings’ offense until the last 2 minutes of the game.

Harrison led Minneota/Lincoln HI through the second half, contributing 17 points with a total of 23 on the night. But the Panthers were able to take control back to advance to the North Division championship game against No. 1 seed Redwood Valley at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Southwest Minnesota Minnesota State’s R/A Facility.

“We very excited and very proud of the guys,” said Haberman. “Everyone stepped up and played great basketball.”




At Montevideo


MINNEOTA/LINCOLN HI (19-9 OVERALL): Jeff Gladis 0-0 0-0 0, Dylan Tolk 6-13 0-1 17, Daniel Harrison 9-17 2-5 23, Austin Buysse 6-10 0-0 17, Jordan Beck 3-7 0-0 7, Nathan Pavek 3-5 1-2 7, Matthew Knutson 0-1 0-0 0. TOTALS: 27-53 (51%) 3-8 (38%) 71.

TRACY-MILROY-BALATON (15-12 OVERALL): Christian Devereaux 0-0 0-0 0, Brett Swenhaugen 1-1 2-2 4, Riley Kirk 2-4 0-0 5, Josh Kirk 9-15 0-0 20,Spencer Smith 13-18 7-10 35, Brady Lanoue 3-6 0-0 7, Hayden Sanders 0-0 0-0 0, Derek Larson 1-6 0-0 3. TOTALS: 22-31 (71%) 9-12 (75%) 74.

HALFTIME: TMB 43, Minneota 39. 3-POINT FIELD GOALS: Tracy-Milroy-Balaton X-X (); Minneota/Lincoln HI 14-26 (Tolk 5-9, Buysee 5-8, Harrison 3-4, Beck 1-4). REBOUNDS: Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 25 (Smith 7); Minneota/Lincoln HI 23 (Buysee 9). TOTAL FOULS (FOULED OUT): Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 18 (None); Minneota/Lincoln HI 8 (None). TECHNICAL FOULS: None. ASSISTS: Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 20 (R, Kirk 10); Minneota/Lincoln HI 10 (Harrison 4). STEALS: Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 5 (R. Kirk 3); Minneota/Lincoln HI 5 (Pavek 2). BLOCKED SHOTS: Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 2 (Smith 2); Minneota/Lincoln HI 0. TURNOVERS: Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 7; Minneota/Lincoln HI 9.