Tigers beat B-W in playoff-like atmosphereThe clash between the undefeated New Richmond and Baldwin-Woodville boys basketball teams had the feel of a playoff game. A vocal crowd, estimated at more than 1,400, saw a riveting battle that went down to the final second, with the Tigers scoring a 60-57 victory.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
The clash between the undefeated New Richmond and Baldwin-Woodville boys basketball teams had the feel of a playoff game. A vocal crowd, estimated at more than 1,400, saw a riveting battle that went down to the final second, with the Tigers scoring a 60-57 victory.
The game wasn’t decided until a B-W three-pointer from halfcourt plunked off the back iron at the buzzer.
The Tigers took the lead with six minutes left in the game and never gave it back. A pair of three-pointers from the deep corner, first by Riley Kannel, then Darren O’Flanagan, pushed the Tiger lead to 52-45 with 6:01 left.
When B-W leader Ryan Benoy fouled out with 4:01 left, it looked like it might be smooth sailing for the Tigers. That wasn’t the case. Those who thought the Blackhawks were a one-man show were proven wrong. Led by Aaron Heitmann and the Weyer brothers, Jordan and Derek, the Blackhawks kept the pressure on.
The Tigers didn’t help their cause in the final minutes of the game, taking ill-advised shots and turning the ball over several times. Jordan Weyer scored on a layup with 1:28 left to trim the Tiger lead to 58-57.
B-W had a chance to take the lead, missing a pair of free throws with :04 left on the clock. When the second of those shots clanged off, Tiger forward Justice Harvieux grabbed the rebound and was fouled. Both of his free throws were true, bumping the lead back to three points.
With the win, the Tigers are tied with Ellsworth and Prescott at the top of the Middle Border Conference standings with 2-0 records.
The game featured outstanding perimeter shooting from both teams. The Tigers employed several different defensive plans to battle Benoy. Harvieux and O’Flanagan took turns guarding him and the Tigers used a heavy dose of zone defenses to keep steady pressure around the perimeter.
“Justice is our best defender and Darren has closed that gap,” said Tiger coach Rick Montreal.
The game started at a furious pace, with B-W making nearly every three-point shot it threw up in the first quarter. The Tigers were able to keep pace because the Blackhawks couldn’t stop the drives to the basket by Kannel and O’Flanagan.
For all of the action of the first quarter, it ended in a 19-19 tie. The defenses began having more of an impact in the second quarter, with the Tigers leading 32-30 at halftime. B-W led 45-44 after three quarters.
The Tigers exhibited excellent offensive balance again. Kannel continued his run as the Tigers’ leading scorer in every game, finishing with 17 points and seven rebounds. Cody Taubman gave the Tigers a strong presence in the post, finishing with 14 points and seven rebounds. Montreal praised Taubman for his improved his “basketball IQ” since last season.
O’Flanagan finished with 10 points and Harvieux led the team with four assists.
Win at Somerset
Last Tuesday the Tiger defense put on a spectacle in a 45-27 win at Somerset. The Tigers held Somerset to seven points in the first half. According to Tiger statistics, the defense limited Somerset to nine field goal attempts in the first half of the game.
The Tigers utilized a halfcourt trap in the first half that swarmed all over the young Spartan guards once they got the ball across the mid-court line. The Tigers had 15 steals in the game, led by four from O’Flanagan.
Kannel had another big offensive night for the Tigers, scoring a season-high 23 points.
The Tigers are now into their holiday break. They don’t play again until Jan. 4, when they take on Prescott at NRHS.