Thursday, March 2, 2017

Drake Kinsella Wills Tigers to Victory Over Braymer

Drake Kinsella willed Worth County to victory over Braymer by scoring 17 of his team's 25 points in the fourth quarter and the Tigers came away with a 52-43 victory over the Bobcats. Worth County had trailed by as much as 29-21 in the third quarter before closing to within 29-27 to start the fourth. It is the farthest the Tigers have ever gone; they lost to Northeast Nodaway 43-41 in the same building back in 1983. The Tigers are now 2-0 in revenge matches; they also avenged their loss to King City during conference play.

It looked for all the world like Worth County would have an easy time of it in the first quarter as they raced out to a 17-5 lead after one. Cade Allee scored two out of his three triples in the period. Mason Hawk blocked three shots in the frame and added a  backdoor look. Jacob New, who played his best game of the year so far, knocked down a triple from the right wing, and Ryan McClellan added a pullup at the buzzer.

But then Braymer made an adjustment where they packed everything in and left Mason Hawk open outside, while playing everyone else really right. Their post player, Austin Hall, came alive by hitting some tough shots inside while Jordan Miller added a pair of triples as they erased Worth County's lead and tied it 20-20 at halftime. It looked like a repeat of the last game to start the third as Worth County was rushing up quick shots instead of running their offense against Braymer's defense. Mason Hawk picked up his third and fourth fouls as Braymer built up their 29-21 lead, and Worth County went 11 minutes without scoring a field goal and only scoring one free throw.

But finally, three things happened that got Worth County back on track. The first was that they got back to their strength as they started feeding Drake Kinsella at will in the paint. The second thing was that one of Braymer's players hit Ryan McClellan hard and slammed him into the floor late in the third while going after a loose ball; not only did McClellan get up right away, it only served to fire up Worth County's players. The third was that one of Braymer's players fouled McClellan with a tenth of a second left when he could not have possibly got a shot off; he made both the ensuing free throws and gave Worth County two points they would otherwise not have had.

The wheels came off for Braymer starting in the fourth quarter as Hall picked up his fourth foul trying to guard Kinsella; Drake's 3-point play put Worth County into the lead for good at 30-29. Ryan McClellan scored off a Tevin Cameron steal and then Worth County got two gift points when McClellan was fouled on the Braymer end of the floor during a rebounding situation; he hit both free throws to make it 34-29. Cade Allee and Tevin Cameron both fed Drake inside to make it 38-32, but then Braymer mounted one last comeback bid as Rogers hit a 3-pointer for them and Hall broke away for a layup as Worth County overextended trying for an offensive board and the Bobcats closed to within 38-37. But then Drake Kinsella scored four more to make it two possessions again at 42-37, the second one following a Jacob New steal; he collected three steals in the second half.

Rogers scored off a drive for Braymer to make it 42-40 with 2:57 left after Braymer had hit a free throw, and Braymer got the ball back, but a three-pointer west astray that would have put them back ahead, and Kinsella hit two free throws on the other end. After Hall missed a leaner for Braymer and Kinsella scored off a backdoor look from Mason Hawk to make it 48-40, Jacob New got a steal, Worth County ran the clock down to 56 seconds, and Braymer had to foul the rest of the way.

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