Braham had no answer for Virginia seniors Cavan Stackpool and Mitchl Buck when the Blue Devils won the Section 7AA semifinals matchup 80-67 March 17 at UMD. Virginia will be gunning for a second trip to State over the past three seasons when it faces Moose Lake-Willow River in the March 19 championship.
The Rebels dispatched International Falls 66-48 in the first semifinals on the 17th.
Stackpool lit up the Bomber defense with 7 three-pointers to lead all scorers with 32 points. Buck was a tough guy to cover inside as he scored 20 points which included 6 quick points to start the second half when the Blue Devils opened up an 18-point gap at 57-39.
At the other end, Braham went extremely cold from the perimeter as they rained three-point attempts to no avail. One hot stretch of shooting by Tyler Vaughan had him nailing 3 ’3s’ and scoring off an offensive board, then Bret Cuda scored off the break which pulled the Bombers to within 61-53 with 7 minutes to play.
But a string of missed shots ensued, and Buck scoring off an offensive board was followed by Stackpool draining his last ’3′ to build back a 13-point advantage. The Blue Devils weren’t threatened the rest of the way.
Vaughan scored 20 of his team-high 24 in the second half. Cuda offered a nice spark in the first half with 10 points off the bench. Cameron Braund finished with 10 points for Braham, Anthony Bias had 8, Erik Vavra 6, Drew Klemz 4 and Kyle Grell 3.
This is the first season since 2003 that the Bombers will not be vying for a section championship.