Braham boys basketball came out on top in two of three nail-biters at St. Cloud Cathedral’s Crusader Classic, claiming the consolation championship of the annual holiday tourney. In their final game on Dec. 29, the Bombers worked past Concordia Academy 69-67.
“Concordia Academy is so big that we had to take things outside. Zach Dahlman was up against their 6’8” guy and hit five three-pointers in the first half,” said Bomber Coach Bob Vaughan. “For the game, we sunk 15 three-pointers.”
Stat Leaders: Dahlman 21 pts, 7 reb; Hollenkamp 14 pts, 4 asst, 4 three-pointers; Larson 14 pts, 6 asst, 2 three-pointers; Olson 7 pts, 4 reb.
The back-and-forth battle came down to the Beacons tying Braham in the final minute. The Bombers held for the last shot which came when freshman guard John Larson drove and banked in a three-footer with :02 remaining to win it.
Braham 53, Mandan, ND 48
In Friday’s consolation semis, the Bombers withstood a challenge from the taller Braves when Sam Stigen hit four-of-five free throws in the final minute for the five-point win. Shaun Hollenkamp gave the Bombers breathing room by swishing a ‘3’ and finishing off a great Larson feed which made it 44-37. Dahlman followed with a key three-point play and another inside hit which helped keep Mandan at bay late.
“Mandan is a great team; they have a lot of big guys. They’re very strong, and we just had to find a way to win,” said Stigen. “We just got to keep boxing out and going after the boards strong.”
Stat Leaders: Dahlman 16 pts, 7 reb; Stegen 11 pts, 6 asst; Hollenkamp 9 pts, 4 reb; Larson 6 pts, 3 asst; Tschumper 4 pts, 5 reb.
Pierz 68, Braham 67 OT
The Bombers renewed their rivalry with their former section partners in the Dec. 27 tourney opener, but it was the Pioneers holding on for a one-point OT victory.
Coach Vaughan, “Pierz is so big, and they repeatedly got to us inside, including in the overtime period. They are stronger than us at this point of the season.”
Regarding the value of his team playing in a holiday tourney, Stigen analyzed, “We learned we have to come ready to play every game and not take opponents for granted. Pierz is a great team, and we should have came out better than we did.”
Stat Leaders: Larson 21 pts, 8 reb, 4 asst; Hollenkamp 13 pts, 5 steals; Olson 12 pts; Dahlman 11 pts, 8 reb, 4 steals; Altendorf 5 pts, 4 reb.
• Melrose (7-1) won the Classic by defeating the host Crusaders 94-66 in the championship. Litchfield beat Pierz 62-44 in the 3rd-place game.
Great River Boys Basketball: Braham 3-0, 7-2; Onamia 3-1, 3-4; Hinckley-Fin. 2-1, 5-2; Aitkin 2-1, 2-4; Isle 2-2, 6-2; Rush City 2-2, 3-4; Pine City 2-2, 2-4; East Central 0-3, 1-5; Ogilvie 0-4, 0-5.