Loboes fall just short: Milnor nips LaMoure-L-M in ‘B’ semisIt wasn’t a big statline or a huge run that tipped the scales for Milnor against LaMoure-Litchville-Marion on Friday night. It was only a few more plays.
By: By Chris Aarhus, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
MINOT — It wasn’t a big statline or a huge run that tipped the scales for Milnor against LaMoure-Litchville-Marion on Friday night. It was only a few more plays.
L-L-M struggled to score early and then late, falling to the Bison 57-54 in semifinal action of the Class B state basketball tournament.
“There’s no questioning the heart,” L-L-M coach Darren Thielges said of his team. “We’ve said it all through the season. If and when we get knocked out, it won’t be for a lack of heart, and that heart makes it so difficult in the locker room. It does matter to these guys.
“Yeah, this one stings a little bit.”
Milnor (21-6) meets Four Winds-Minnewaukan/Trenton at 8 tonight looking for its first state championship. The Loboes (22-3) face Four Winds-Minnewaukan/Trenton for third place at 6 p.m.
Milnor’s Briton Bussman paved the way, pouring in a game-high 31 points on 10-of-16 shooting. He was also 11-of-12 from the free-throw line. Wyatt Mund, fresh off a 32-point, 16-rebound performance on Thursday, was held to seven points, but had 13 rebounds.
“The best thing about those players is they don’t force anything,” Nelson said. “They understand the game of basketball. When Briton was bottled up (Thursday), Wyatt stepped up. When Wyatt was bottled up, Briton stepped up.”
The game was close throughout, but it was Bussman’s conversion on a 3-point play with 1 minute, 5 seconds remaining that proved to be the game-winner. L-L-M received a free throw from Brady Thielges and one from Mund the rest of the way, but Jared Meiklejohn’s off-balance, last-second 3-pointer against three defenders at the top of the key was no good.
L-L-M was paced by Anthony Olson, an 5-11 forward who finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Meiklejohn added 16.
The Loboes were held without a point for the first 6 minutes of the game. Once they got going, Milnor had a hard time stopping it. L-L-M led 31-19 with 2:09 remaining in the first half after an Olson bucket and held a 33-26 advantage at halftime.
“I thought we were sluggish right away,” Thielges said. “We weren’t aggressive attacking the rim. Then we went to a 1-2-1-1 full-court (press) and we got a few turnovers off it.”
But Bussman responded, scoring seven points in the fourth quarter to lead the rally despite eight points from Meiklejohn including two big 3-pointers.
“I thought we gave up some stuff on the inside and gave up a flash cut where we weren’t supposed to,” Thielges said. “We gave up some offensive rebounds that were big in the game.”
The Loboes go for third place tonight at 6:30, taking on Trenton, which lost to Four Winds-Minnewaukan in the second semifinal game.
Class B state tournament
At Minot State Dome
Milnor 57, LaMoure-Litchville-Marion 54
Milnor 13 26 40 57
L-L-M 10 33 39 54
Milnor: Briton Bussman 31, Landon Mund 7, Wyatt Mund 7, Andrew Martinson 4, Colin Yagow 4, Noah Knutson 4. Totals 21-40 13-17 57
LaMoure-Litchville-Marion: Anthony Olson 23, Jared Meiklejohn 16, Brady Thielges 8, Drew Thielges 7. Totals 21-55 FG, 8-12 FT.
Records: Milnor 21-6, LaMoure-Litchville-Marion 22-3.
Sun sports writer Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org