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BOYS BASKETBALL: Four Winds-Minnewaukan advances

MINOT -- At 5-foot-10 and 205 pounds, Koltin ThreeIrons is a post player. The Four Winds-Minnewaukan senior put his open-court ability on display at a crucial time Thursday. ThreeIrons' steal and layup was the key play as top-seeded Four Winds-Mi...

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Northern Cass' Dawson Hayden (12) shoots over Four Winds' Jason Feather (3) and Jaylen LaRock (4). Tom Stromme / Bismarck Tribune.

 

MINOT -- At 5-foot-10 and 205 pounds, Koltin ThreeIrons is a post player. The Four Winds-Minnewaukan senior put his open-court ability on display at a crucial time Thursday.

ThreeIrons' steal and layup was the key play as top-seeded Four Winds-Minnewaukan held off Northern Cass 62-58 in the quarterfinals of the North Dakota Class B boys high school basketball tournament.

With the Indians clinging to a 58-56 lead, ThreeIrons made a steal near midcourt and went in for a layup and a 60-56 lead with 52 seconds remaining.

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"I saw a guy wide open so I ran towards him,'' ThreeIrons said. "He caught (a pass), took a dribble and I was able to slap the ball out of his hands. I looked ahead and saw an easy layup. All I was thinking was, 'Don't miss this one.' ''

Northern Cass got a pair of free throws by Cody Springer with 39 seconds left to cut the deficit back to two, but ThreeIrons and Tronis McKay each hit a free throw in the final nine seconds to ice the win.

"That (ThreeIrons) layup was pivotal,'' Northern Cass coach Ryan Lyson said. "It's our ball, an inbounds play and we had something drawn up. We had a little miscommunication and they made a great play.

"It's tough to overcome, down four at that point in the game. We saw an opportunity slip away.''

Four Winds-Minnewaukan improved to 24-1. The one loss was the only other time this season the Indians trailed in the fourth quarter. They were down 48-43 early in the fourth to the Panthers and still behind 52-49 with 3:20 left when Springer scored from close range.

"I think our guys were starting to wonder early in the fourth quarter,'' FW-M coach Rick Smith said. "But that's two stops and two baskets.

"Koltin has a non-stop motor. He's a kid who is getting on the floor, who defends a guard or a center, anything we need. That 4-point lead gave us breathing room.''

Jason Feather started the comeback for the Indians. His 3-point play followed by a running jumper on the right baseline gave the Indians a 54-52 lead. "Jason didn't have a good shooting night,'' Smith said. "We told him to attack the basket more.''

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After the Panthers made a free throw, Feather assisted on a ThreeIrons give-and-go layup. That started a spurt in which ThreeIrons scored five of the Indians' final eight points.

"It was from the plays we were running,'' ThreeIrons said. "The 3-point shots weren't falling for Jason, so we were looking more inside.''

The Jaguars tied the game at 56 on a Logan Nelson trey with 1:42 remaining. Steve Redfox hit a pair of free throws 27 seconds later to give Four Winds-Minnewaukan the lead for good.

Nelson had 18 points and Brant Bohmert scored 16 for Northern Cass.

"Every kid did everything we asked them to do,'' Lyson said. "We have good skill players. If we'd taken better care of the ball, we'd have scored more points. But a lot of that (16 turnovers) was their defense. They're very aggressive.''

McKay had a double double with game highs of 21 points and 14 rebounds. Feather added 19 points and ThreeIrons 13 as the trio accounted for all but nine of Four Winds-Minnewaukan's points.

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