Nevis played two strong first halves in its second appearance at the state Class A boys basketball tournament.
The second halves didn't go as well.
Springfield overcame a 31-22 halftime deficit to defeat Nevis 73-65 in Thursday afternoon's quarterfinal game at Williams Arena while Red Lake rallied from a 25-20 halftime deficit to defeat the Tigers 52-43 in Friday morning's consolation semifinals at Concordia-St. Paul.
Despite the two losses at state, it was a record-setting season for the Tigers. Nevis set a school record for wins in a season by going 28-3 and entered the state tournament rated No. 2 in the state Class A poll. The Tigers were the No. 4 seed for the state tournament.
Minneapolis North, the No. 1 seed and the top-rated team in the state, defeated North Woods 96-49 in the championship game while Goodhue defeated Springfield 51-47 in the third-place game. Red Lake defeated Central Minnesota Christian 56-55 for the consolation title. Goodhue was the No. 2 seed, CMC was the No. 3 seed and Springfield was the No. 5 seed.
"I thought that other than Minneapolis North, the tournament was extremely balanced. Every game was in contention in all of the brackets," said Nevis head coach Scott Kramer. "I was proud of the way we competed, but obviously a little disappointed about not being able to pull out either game when both games seemed winnable for us. It might take a little time to get over the losses at state, but hopefully that will motivate our guys to work even harder for next year."
Springfield rallies for win
In Nevis' first state appearance in 2015, Central Minnesota Christian advanced with a 56-47 victory as the Tigers saw their season end.
The Tigers were looking to avoid another first-round loss in Thursday's quarterfinal game and the Section 5A champions were in position to accomplish that after carrying a lead into the break.
But Springfield opened the second half on a 10-0 run that expanded into a 34-11 run for a 56-42 lead with 5:54 to play. The Tigers mounted a late rally, closing the gap to 66-62 with 1:09 remaining. before Springfield hit seven free throws down the stretch to advance to the semifinals.
After falling behind 5-0 to start the game, the Tigers used a 3-pointer by Michael Landquist, a three-point play by Jack Landquist, another 3-pointer by Michael Landquist, a layup by Griffin Chase and a layup by Michael Landquist to claim a 13-9 lead with 12:34 to play in the first half.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Jack Landquist and Caden Kramer, a jumper by Jack Landquist, a layup by Michael Landquist, a jumper by Tom Wormley, a 3-pointer by Michael Landquist and a layup by Wormley gave Nevis a 30-20 lead with 1:26 to play before the break. Nevis, behind Michael Landquist's 13 points, would carry a 31-22 advantage into the half.
Three-pointers by Decker Scheffler and Branden Flock gave Springfield a 32-31 lead with 14:36 to play before a three-point play by Wormley gave Nevis a 34-32 edge at the 14:06 mark.
Kale Meendering's layup gave Springfield a 36-34 lead with 12:45 to play. Springfield would lead the rest of the way as Meendering scored 14 points during a 24-8 run to push the lead to 56-42 with 5:54 remaining.
Nevis mounted a comeback as a three-point play by Chase, layups by Wormley and Chase, and four layups by Michael Landquist cut the gap to 66-62 with 1:09 to play. Springfield then hit seven free throws to preserve the win.
Meendering scored 22 points, Isaac Fink added 20 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, and Tanner Vogel scored 15 points to lead Springfield, which made 18 of 26 shots in the second half to offset a 3-for-15 effort on 3-pointers in the game. Springfield improved to 29-2.
Michael Landquist's 24 points, Chase's 14 points and seven assists, Jack Landquist's 13 points, and Wormley's six rebounds led the Tigers, who made only 1 of 11 3-pointers in the second half after going 5 for 9 in the first half.
"I thought our guys really handled themselves well on the big stage and I thought that showed in the first half. It was obviously a tale of two halves with us being able to control the pace in the first half. Pace was the key to the game and with us being able to make shots and get stops, we played it out about as well as could be expected. We were poised and stuck to the game play and went into half with the momentum and the lead," said Kramer. "The second half just snowballed on us because we just were not able to convert on some really good opportunities in the paint and that's what led to the 10-0 run that started the half for them. Once they took the lead and gained the momentum, we were kind of forced to play to their pace and that allowed them to go to their strength, which was to drive and dish and they did a nice job of that."
SPRINGFIELD: Vogel 5 5-8 15, Fink 6 8-10 20, Meendering 10 2-2 22, Beckman 0 0-0 0, Flock 3 0-0 7, Bertram 0 0-0 0, Scheffler 3 0-0 8, Buerkle 0 1-2 1. Totals: 27 for 50 (FG), 16 for 22 (FT).
NEVIS: Dudley 0 0-0 0, Chase 6 1-1 14, J. Landquist 3 6-8 13, M. Landquist 9 3-3 24, Wormley 4 1-3 9, Henry 0 2-2 2, Kramer 1 0-0 3. Totals: 23 for 56 (FG), 13 for 17 (FT).
Halftime: Nevis 31, Springfield 22. Three-pointers: Flock 1, Scheffler 2, Chase 1, J. Landquist 1, M. Landquist 3, Kramer 1. Team fouls: Springfield 17, Nevis 19. Fouled out: Flock, M. Landquist. Rebounds: Nevis 26 (Wormley 6, J. Landquist 5, Chase 4, M. Landquist 3, Henry 3, Dudley 2, Kramer 1, Team 2). Assists: Nevis 12 (Chase 7, M. Landquist 3, J. Landquist 1, Wormley 1). Steals: Nevis 5 (J. Landquist 2, Chase 1, M. Landquist 1, Wormley 1). Blocked shots: Nevis 1 (Wormley). Turnovers: Springfield 10, Nevis 9.
Red Lake gets revenge
Nevis used a pair of wins over Red Lake during the regular season to win the Northland Conference title with a 14-0 record.
Red Lake avenged those two losses with a win in the state consolation round.
The Tigers, who defeated Red Lake 60-40 and 67-60 during the regular season, claimed a 25-20 halftime lead in the rematch at Concordia-St. Paul. But Red Lake opened the second half with an 8-0 run and closed with a 19-7 run to earn a spot in the consolation finals.
Nevis used a layup by Wormley, 3-pointers by Andrew Dudley and Chase, another layup by Wormley, and another 3-pointer by Chase to build a 13-7 lead with 9:53 to play in the first half.
After Red Lake went on an 8-0 run to take a 15-13 lead at the 6:34 mark, a layup and 3-pointer by Chase, a jumper by Zach Henry, a layup by Wormley and a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Chase gave the Tigers a 25-20 lead at the half.
A 3-pointer by Kendall Whitefeather capped an 8-0 run at the start of the second half as Red Lake claimed a 28-25 lead with 13:25 to play.
Michael Landquist's layup was followed by a 3-pointer by Red Lake's Jamie Cook as the Warriors led 33-28 with 10:17 left. Nevis responded with an 8-0 run as layups by Chase and Jack Landquist, a dunk by Chase and a jumper by Wormley gave Nevis a 36-33 lead with 7:17 remaining.
Chase's layup tied the game at 38-38 with 4:58 left before a 3-pointer by Jamie Cook gave Red Lake a 41-38 edge with 4:40 remaining. That was the start of a game-ending 14-5 run as the Warriors ended Nevis' season.
Whitefeather's 13 points and five steals, Rob McClain Jr.'s 12 points, and Robert Beaulieu's 11 rebounds led Red Lake, which improved to 26-5. The Warriors made 7 of 10 3-pointers, including all four in the second half.
Chase scored 20 points while Jack Landquist had nine rebounds, five assists and four steals. Michael Landquist added seven rebounds, five steals and three assists while Wormley had seven rebounds for the Tigers, who missed all seven 3-pointers in the second half and finished 5 for 22 for the game.
"It was another battle between us, this time going to Red Lake. I thought the Red Lake game played out the way that we would want it. They adjusted by playing more zone and we did a pretty good job of moving the ball. I thought we could have led by double figures in the first half if we could have hit a decent number of shots, but we left the door open for them to be in it in the second half and they took advantage," said Kramer. "The game was either team's to win late, but we had a couple of costly turnovers that led to points and you just can't have that happen against good senior-oriented teams and expect to win. I thought we played well enough defensively throughout the game, but we just were not very consistent on offense. Our kids played hard, which is a tough thing to do in the consolation bracket at 10 a.m., but it just wasn't enough to advance."
RED LAKE: J. Cook 2 3-4 9, McClain 4 3-3 12, R. Beaulieu 2 0-0 4, B. Cook 1 0-0 3, Whitefeather 5 1-2 13, Morrison 2 1-2 6, Dudley 0 0-0 0, Spears 0 0-0 0, A. Beaulieu 1 1-4 3, Papasodora 1 0-0 2. Totals: 18 for 44 (FG), 9 for 15 (FT).
NEVIS: Dudley 1 0-0 3, Chase 8 0-0 20, J. Landquist 2 2-2 6, M. Landquist 1 1-2 3, Wormley 4 1-2 9, Henry 1 0-0 2, Kramer 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17 for 54 (FG), 4 for 6 (FT).
Halftime: Nevis 25, Red Lake 20. Three-pointers: J. Cook 2, McClain 1, b. Cook 1, Whitefeather 2, Morrison 1, Dudley 1, Chase 4. Team fouls: Red Lake 10, Nevis 13. Rebounds: Nevis 32 (J. Landquist 9, M. Landquist 7, Wormley 7, Henry 5, Dudley 2, Kramer 1, Team 1). Assists: Nevis 13 (J. Landquist 5, Chase 3, M. Landquist 3, Dudley 1, Henry 1). Steals: Nevis 14 (M. Landquist 5, J. Landquist 4, Chase 2, Henry 2, Wormley 1). Blocked shots: Nevis 2 (Chase 2). Turnovers: Red Lake 17, Nevis 14.