As the second quarter was winding down, Salt Fork’s Ross Learnard hit two big 3’s in the last 28 seconds of the quarter, and the second one as the buzzer sounded to draw within 27-26 going into the locker room with some momentum.
As the third quarter started, the Cardinals concentrated on surrounding Stutsman and wanted the Salt Fork guards to hit shots from the outside. The Storm guards responded with hitting open looks and driving to the basket to score points and keep the game close as the third quarter wound down.
“I thought St. Anne did a nice job of trying to take Stutsman out of the game,” Johnson said. “We are not a one man show and I thought the rest of the team picked up their game to help Max out.”
As the Storm continue to battle they took a lead in the fourth quarter and push that lead up to five points at one point with a big 3 from Cole Taylor. The Cardinals took a timeout and put on a full court press that bothered the Storm and forced them into three quick turnovers which resulted in six points.
From that point on, the game was a seesaw battle in the 4th quarter. With 24 seconds left in the game and the game tied at 51, the Cardinal from a timeout ran an out of bounds play and one of the players got loose underneath the basket and got a layup to push the score to 53-51. The Storm pushed the ball up the right sideline and it was deflected out of bounds by a Cardinal player with 9.5 seconds left.
In game 1, the Arthur-Lovington Knights took on the St. Thomas More Sabers in an exciting game that took an extra four minutes to decide. The Knights had a chance at the end of regulation to win the game and ran a play for their best player Tyler Schuring (game-high 26 points) who got to the top of key and shot a three falling to his left and it rimmed out, leaving the game tied at 48-48.