Basketball fans had a thrilling night Friday in Ipswich when two evenly matched teams met on the court to decide the District 3B championship.
The Mighty Potter County Battlers came out on top, 58-55.
The big celebration for the Battlers was a heartbreaker for the Eureka/Bowdle Patriots, who lost in the last second of the game.
The Battlers were down at every quarter break except for the one that mattered. The teams went back and forth, with the biggest lead of the game coming in the fourth quarter when the Pats put a five point spread in their lead.
But wait a minute.
That’s all the time the Battlers needed to seal the deal.
Caleb Meinke nailed a big three pointer to tie the teams at 55 points with 51 seconds on the clock. Eureka/Bowdle couldn’t connect with the basket, so the Battlers headed back down the court. They went into play while time ticked away. With one second left, freshman Tanner Storer put up a three pointer that swished through the basket as the buzzer sounded; a buzz that was barely heard over the roar of the crowd.
The scoreboard clicked up to 58-55.
The high pressure Battler defense and some adrenalaine pumping three point shots gave the Potter County team their 17th straight win and brought them just one step away from another trip to the State B tourney. The team is coached by Bryce Hall and Tim Hagedorn.
Hitchcock/Tulare defeated top seeded Sully Buttes on Friday by 68-65 in the District 4B championship in Miller, so the Battlers will meet Hitchcock/Tulare on Tuesday night for the Region 2B title at 7 p.m. at Wachs Arena in Aberdeen.
The News is on the press before game time, so watch the website at www.pottercountynews.com for an update.
Eureka-Bowdle 15 27 43 55
Potter County 13 24 40 58
EUREKA-BOWDLE (16-7): Austin Weiszhaar 5 6-6 18, Josh Raile 6 1-5 13, Tyler Wipf 8 0-0 16, Brandon Beutler 1 0-1 2, Nils Maisel 3 0-0 6. Totals 23-50 7-12 55.
POTTER COUNTY (20-2): Tanner Heuer 3 2-4 9, Rease Logan 2 2-2 6, Kole Hawkinson 2 0-0 5, Caleb Meinke 5 1-2 12, Tanner Storer 1 1-2 4, Mitch Hinckley 3 2-2 8, Chayce Hall 6 2-4 14. Totals 22-51 10-15 58.
3-point field goals — Weiszhaar 2, Heuer, Hawkinson, Meinke, Storer. Total fouls — Eureka-Bowdle 21; Potter County 13. Rebounds — Eureka-Bowdle 28 (Wipf 11); Potter County 29 (Logan 6, Hinckley 6). Turnovers — Eureka-Bowdle 13; Potter County 16. Assists — Eureka-Bowdle 4; Potter County 12 (Hall 5). Steals — Eureka-Bowdle 10 (Weiszhaar 6); Potter County 8.
District 4 highlights
In the Sully Buttes game against Hitchcock/Tulare, the number one rated Chargers were defeated in the district championship. Following are some of the highlights of that game.
Hitchcock-Tulare 15 28 50 68
Sully Buttes 10 28 38 65
Highlights: Hitchcock-Tulare made 14 of 17 free throws in the final quarter to hold on for the win. Landon Gatzke made six straight, including four in the final 30 seconds. Sully Buttes, which trailed by 16 points late in the third quarter, was 6-of-10 from three-point range in the fourth quarter.
Potter County Battlers win District Championship in last second thriller