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Richland posts comeback win in opening round of Class B boys state basketball tournament

Richland's Hunter Lentz blocks the shot put up by Powers Lake's Kyle Van Berkom with just over one minute remaining of Thursday's North Dakota Class B boys state basketball tournament quarterfinal game at the Minot State Dome. Mike McCleary / Bismarck Tribune

MINOT, N.D. – Richland’s 13-year drought between state tournament appearances paled next to Powers Lake’s 80. Getting there is going to have to be enough for Powers Lake.

Third-seeded Richland overcame a seven-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat Powers Lake 65-63 Thursday, March 14, in the first round of the Class B boys state basketball tournament at the Minot State Dome.

The Colts (22-2) extended their winning streak to 15 games while stopping the Ranchers’ streak at 17 games.

Carter Lingen’s free throw with 1 minute, 27 seconds remaining left proved to be the game-winner. Power Lake’s Aiden Nordloef had 17 points but he missed a shot from underneath the basket with two seconds left and Richland’s Colten Evanson added another free throw with 1.7 seconds to play.

Richland was on the move most of the game, scoring regularly on fast breaks off both turnovers and made Powers Lake baskets.

“That’s how we want to run with it,” Richland coach Cody Reiland said. “I could tell there were some bigger guys out there so I figured we could get ahead of them … and just keep pushing it.”

It was a game played mostly between starting fives. Richland’s bench was scoreless and Powers Lake scored two points. Four starters from each team reached double figures.

Gavin Reiland led Richland with 19 points. Evanson and Hunter Lentz added 13 and Cole Myers had a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds.

Powers Lake (20-6) got 18 points from Noah Fredrickson, 17 from Aiden Nordloef, 14 from Kyle VanBerkom and 12 from Isaac Nordloef.

Richland was on the comeback trail most of the final three quarters. Trailing 17-14 after one quarter, the Ranchers unleashed a barrage of 3-pointers that gave them a 25-17 lead and prompted Richland coach Cody Reiland to call a timeout with 5:51 left.

That break was what the Colts needed. They responded with more pressure on defense. In the last 5:17 of the first half, Powers Lake got a three-point play and a 3-pointer from Aiden Nordloef and nothing else. They were 1-for-9 down the stretch.

Richland cut into the lead and got within 31-28 on Gavin Reiland’s layup with 1:16 left in the half. And that’s how the half ended. The difference: 3-point shooting. Powers Lake made seven of 13 3-pointers in the first two quarters, while Richland was 3-of-16.

“They just shot the lights out,” Reiland said. “I tell the kids every game they’re going to shoot their best against us. We just have to keep battling.”

Another surge led to Powers Lake’s 58-51 lead, but the Colts came back to go up 59-58 on Gavin Reiland’s jumper with 3:46 left.

With just over three minutes remaining, the Ranchers’ Isaac Nordloef made a 3-pointer for a 63-59 lead. But that was Powers Lake’s last points.

Lingen hit two free throws and Myers tied the game with 2:25 left.

Powers Lake went 0-for-4 with two turnovers on its last six possessions.

But it still had a chance when Richland threw the inbound away with 8.7 seconds left. The Ranchers got what they wanted, a lob underneath to Aiden Nordloef, but his was off the mark.

Powers Lake will play Beulah in the consolation round on Friday, while Richland takes on second-seeded Shiloh Christian in the semifinals.

Powers Lake 14 31 54 63

Richland 17 28 47 65

PL: I. Nordloef 12, Fredrickson 18, A. Nordloef 17, VanBerkom 14, Rystedt 2.

R: Evanson 13, Lentz 13, Lingen 8, Myers 12, Reiland 19.