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Chris Murphy, Published December 14 2013

Last-second free throw puts St. Michael-Albertville over Moorhead 80-79 in OT

MOORHEAD – Moorhead guard Cody Dorow had St. Michael-Albertville exactly where he wanted it.

Dorow had already scored 42 points, but one more was all he needed. With 17.5 seconds left in overtime and the score tied, the ball was in his hands with a chance at the final shot.

Dorow lost the ball and St. Michael-Albertville’s Dallas Freeman found Jaylen Hakes with a wide-open path to the basket. Dorow blocked Hakes’ shot, but Jackson Greenwaldt was fouled on the rebound. He sank a free throw with 4.4 seconds left.

On the next possession, Dorow’s 3-point shot at the buzzer fell short and the Knights escaped Nemzek Fieldhouse with an 80-79 win Saturday in boys basketball.

“This is definitely going to sting a little more than the others,” said Dorow, who finished with 42 points, eight assists, seven rebounds, six steals and three blocks. “They made plays down the stretch. We just didn’t make plays down the stretch, and that cost us the game.”

In regulation, Moorhead was up 74-71 with 8.8 seconds to go thanks to Dorow hitting all eight of his free throws in the final 1 minute, 7 seconds. Trevor Rothstein, however, buried a 3-pointer with 3 seconds left to tie it and send it to overtime.

One day after picking up its first win, Moorhead was one made basket away from picking up its first winning streak Saturday. Instead, the Spuds fell to 1-4 overall, with the four losses coming at a combined margin of 17 points.

“The frustrating thing is not being able to close out,” Moorhead coach Corey Zimmerman said. “We had an opportunity in regulation, we had an opportunity in overtime, and we just couldn’t do it. That’s a sign of a team that’s ready if they can close out games. We’re just not ready yet.”

Moorhead was certainly not at the start of the game, as St. Michael-Albertville opened the contest on a 21-6 run, and the Spuds started the game with five turnovers in the first four minutes.

Moorhead got some momentum late in the second quarter as Dorow picked off one of his three first-half steals and sank a layup – two of his 19 first-half points – at the buzzer to cut the lead to 36-34 heading into the break.

“The personality of this team is they aren’t going to quit,” Zimmerman said. “They are going to fight. There is no quit in these guys. It’s a reflection of their character. They have strong character. They are strong kids.”

St. Michael-Albertville (2-3) shot over 53 percent, including 6 of 10 from beyond the 3-point line, in the first half behind Greenwaldt’s 18 points.

“You can’t control that,” Zimmerman said. “We got out to them. In that situation, you just have to weather the storm.”

Dorow’s jumper with 3:18 to go in regulation gave Moorhead its first lead at 63-61. The Spuds had three-point leads with 26.4 seconds, 21.4 seconds and 8.8 seconds to go in regulation, but St. Michael-Albertville had an answer for every single lead. Two free throws from Greenwaldt got the Knights within one at 70-69, a Rothstein drive to the basket got the Knights within one at 72-71 and Rothstein’s 3-pointer sent the game to overtime.

“It’s hard to take this one,” Dorow said. “We got a lot of heart as a team. It’s nice that we can come back. This one is going to sting for a while. We just have to get back to practice.”

M (1-4): Steckler 4 0-0 10, Eidsness 2 0-0 5, Dorow 14 13-14 42, Lawrence 3 0-0 7, Wiesmann 1 3-4 5, Bye 4 0-0 10. Totals 28 16-20 79.

S (2-3): Greendwaldt 9 6-8 29, Freeman 2 0-0 4, Guillou 2 0-0 4, Hakes 5 1-2 12, Cisewski 4 2-2 10, Rothstein 4 2-2 13, Moran 2 2-2 6, Sukalski 1 0-0 2. Totals 29 13-16 80.

Halftime: S 36, M 34. End of regulation: S 74, M 74. 3-pointers: Greenwaldt 5, Hakes 1, Rothstein 3, Steckler 2, Eisdness 1, Dorow 1, Lawrence 1, Bye 2. Total fouls: S 18, M 11. Rebounds: S 29 (Freeman, Guillou, Cisewski 4), M 24 (Dorow, Lawrence 7).

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Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548