The West Central Area Knights defeated the Warroad Warriors 52-47 in overtime in the championship game of the Pelican Rapids Minnesota National Bank Classic Holiday Tournament.
Warroad jumped out to a 10-4 lead behind a couple of three pointers from their 6'4 Center Isaac Stopskoff. The Knights worked to battle back vs. the Warroad press and 2-3 zone defense the rest of the first half but never took the lead trailing 23-26 at halftime. The Knights would tie the score or pull within one on a couple of occasions put did not take the lead until an Aaron Wiese bucket put them up 33-32. Wiese would go on to score the next six points to give the Knights their biggest lead at 39-32.
Warroad's senior phenom Tommy Vilayphone would pull his team back to 39-36 and then went on a 6-2 spurt to take a 42-41 lead. The Knights Brady Sabolik converted an and one to put the Knights back on top 44-42 lead with 22 seconds remaining before Vilayphone scored with two seconds left to tie it at 44-44 and force overtime.
The Knights scored the first bucket of overtime. Warroad would once again take the lead from the Knights, but the Knights showed resiliency to take the lead again and then get several defensive stops down the stretch along with six free throws by Sabolik to seal it 52-47.
Knight Coach Kraig Hunter said, "It was a gritty win by our kids after Warroad took the lead in regulation and overtime and we were able to come back and execute on both ends with poise to get the win."
"There were so many guys that contributed tonight. It was a total team win. Jake Combs really played well tonight with 5 points, he led us with 7 rebounds, and had 4 great assists vs. their zone. He hit our other posts a couple of times cutting down the lane and had a couple of kick outs to our shooters for open 3's."
"Alex Endreson had some good minutes for us in the first half with a bucket, an assist and a rebound. A lot of our other guys like Jack Nelson, Caden Fernholz,and Dawson Staples have all been contributing valuable minutes off the bench as well. Aaron Wiese and Ross Anderson are always steady, poised, in control players for us. Logan Paulson has only been back from illness for three days so he is pretty week and tired yet, but he played really big in this tournament as well for the minutes he was in there. He had a couple of clutch buckets and rebounds down the stretch."
The Knights hit 18-38 shots for 47% and 6-20 threes and 10-21 free throws. The Warriors hit 19-53 shots for 36%. They hit 4-21 threes and 5-10 free throws.
The Knights outrebounded the Warriors 34-25.
Hunter added: "Our defense has been solid all year. We are happy with how we are rotating and making it tough to score. Due to those great rotations, we set a single game school record by taking 7 charges in the game tonight. Our defensive box outs were also excellent in this tournament."
Leaders for the Knights were Aaron Wiese 12 points, 6 rebounds; Brady Sabolik 11 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 charges taken; Logan Paulson 10 points, 6 rebounds; Ross Anderson 9 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 charges taken; Jake Combs 5 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists; Alex Endreson 2 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist; Dawson Staples 2 points, Jack Nelson 1 point and 2 rebounds. Caden Fernholz and Logan Nadgwick had 2 and 1 rebounds respectively.
The West Central Area Knights took on the Underwood Rockets in the first round of the Pelican Rapids holiday tournament on Wednesday, December 28 and defeated the Rockets by a score of 48-36.
The Knights jumped out to a 23–9 lead and lead 28-14 at the half.
The nights hit 23 of 47 shots from the field for 49% while Underwood hit 14-44 shots for 32%. Underwood did knockdown 5-15 threes. The Knights hit one three pointer as they were able to have success inside.
They were led by their two post players as Logan Paulson had 14 points and Jake Combs with 10 points. Those two connected on 12 -16 shots from the field.
Others scoring for the Knights were Brady Sabolik with 7, Aaron Wiese with 6, Ross Anderson with 4, Jack Nelson 3, Caden Fernholz 2, and Dawson Staples 2.
Anderson led the team with 7 rebounds and added 5 assists. Sabolik had 7 assists and 4 steals. Wiese pulled down 6 rebounds and Staples 5 rebounds.
The Knights led the rebounding battle 31-26 and only turned the ball over 6 times.
Brady Rocholl led Underwood with 17. Camen Andrews 10, Max Scott 5, Jordan Gedde 2, and Daxton Olson 2.