Night Hawks end season with a Region 7 third place finish

This match came down to a missed opportunity. In a game decided by one point, Heart River’s Seth Keator stepped over the lane line during a free throw attempt late in the fourth quarter that waived off a second shot for his teammate.

 

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By COLE BENZ | For The Record | cbenz@countrymedia.net

This match came down to a missed opportunity. In a game decided by one point, Heart River’s Seth Keator stepped over the lane line during a free throw attempt late in the fourth quarter that waived off a second shot for his teammate. Heart River lost to Hettinger/Scranton 68-67 in the Region 7 third place matchup.

Heart River won the tipoff and both teams were firing on all pistons from the start. Heart River was running the court with fast transitions and employing a full court press. The Cougars seemed to want to utilize speed to get to the net.

The Night Hawks were a little more patient with their play development.

Hayden Sadowsky, usually one of Hettinger/Scranton’s lead scorers, was held scoreless in the first quarter. He made his first points of the game with three seconds left in the second quarter, a basket at the free-throw line.

After ending the opening quarter all tied up at 15, the Night Hawks outscored the Cougars 16-10 and ended the half ahead 31-25. The Night Hawks ended the first half and started the second on a 12-0 scoring run, taking a commanding lead.

The lead wouldn’t last though.

After clawing their way back into the game, the Night Hawks found themselves with only a two-point lead with one minute left in the third quarter. With under three seconds remaining in the quarter, Heart River tied it.

In comes Hettinger/Scranton’s Brandon Pierce.

At the 7:20 mark of the fourth quarter Pierce broke the tie with a free throw. That point would be the first of a 19-point second half performance from Pierce.

The game got physical as the clocked ticked down in regulation.

After letting up on the full-court press in the second half, Heart River started pressing again. Heart River and Hettinger/Scranton kept the crowd on the edge of their seats. The matchup became a game of seconds as the margin of error got slimmer and slimmer for both teams.

With 56 seconds left Heart River made two free throws to go up on the Night Hawks by three points. Hettinger/Scranton’s Damon Mellmer was fouled by Heart River’s Cole Olson with 23.9 seconds remaining. The Night Hawks cut the Cougar lead to one point before Sadowsky was fouled, giving him a chance to put his team in front. He made both shots and gave his team a one-point lead with 18.7 seconds left.

On the next possession Heart River called a time out with 13.1 seconds left.

When they inbound the ball, the Cougars took what little time they had to let the play develop. The ball was dished to Heart River’s Dion Madler who was under the hoop. He tossed up the ball for the layup that didn’t go through, sealing the 68-67 win for the Night Hawks, earning them third place honors at the Region 7 Tournament.

Heart Rivers leading scorer was Madler with a 20-point performance followed by Olson who put of 15 points for the Cougars. Both Madler and Olson finished with a double-double as they accumulated 16 and 11 rebounds respectively.

Brandon Pierce was lead scorer for the Night Hawks, supplying 46 percent of the team’s offense with a 31-point performance. Pierce had 12 in the first half with the rest coming in the second half. Second on the team was Mellmer who put up 10 points. Overall Hettinger/Scranton had eight players get into the scoring column.

Sadowsky lead the Night Hawks on the boards with seven on the night.

The Night Hawks end the season with a third place finish in the regional tournament and a 20-4 record with a No. 8 ranking in the final Class B polls.







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