When the shots disappeared the season did too.
Tuesday afternoon the No. 7 seeded Kuemper Catholic Knights fell to No. 2 seeded Roland-Story 60-52 in the class 2A State quarterfinal round.
Early on it seemed like they were doomed.
Nothing was falling. Open looks fell well short of the basket. Contested shots even seemed to refuse to get to the rim. Against a taller team it seemed that the early struggles might be a death knell.
Then the Knights got their spark. After giving up a 10-0 run to Roland-Story the Knights started their comeback in the second quarter. Kuemper fell behind by 10, but then Carson Kanne and Michael Kasperbauer were able to get their shots to fall.
A little bit of luck also sparked the comeback.
On one play Kanne tried to throw the ball through the key to an open teammate. Roland-Story's Ben Greenfield stuck his leg out to try and deflect the pass. His plan worked, but was an ultimate failure.
After the ball skipped off the side of Greenfield's foot the ball shot up into the air and then crashed through the Kuemper Catholic net for two points for the Knights. That brought the Knights within one point with under two minutes to go before halftime.
That's when the Kuemper defense took over and held Roland-Story scoreless for over a minute before halftime. The Knights seemed to do nothing, but score, as they took the lead off a Michael Kasperbauer three.
At halftime the Knights were able to gain a 31-27 advantage.
In the second half both teams were plagued by turnovers, but neither team seemed to use the advantage. A scoreless drought kept the Knights in the lead, but Roland-Story woke up and eventually tied the game at 36.
At the end of the third quarter the Norsemen were able to take a modest 38-36 lead.
That lead continued to grow throughout the final frame as Kuemper Catholic struggled to score and generate rebounds that would have extended possessions for them.
The Knights had some fight left in them. Trailing by eight in the final minute DJ Vonnahme took a top-of-the-key three to bring the Knights within five. They forced a Norsemen turnover and seemed to have an open three. This time the ball kissed the front of the rim and Roland-Story was able to grab the rebound and further secure their lead.
The Knights finish the season with an 18-7 record. Roland-Story advances to the class 2A State semi-finals.
Carson Kanne - 12 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists
Michael Kasperbauer - 11 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists
DJ Vonnahme - 10 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks, 2 steals
Brock Badding - 6 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal
Dawson Gifford - 4 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists
Carter Putney - 4 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist
Tregan Beiter - 3 points, 1 rebound
Evan Adams - 2 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block
Score by quarters:
Field goal percentage: Kuemper Catholic 34.4%; Roland-Story 41.4%; Three point percentage: Kuemper Catholic 31.3%; Roland-Story 7.1%
Free throws: Kuemper Catholic 0-1; Roland-Story 11-18
Rebounds: Kuemper Catholic 6 offensive, 26 defensive 32 total; Roland-Story 14 offensive, 34 defensive, 48 total.
Turnovers: Kuemper Catholic 12; Roland-Story 13
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