CLASS B BOYS: Berthold rallies to beat Lions, stay unbeaten
GRAND FORKS -- In 25 prior games, no opponent came closer than seven points against undefeated Berthold. At the end of the first quarter against Linton-HMB, Berthold trailed 20-9. "We had a little bit of the jitters," said Berthold's Alex Bloms. ...
GRAND FORKS -- In 25 prior games, no opponent came closer than seven points against undefeated Berthold.
At the end of the first quarter against Linton-HMB, Berthold trailed 20-9.
"We had a little bit of the jitters," said Berthold's Alex Bloms.
But Berthold turned a case of the nerves into nerves of steel as the game progressed and managed to beat the Lions 68-58 on Thursday in the quarterfinal round of the state Class B tournament.
Linton-HMB entered with considerable state tournament. The Lions were making their 19th state tourney appearance. Berthold is making its eighth trip.
"That was interesting, huh?" said Berthold said Brock Teets. "We came out tight. We bobbled a few balls, threw a few out of bounds and missed some bunnies. We don't have much state tournament experience. This is our first rodeo.
"We just told the kids to get back to the things that got us here, defense and rebounding."
Berthold went back to the basics and trailed 30-28 at halftime. The Bombers didn't make any big run against Linton-HMB, and still trailed by five (39-34) midway through the third quarter.
But Adam Birdsall's 3-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer gave Berthold a 44-43 advantage.
"That got them a little momentum after that," Linton-HMB coach Dan Carr said. "They started to make some plays and good teams make plays. Also, they're a very good rebounding team. We didn't neutralize that."
Teets also called the shot one of the game's biggest.
"That really jumped us in the fourth," he said. "You could see it in our faces that the momentum had really changed."
The Bombers indeed took over in the fourth.
Jaeden Jenson's three-point play to open the fourth pushed Berthold's lead to four. The Lions never came closer than two points the rest of the way, thanks to Bloms' scoring and the Bombers' specialty diamond defense aimed at slowing Linton's top player, Tanner Purintun, who finished with 11 points.
"We put that defense in about a month ago," Teets said. "We can be successful with it because of our length.
Daniel Yale added 17 points from Berthold, while Jenson finished with 11.
Tyler Humann finished with 12 to lead Linton, which dropped to 17-8.
After the first quarter, Berthold settled down and played its game.
"We haven't been in a lot of situations like that," Bloms said. "But once we got our defense flowing, we got going in transition and that's what fuels us."
Berthold 9 28 44 68
LHMB 20 30 43 58
B: Bloms 9-21 4-5 22, Yale 6-17 5-8 17, Jenson 4-4 1-1 11, Birdsall 3-4 0-0 7, Gunderson 3-6 0-0 7, Neshem 1-4 0-1 2, Lee 1-2 0-0 2, White 0-2 0-0 0, Langan 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 27-60 10-15 68.
LHMB: Humann 4-8 0-0 12, Purintun 5-16 0-0 11, Weiser 3-5 4-4 10, Sehn 3-6 0-0 8, Schneider 4-6 0-0 8, Dralle 2-3 2-4 6, Flyberg 1-3 0-0 3. Totals: 22-47 6-8 58.
3-pointers: B 4-15 (Jenson 2, Birdsall 1, Gunderson 1), LHMB 8-22 (Humann 4, Sehn 2, Purintun 1, Flyberg 1). Total fouls: B 13, LHMB 17. Fouled out: Sehn, Dralle. Rebounds: B 27 (Yale 9), LHMB 27 (Purintun 8, Weiser 8). Assists: B 8 (Yale 4), LHMB 9 (Purintun 6). Records: B 26-0, LHMB 17-8.
Nelson is the sports editor of the Grand Forks Herald,
which is owned by Forum Communications Co.