Four Winds rally to top LaMoure-LM
BISMARCK -- In the team's first three possessions, Four Winds senior forward Trayvon McKay missed three straight 3-pointers. The senior forward wasn't worried. He just kept firing. Four Winds is lucky he did, because McKay's 3-pointers became clu...
BISMARCK - In the team’s first three possessions, Four Winds senior forward Trayvon McKay missed three straight 3-pointers.
The senior forward wasn’t worried. He just kept firing.
Four Winds is lucky he did, because McKay’s 3-pointers became clutch in the final minutes of the contest.
McKay finished with 17 points to lead the Indians past the relentless LaMoure-Litchville-Marion 51-47 during the North Dakota Class B state tournament semifinals on Friday at the Bismarck Event Center.
“I knew (my shots) were going to start falling,” McKay said. “I couldn’t make anything in the first half. But the second half and fourth quarter, it was mine.”
Though the Indians punched their ticket back to the state championship, the Loboes (19-8) made them work. Four Winds (24-2) last reached the state title game in 2013 when it lost to Milnor.
LaMoure-LM held a lead at the end of every quarter except the fourth.
“You have to give a lot of credit to LaMoure, they just played tremendous defense,” Four Winds head coach Rick Smith said. “They are a scrappy team. They are well coached. We knew it was going to tough.”
Throughout the regular season, Four Winds averaged a state-high 81.5 points per game. The Indians were no where close that by halftime.
Despite a dismal first half, Four Winds rallied in the final 16 minutes and took its first lead 44-43 lead after a McKay 3-pointer with 3:25 left in regulation.
The Indians’ rally came when their fans started to chant “44” for Parker Mudgett, who passed away in a car accident earlier this season.
“We play for somebody every night,” McKay said. “Every practice we go hard for 44. We know he’s watching over us.”
Four Winds outscored the Loboes 34-24 in the second half. The Indians went 13 of 23 (57 percent) from the field. The Indians didn’t have much luck from elsewhere on the court going 7 of 28 (25 percent) from the field. LaMoure-LM went 9 of 23 (39 percent) from the field.
The Loboes largest lead was nine points, 21-12, in the second quarter after Brady Warcken hit a 3-pointer.
“We wanted to get them in a half court set as much as possible and when we did we got them a little flustered,” LaMoure-L-M head coach Darren Thielges said. “They are a team that came into this tournament averaging 81 points a game and we held them to 51. If they were going to score 81 there would not be much of a chance for us, but we were able to hang in there and control the tempo of the game. I was proud of our effort.”
Cody Fassett posted 10 points and seven rebounds for Four Winds. Oliver Gourd added eight points and seven rebounds. Jason Feather and Steve Redfox each had five points.
LaMoure-LM was led by Anthony Olson with 20 points, nine rebounds, five steals and four blocks. Drew Thielges added 14 points.
Four Winds plays No. 2 seed Rugby in the championship game at 8 p.m. today. The Indians and Panthers meet earlier this season and Four Winds grabbed a one-point, 61-60, victory on Feb. 10. LaMoure-LM meets No. 3 seed Fargo Oak Grove for third place.
“We had a great battle in February,” Smith said. “They have three outstanding basketball players - Brad Heidlebaugh, Tanner Bernhardt and Zach Miller. The rest of their kids play real key roles for them. It’s really tough to defend them.”