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Jeff Kolpack, Published March 09 2012

Pequot Lakes tops Hawley in three overtimes

MOORHEAD – The season started with losses in four of its first six games, and the road to the Minnesota Class 2A girls state basketball tournament looked to be a long one for Pequot Lakes. So it was probably fitting, then, that the Patriots took three overtimes to get there on Friday night.

It may take Hawley a little while to brush this one off.

“We had some good chances but it just didn’t work out,” said Hawley head coach Bill Gottenborg.

Mattie Lueck’s basket with 2:19 left in the third overtime stood as the Section 8 game winner in a

55-52 Patriots win at Concordia’s Memorial Auditorium. Pequot Lakes will play the Section 1 champion Wednesday at Williams Arena.

Pequot will take a 19-11 record to state, although seven of those games came against Class 3A or Class 4A teams. Seven teams were ranked when the Patriots played them.

If this were football, time of possession in the three overtimes would have given the Nuggets a decided edge. They spent much of those 15 minutes running a spread offense and milking the clock, but just couldn’t capitalize.

“What heart to play defense like that,” said Patriots head coach Jon Dale. “We hung in there and didn’t fold.”

Hawley can look back at a bevy of offensive rebounds by Pequot Lakes as the ultimate nemesis. Still, the Nuggets had the best chances to win it in regulation.

A Patriots turnover with 1:14 left and the game tied at 46-46 gave the advantage to the Nuggets, who worked the clock until the final seconds.

Drew Sannes’ baseline attempt from about 10 feet bounced off the rim, but the Nuggets retained possession when the offensive rebound went out of bounds. To add some more drama, Hawley called another time out when it had difficulty getting the ball in bounds.

The final shot, a jumper by Sannes, was blocked at the buzzer.

The teams traded two points in the extra session – a layup by Hawley’s Laure Olson and two free throws from Pequot’s Vanessa Lane with 1:41 left. Like it did in the first OT, the Nuggets milked the clock the rest of the way with a spread offense.

A quick trade of turnovers – a picked off pass by Pequot Lakes but an instant double dribble after it – gave Hawley the ball back with 4.9 seconds left. Another ballhandling mistake forced a second overtime.

Once again, Hawley controlled its destiny. Olson’s shot with five seconds left in the second overtime was off. After Pequot threw it away, her heave from near half court barely missed hitting the backboard and the rim and it was on to a third overtime.

Lueck, the only returning starter from last year, blocked Jessy Noreen’s driving shot in the closing seconds and a free throw Kayla Miller with 1.8 seconds was the final margin.

“Mattie is such a good leader,” Dale said.

PEQUOT LAKES: Lueck 8 0-1 15, Lane 4 2-3 10, Kreitz 3 0-0 6, Mott 1 1-2 3, White 1 0-0 2, Hogen 2 0-0 4, Miller 6 3-4 15. Totals: 25 6-10 55.

HAWLEY: Jessy Noreen 4 0-0 8, Lura 1 0-0 2, Jody Noreen 3 0-0 7, Olson 4 5-6 13, Neumann 1 0-0 2, Ellefson 1 0-0 2, Sannes 7 4-4 18. Totals: 21 9-10 52.

Halftime: PL 24, Hawley 22. Total fouls: PL 11, Hawley 15. Fouled out: none. 3-point goals: Jody Noreen, Lueck.

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia