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Eric Peterson, Published February 24 2014

Milnor survives Central Cass in Region 1 boys BB quarterfinals

FARGO – When the game got hectic, Wyatt Mund proved calm.

The Milnor senior sank two foul shots with 5 seconds remaining to help the Bison secure a 63-60 victory against Central Cass in the first round of the North Dakota Class B, Region 1 boys basketball tournament Monday at the Fargo Civic Center.

“You zone everything out and you go up and shoot free throws,” said Mund, who finished with 15 points and 15 rebounds. “That’s the scenario you’ve played out again and again on your own.”

The defending state champion Bison (22-1) led by as many as eight points in the final two minutes before holding off a frantic Central Cass rally.

“It seems like we put ourselves in that situation a lot this year and then we battle back,” Central Cass head coach Mike Kegley said. “Our kids played really hard. Give Milnor credit, their kids made some plays down the stretch.”

Milnor took a 59-51 lead after sophomore Masen Olsen drained two free throws with 1 minute, 55 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. Olsen scored 12 points off the bench, including four in the fourth quarter. The Squirrels, however, countered with nine of the next 11 points after Olsen’s free throws.

Central Cass junior Tommy Voss banked in a 3-pointer from the left wing that cut the Milnor lead to 61-60 with 17 seconds remaining. Moments later, the Squirrels got the ball back after a steal. Central Cass junior Adam Breske had a contested shot in the paint roll off the rim with less than 10 seconds remaining.

“We worked hard and put ourselves in position to win,” Kegley said.

After Breske’s near miss, the ball ended up with Mund. The 6-foot-4 forward hit both ends of a 1-and-1 with 5 seconds to play to give Milnor a 63-60 lead. The Squirrels were unable to get off a potential game-tying 3-pointer in the closing seconds. Milnor committed seven of its 15 turnovers in the fourth quarter.

“We survived this one,” Milnor head coach Ben Nelson said. “It’s a game of just a few inches. A couple more shots fall for us and it’s not that close, and a couple more shots fall for them and we have a different feeling in our locker room.”

Sophomore guard Grady Bresnahan paced Central Cass with 21 points and also grabbed eight rebounds. Bresnahan and Voss each scored seven points in the fourth quarter to help keep the Squirrels close.

“They’re a good team and they came out and played hard,” Mund said of Central Cass. “You can’t take anything for granted. … We’re relieved.”

CC 18 32 41 60

Milnor 18 32 43 63

CENTRAL CASS (14-9): Breske 8 1-2 18, Bresnahan 7 4-5 21, Nelson 3 0-0 7, Voss 4 2-2 12, Rieniets 1 0-0 2, Weber 0 0-0 0, Geritz 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 7-9 60.

MILNOR (22-1): Bussman 6 2-2 15, Martinson 0 0-0 0, Marlatt 3 0-0 7, Yagow 6 0-0 12, Mund 5 5-7 15, Weber 0 0-0 0, Olsen 5 2-2 12. Totals 26 9-11 63.

3-point goals: Breske, Bresnahan 3, Nelson, Voss 2, Bussman, Marlatt. Total fouls: CC 11, MHS 15. Rebounds: CC 26 (Bresnahan 8), MHS 32 (Mund 15). Turnovers: CC 13, MHS 15.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com