It took overtime to decide the winner between two of the state’s top-rated Class A boys basketball teams at the Tiger Arena on Tuesday, Feb. 16.
Nevis overcame a double-digit deficit in the second half to force overtime before Mahnomen/Waubun prevailed 83-78. Nevis entered this game rated No. 1 in the state Class A poll while Mahnomen/Waubun was rated No. 4. The win lifted the Thunderbirds to the No. 1 spot in this week’s state poll while Nevis slipped to the No. 5 spot.
Nevis trailed 32-29 at the half and 64-53 with 6:42 to play before two 3-pointers by Ty Warrington, a jumper by Derek Lindow, and 3-pointers by Warrington and Eddie Kramer tied the game at 69-69. Another 3-pointer and a free throw by Kramer tied the game at 73-73 after regulation.
A jumper by Cain Mitchell and a 3-pointer by Kramer tied the game at 78-78 in the extra session before the Thunderbirds took an 80-78 lead. Three free throws in the final :08 sealed the win as Mahnomen/Waubun remained undefeated on the season.
Kramer scored 15 points in the second half and finished with 21 points and three steals to lead the Tigers. Lindow contributed 19 points, nine assists and five rebounds while Warrington scored 18 points to go along with four assists and three steals. Jack McNamee had six rebounds before fouling out while Joe Houchin chipped in three rebounds and three assists as the Tigers fell to 8-2 on the season with their second straight loss.
The Thunderbirds improved to 10-0.
“It was a great game against two of the best teams in Class A. The game lived up to the hype as it took overtime to get a winner,” said Nevis head coach Scott Kramer, whose team was coming off a 57-43 win over No. 8-rated Nashwauk-Keewatin and a 53-49 loss to Cass Lake-Bena. “It was a frustrating loss for us as I thought we really had opportunities to get control of the game, but had stretches where we just turned the ball over too much and a quality team like Mahnomen/Waubun made us pay for all of those turnovers. We dug our way out of a 13-point deficit to get the game to overtime, but were never able to take the lead. I am extremely happy with our ability to show that we can compete with anyone in Class A. Even though we lost two games against quality teams, this will help us moving forward.”