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Forum staff reports , Published March 28 2009

Ada-Borup's shooting cools off in Class 1A state boys basketball semifinal

MINNEAPOLIS – Ada-Borup’s shooting cooled off, and Ellsworth’s cool customer proved to be too much on Friday.

Adam Van Der Stoep scored 22 points and hit five 3-pointers to lead the two-time defending state champions to a 62-53 victory over the Cougars in the semifinals of the Minnesota Class 1A state boys basketball tournament at Target Center.

After shooting 65 percent from the field in their first-round game, the Cougars hit just 34 percent (23 of 68) from the floor in Friday’s semifinals.

“Realistically, we couldn’t shoot any better than we did (in the first round),” A-B coach Trevor Stewart said. “But we couldn’t create any offense with our defense, and they did a good job keeping us from getting any runs.”

The most important run of the game came to close the first half.

Clinging to a one-point lead with 2 minutes, 25 seconds to go before the break, Ellsworth scored the final seven points of the half – including six from a pair of 3-pointers from Van Der Stoep.

“That was their one real spurt in the whole game, but it was a big one,” Stewart said. “Van Der Stoep hit a couple of 3s in that stretch, and it seemed like they would always get a bucket when they needed one.”

Ellsworth led by as many as 15 points in the second half, but much of the final 18 minutes were played with the Panthers holding an 8- to 10-point lead.

“If we could’ve gotten it to four points or two points, who knows what happens, but they always held us at bay,” Stewart said. “That was a solid team all-around.

“They did a good job stretching us out on defense, but we missed some chances, too.”

Ada-Borup had trouble hitting from long range especially, going just 2-for-13 (15.4 percent) from behind the arc – and one of those came with eight seconds to play.

The Cougars were led by Yuri Johnson’s 16 points, while Blake Bueng had 11.

Ellsworth’s Trevor Gruis had 19 points, 15 rebounds and four assists.

The Cougars take on Chisholm in today’s third-place game at 10 a.m. at Concordia-St. Paul’s Gangelhoff Center.

ADA-BORUP (26-5): Kujava 3 0-0 6, Narum 1 0-1 2, Johnson 7 2-2 16, Bueng 5 1-3 11, Mitteness 3 0-0 6, Nelson 0 1-2 1, Balzum 3 1-1 8, Grunewald 1 0-0 3. Totals. 23 5-9 53.

ELLSWORTH (29-3): Schilling 5 2-4 13, Note 2 0-0 4, Van Der Stoep 5 7-8 22, Gruis 6 7-11 19, Buntjer 2 0-0 4. Totals 20 16-23 62.

Half: E 26, AB 18. 3-pointers: Balzum, Grunewald, Van Der Stoep 5, Schilling. Total fouls: AB 17. E 8. Fouled out: Nelson. Rebounds: AB 38 (Mitteness 9). E 37 (Gruis 15). Assists: AB 4 (4 tied with 1). E 6 (Gruis 4). Turnovers: AB 9. E 13. Steals: AB 5 (Kujava 2). E 4 (Nolte 2).