Boys basketball: Caledonia stumbles in state quarterfinals
Caledonia suffered through a poor shooting night and was handed a 79-74 loss to Jackson County Central in the Class AA boys basketball state tournament quarterfinals on Wednesday night at Target Center.
MINNEAPOLIS — It came down to shooting on Wednesday night as Caledonia suffered a narrow 79-74 loss to Jackson County Central in the Class AA boys basketball state quarterfinals at Target Center.
Second-ranked and No. 2 tourney-seed Caledonia had excelled from the field (49 percent) and 3-point range (39 percent) all season. But in its biggest game of the season, the shots didn't fall for the Warriors.
Caledonia shot just 37 percent from the field (28-for-75) and 22 percent from beyond the arc (9-for-a-whopping-41) in the season-ending setback.
"We just missed shots and we settled for threes too much," Caledonia sophomore Owen King said.
King scored 25 points before fouling out late in the game. With his first points of the game, he also set the school's all-time scoring record.
"The shots weren't falling for us, it happens," added senior guard Colton Lampert. Lampert had a strong all-around game with 19 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and three steals in his final contest with the Warriors.
Jackson County Central senior Bodey Behrends, a 6-foot-9 forward, proved to be an imposing force on the inside to help the unseeded Huskies (24-5) advance to the state semifinals. Behrends had 20 points, 17 rebounds and five blocked shots.
"I definitely think it's a big factor," Behrends said of his inside presence. "I think that I can intimidate people."
JCC guard Jacob Christopher had 27 points, including 16 in the second half when the Huskies held off hard-charging Caledonia.
The Warriors trailed 67-53 with 3:33 to go. Caledonia went on a 13-2 run over the next 2:01 to pull within 69-66.
"I had faith in the team all the way," King said. "There was no way we were going to quit."
But Behrends had a big rebound put-back to give JCC a 71-66 lead with 1:22 remaining. Caledonia was within three once more, but Christopher was 4-for-4 at the free throw line in the final 43 seconds as the Huskies held on for the victory.
"We had the mindset we're not going to be intimated," 6-5 senior Caledonia forward Gavin Schroeder said. "But it's hard not to be intimidated by him (Behrends) when he's blocking all those shots."
Behrends made the inside game tougher for Caledonia. He also had five offensive rebounds, which helped slow the Warriors' fast-break, which they like to do after getting a rebound.
"We were not used to playing against a guy like that," Schroeder said. "They had a lot of second-chance points."
Schroeder led the Warriors with 11 rebounds and Caledonia and JCC both finished with 39 boards. Caledonia won the turnover battle, too, 25-13 and took 28 more shots than the Huskies. But Caledonia couldn't escape the tough shooting night.
"The ball just didn't go in the hoop," Caledonia coach Josh Diersen said. "They were effective on the inside with the 6-9 guy. But we had open set threes. We had shots, we just didn't hit (them)."
Jackson County tried to identify the top Caledonia shooters and limit them, while giving others open looks. The strategy seemed to pay off.
"I thought we defended well," JCC coach Trent Sukalski said. "What were they averaging, like 85 crazy points a game? We just mixed it up with our man and zone looks."
Ethan DuCharme, a backup guard, hit a pair of 3-pointers and King had a 3-pointer and three-point play as Caledonia used a quick 13-2 run over a two-minute span late to pull the Warriors within three. But the Huskies had just enough poise to hold on as they survived Caledonia's pressure enough to make 6 of 8 free throws in the final minute.
"The guys never quit," Diersen said. "Those are the kind of runs they've made all year. Tonight JCC just knocked down more shots."
Caledonia finishes the season 28-3 after placing second and third in the state the past two seasons.
Jackson County 79, Caledonia 74
JACKSON COUNTY CENTRAL (79)
Matt Ringkob 16 P, 3 3-PT; Jacob Christopher 27 P, 4 3-PT; Ryan Christopher 5 P, 1 3-PT; Bodey Behrends 20 P; Colton Timmer 11 P, 1 3-PT; Ryan Salzwedel 0 P; Jordan Hutzler 0 P; Chris Gumto 0 P.
Owen King 25 P, 3 3-PT; Colton Lampert 19 P, 1 3-PT; Ethan DuCharme 6 P, 2 3-PT; Gavin Schroeder 11 P; Andrew Goergen 3 P, 1 3-PT; Sam Barthel 7 P, 1 3-PT; Jordan Burg 0 P; Noah King 7 P; 1 3-PT.
Halftime:JCC 35, CAL 34.
Free throws:JCC 22-31, CAL 9-15. Field goals:JCC 24-47, CAL 28-75.
Three-point goals:JCC 9-21, CAL 9-41. Assists:JCC 15 (Ringkob 7), CAL 15 (Lambert 7).
Rebounds:JCC 39 (Behrends 17, Ringkob 5), CAL 39 (Schroeder 11, Lambert 8, O.King 6). Turnovers:JCC 25, CAL 13.