Spoiler alert: Lions take down unbeaten LaMoure in semifinalsWhen Linton-Hazelton-Moffit-Braddock senior Cody Sehn drained a pair of free throws with 6 minutes, 26 seconds left in the third period of Tuesday’s semifinals of the Region 3 Boys’ Basketball Tournament at the Jamestown Civic Center, the No. 3-ranked Lamoure Loboes knew they were in trouble.
By: Michael Savaloja, The Jamestown Sun
When Linton-Hazelton-Moffit-Braddock senior Cody Sehn drained a pair of free throws with 6 minutes, 26 seconds left in the third period of Tuesday’s semifinals of the Region 3 Boys’ Basketball Tournament at the Jamestown Civic Center, the No. 3-ranked Lamoure Loboes knew they were in trouble.
It was the first time all season the Loboes saw 50 points on the opponent’s side of the scoreboard.
The Lions’ junior forward Tyler Humann would later knock down his third three-pointer of the second half to put Linton-HMB up by 20 at 53-33, and the Lions stunned previously undefeated LaMoure by the final of 65-48.
“I thought the kids were very determined tonight,” Linton-HMB veteran coach Dan Carr said. “They came out and executed our game plan very well and we did what we wanted to do.”
It was a nice turnaround for the Lions (16-7), as they trailed four-win Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal 30-29 at the half in Monday’s quarterfinals before putting the Rebels away in the second half 70-47.
In the semis vs. LaMoure, it was almost over with from the very beginning.
In what was a rematch of last year’s Region 3 title game, the Lions took a 10-3 lead after one period and used eight of senior guard Tanner Purintun’s team-high 15 points in the second to go up by 13 (27-14) at the half.
LaMoure was ice cold from the field all night. The Loboes made just 1 of 11 shots in the first eight minutes, which included an 0-of-4 performance from three-point land, and ended the half shooting a tick over 17 percent (5 of 29).
“Sometimes you like to think it was your defense, but for whatever reason they just weren’t quite getting their shots to go down tonight,” Carr said. “But you can’t take anything away from them. They had a great season, and it’s tough to go undefeated.”
Carr — who has 623 career victories and counting — would know. In 2009, Carr led Linton to its third state title with a perfect mark of 26-0.
LaMoure was 22-0 coming into the night, and in those 22 games the Loboes were allowing a ridiculous average of just 38.1 points per game to opponents.
“There were a couple of possessions where we just didn’t execute. We didn’t reverse the ball like we needed to and we forced some shots,” LaMoure coach Darren Thielges said. “I thought the game was played too fast in our heads. We didn’t slow the game down enough to understand where we were looking for shots.”
LaMoure senior Tyler Thielges did all he could to get his team back into it in the third, drilling a pair of treys and scoring nine of his game-high 16. But out of nowhere came Humann, knocking down a pair of treys of his own and scoring eight in the frame to counterbalance Thielges’ effort.
Linton-HMB led 46-31 to start the fourth.
“I just had a good day shooting,” Humann said, who finished with 13 points on 5 of 5 shooting. “I got open, my teammates got me the ball and I knocked them down.”
“He has been working on his shots a little bit lately … but he’s always been a good shooter,” Carr added. “He kind of worked himself into a starting position.”
LaMoure has been playing the last month without 6-foot-4 all-district senior Zachary Stemen. Stemen was lost to a broken left foot two weeks before the District 5 tourney, and his absence was certainly felt by the Loboes on Tuesday.
“It’s going to hurt us, but I’m not going to use that as an excuse. It’s like I told the guys, life’s not fair,” Darren Thielges said. “It wasn’t fair that we went throughout the whole season with Zach and then lose him at the very end and kind of have to forge a new identity. We just had to compensate and we went with the guys that we had and I think they did a great job of battling to the end.”
The Lions shot a robust 51 percent on the night on 25 of 49 shooting. Ryan Dralle posted a double-double of 14 points and 10 boards for the winning team. Purintun added eight assists to go along with his 15 points.
Linton-HMB will meet up with Napoleon in today’s championship game. Napoleon defeated Edgeley-Kulm in the second semifinal 52-47.
Linton-HMB will be gunning for a combined 20th appearance at state, and its second consecutive Region 3 championship. Last year Linton-HMB finished seventh at the state tournament, defeating Standing Rock 66-39.
“We just need to get down and play some great defense like we did tonight,” Humann said.
Region 3 Boys’ Basketball Tournament
At Jamestown Civic Center
Linton-Hazelton-Moffit-Braddock 65, LaMoure 48
Linton-HMB 10 27 46 65
LaMoure 3 14 31 48
Linton-HMB — Tanner Purintun 15, Ryan Dralle 14, Tyler Humann 13, Brooks Flyberg 7, Nathan Weiser 7, Cody Sehn 5, Mason Ryckman 4. Totals: 25-49 FG, 10-13 FT, 11 Fouls, 40 Rebounds (Dralle 10), 14 Assists (Purintun 8), 10 Turnovers, 6 Blocks (Weiser 3), 3 Steals (Purintun 2). Three-pointers: (5-9) Humann 3, Flyberg, Sehn.
LaMoure — Tyler Thielges 16, Jared Meiklejohn 10, Brady Thielges 8, Skylar Shockman 7, Kenny Hodem 3, Anthony Olson 2, Tanner Carlson 2. Totals: 18-63 FG, 7-11 FT, 11 Fouls (B. Thielges 5), 33 Rebounds (B. Thielges 6), 4 Assists (Hodem 2), 3 Turnovers, 1 Block (Shockman), 8 Steals (B. Thielges 4). Three-pointers: (5-24) T. Thielges 3, Meiklejohn 2.
Records: Linton-HMB 16-7; LaMoure 22-1.
Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at (701) 952-8461 or by email at email@example.com