Saints outlast Concordia to claim consolation

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

In a game of evenlymatched teams, the fifth-seeded Saint Paul Saints outlasted No. 6 Concordia 66-58 to claim the consolation prize in the 2010 Lafayette County Basketball Tournament at Santa Fe High School in Alma Saturday.

"This game really could have gone either way," SPLHS head coach Monte Pitsch said.

That is true.

But when it came to the second overtime, the Saints had all of the answers.

With the game tied at 52- 52, Drew Smith having tied up the score with a 16-foot foulline jumper as time expired in the first overtime, Jordan Bredehoeft showed a precursor of things to come by hitting two free throws for the Saints.

Concordia surged ahead for its last lead with four straight points on a drive of the baseline and a basket by Cale Brunkhorst and a 5-foot jumper from the left baseline by Brunkhorst.

With 2:58 to go, the Orioles edged ahead 56-54.

Thirty-five seconds later, Seth Dahlke, who failed to win the game in regulation for the Saints by missing all three free-throw attempts with no time on the clock after being hacked shooting a three-pointer from the left corner, drove to the basket, hit the shot, was fouled and connected from the charity stripe to complete an important old-fashioned threepoint play.

"We had some turnovers at key moments and they capitalized on those," CHS head coach Sam Willis said.

Smith misfired from threepoint range and Carter Brown failed to connect on two twopoint field-goal attempts in a row, and Bredehoeft was fouled and nailed both charity tosses.

Jamie Thieman was off the mark on a field-goal try for the Orioles and Brandon Haake was fouled and hit one of two free throws for SPLHS.

Collin Werths was off the mark on a three-point try for the Orioles and Clint Stuenkel nailed two free throws for SPLHS.

Smith stole away the ball for the Saints and scored with 16 seconds left, but CHS was on its way to defeat.

Bredehoeft closed out the win with two more free throws.

His 12-for-12 effort, all in the overtimes, ties an alltime tournament record for free-throw accuracy in a game (minimum eight attempts).

The mark was originally set by Kent Kaullen of Lexington in 1994 (8 for 8) and equalled the next year by Concordia's Tim Droege (8 for 8).

The game went down to the wire at the end of regulation.

A free throw by Smith and a steal and a layup by Brown gave the Orioles a 46-43 lead with 52 seconds left.

Only 12 seconds later, though, Bredehoeft tied up the game with a three-point shot from the left wing.

On the last possession of regulation, the ball was worked around to Bredehoeft on the left wing.

Guarded closely, he passed off to Dahlke in the left corner.

Dahlke's shot was off the mark, but he ended up near the bleachers in the old gym at SFHS.

A whistle sounded and Dahlke went to the line.

"It was a very tense moment," Willis said.

Neither team was ahead by more than two points in the first overtime.

The Saints grabbing the lead on two Bredehoeft free throws.

Brunkhorst tying the game on a 15-foot jumper from the right wing.

Thieman hit a layup to give CHS a lead, but 25 seconds after Alic Frerking missed the front end of a one-and-one chance for CHS, Dahlke drove in for two points to tie the score.

With 7 seconds left, Bredehoeft gave the Saints a 58-56 lead with two more free throws, only to have Smith hit a miraculous shot to send the game to four more minutes.

"We tried to run a play but it got broken," Willis said. "It wasn't designed for him to shoot it.(But at that point, he had to shoot)."

"We had some errors in judgment down the stretch, which hurt our chances to win in regulation and the first overtime," Pitsch said. "We feel fortunate to come away with the win."

Bredehoeft had four threes and 28 points to lead all scorers.

Daniel Safarik was a huge factor in the first half and finished with 11 points.

Brunkhorst and Brown each scored 14 points, Thieman 12 and Smith 11 for the Orioles.

"Usually you see yourself winning the game with four guys in double figures," Willis said. "I guess, sometimes that's not the case, too."

Still, the Orioles made progress.

"We're playing hard, but we haven't come out on top," Willis said. "They're hungry for a win. It just didn't happen. They're playing hard, and that's all I can ask of my guys."

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