HURON — The championship game of the Boys’ 281 Conference tournament, which pitted the James Valley Christian Vikings against the Wolsey-Wessington Warbirds, was a nail-biter until the final minutes of play. After a hard-fought battle from both sides, the Vikings came out ahead with a final score of 66-58.
In first-quarter action, the Warbirds jumped out ahead to take a 5-0 lead after a quick basket by Lorenzo Williams and a 3-pointer by Ryan Sprecher. But the Vikings answered back, with a basket by Andrew Ulvestad and a 3-pointer by Leon Brondsema to make the first tie of the game, 5-5. The Vikings took the lead after that and at the end of the first quarter were ahead, 18-14.
Second-quarter offense started out slow for both teams, with the Vikings turning over the ball and the Warbirds missing some layups. Not long after, the Warbirds’ starters began having some foul trouble.
Midway through, the Vikings’ offense took a blow, as 6-foot 4-inch Ulvestad was injured during a contact play under the basket. He left the game and didn’t return. Vikings head coach Darwin Hofer said the loss of Ulvestad was tough to recover from. “Losing Andrew in the second quarter was hard for us, because he is such a big presence inside, with rebounding and with our offense.”
The Warbirds were able to make a comeback, with Williams driving to the basket to tie it up, 20-20. At the end of the first half, the Warbirds led the Vikings by one point, 27-28.
But in the third quarter, the Vikings offense came alive, with Adam Hofer contributing 10. The Warbirds stayed in it, and were only down four going into the last quarter of play, 48-44.
The Warbirds tied it up again with 50 points apiece early on in the fourth, but kept fouling at the basket, giving the Vikings more opportunities to score at the free-throw line.
“We have to play smarter; we had way too many fouls,” said Warbirds head coach Gordon Hooks. “We can’t get that many fouls and expect to win.”
The Vikings went 14 of 18 from the charity stripe to become the 281 Conference champions.
“Wolsey-Wessington played hard tonight,” said Hofer. “They wanted to win as much as we did. On another night, the outcome might have been different.”
Both teams had entered the game undefeated, but the Vikings now hold a 9-0 record, while the Warbirds drop to 9-1.
Leading scorers for the Vikings were Wedel with 20 and Hofer with 19. Leading the offensive effort for the Warbirds were Alex Babcock with 20, Williams with 11 and Hayden Hooks with 9.
James Valley Christian 18 27 48 66
Wolsey-Wessington 14 28 44 58
James Valley Christian (9-0): Donnie Decker 1 0-0 2; Adam Hofer 6 6-8 19; Leon Brondsema 2 2-4 7; Nathan Wedel 6 7-10 20; Andrew Ulvestad 1 0-2 4; Alex Waldner 3 2-4 8; Cole Glanzer 1 4-4 6. Totals: 20 23-34 66.
Wolsey-Wessington (9-1): Hayden Hooks 4 0-0 9; Lorenzo Williams 4 3-4 11; Alex Babcock 6 8-9 20; Roy Lumpkin 2 1-2 6; Ryan Sprecher 3 0-0 8; Ryne Johnson 1 0-0 2; Hunter Johnson 0 2-3 2. Totals: 20 14-18 58.
Three-point goals: JVC 3 (Hofer 1, Brondsema 1, Wedel 1); WW 4 (Sprecher 2). Rebounds: JVC 34 (Wedel 13, Hofer 9, Brondsema 6); WW 30 (Williams 8, Babcock 7, Sprecher 6). Assists: JVC 17 (Wedel 6); WW 9 (Williams 4, Hooks 4). Steals: JVC 10 (Brondsema 3, A. Waldner 3); WW 9 (Williams 3, Hooks 3). Turnovers: JVC 11, WW 11. Fouls JVC 18; WW 26 (Williams 5).
For the complete article see the 01-19-2013 issue.
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