December 22, 2005

Elusive Third Win Escapes Tigers In Final Seconds

The roller coaster ride continued for the Scotland County varsity boys basketball team on Friday night at Edina. After opening the season 2-0, SCR-I dropped its fourth straight game as the Eagles snatched victory from defeat in the final seconds to beat SCR-I 42-40.

The Tigers looked poised to end the three-game slide, leading the game by as many as 12 points in the second half. But it was not to be as Knox County battled back and then held on for the win.

SCR-I opened the game with a new look. First-year coach Ryan Bergeson switched up the starting lineup, inserting three new starters at the guard spots.

“These guys worked hard in practice all week and we felt like they really gelled as a unit so I decided to try it tonight,” Bergeson said on starting Grant Blomme, Zach McBee and Dustin Roach.

The move paid immediate dividends, as Roach had a pair of steals in the game’s opening minutes and Grant Blomme had the game’s first four points.

But Knox County answered with the games next 10 points. Cody Musgrove broke the drought with a bucket in the paint and McBee cut the deficit to 10-8 with a driving score that closed the first period.

The Tigers continued to chip away on the lead. Musgrove’s second basket of the second period finally gave SCR-I the lead at 13-12 with 4:39 left in the first half.

Back-to-back scores by Matt Wickert expanded the Scotland County lead to 17-12 as SCR-I went to work on the offensive glass. The Tigers got two or three shot attempts on nearly every possession in the second period.

Knox County took advantage of a terrible night at the free-throw line for the Tigers to creep back into the game. SCR-I went 1-of-10 from the charity stripe in the first half, allowing the Eagles to be within two points, 21-19 at the half.

The Eagles likely felt as if they were seeing double as the third period opened. Twins Grant and Bryce Blomme led a swarming SCR-I press that fueled an 11-3 run. Buckets by Cody Musgrove sandwiched around seven points from the Blommes, saw SCR-I build a 32-22 advantage with 3:46 left in the period.

Musgrove and Lathan Watson continued the team’s solid work on the offensive glass. The Tiger forwards both scored on put-backs to help keep the Tigers ahead 36-28.

Knox County fought back to start the fourth period. The Eagles pulled within 36-33 before a jumper from Wickert silenced the Knox County crowd. Wickert added a pair of free throws to give his team some breathing room at 40-33 with 4:38 left in the game.

But that proved to be the final points of the night for Scotland County. Knox County came from behind in the game’s final minute and went ahead 42-40 with just 19.9 seconds to play.

The Tigers had three good looks at the basket during those final 19 ticks but just could not get the ball to go down.

Cody Musgrove led Scotland County (2-4) with 14 points. Wickert finished with nine and Grant Blomme had eight points. Dennis Dent led Knox County (2-3) with 12 points.

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