Late whistle squanders comeback bid
March 19. 2014 3:20PM
A controversial foul gave Madison late life and a chance to take the lead with less than two second left to play in the Region 3A Championship game Tuesday, March 11 at the Elmen Center in Sioux Falls.
After a slow start for the Quarriers in the first quarter – they were held to just six points – Dell Rapdis battled back and took its first lead of the game with 12 seconds left to play when junior Zane Schumaker hit a runner in the lane, giving the Quarriers a 54-52 lead.
But the undefeated and top ranked Bulldogs took advantage of its last trip down the floor and caused the Quarriers’ defense to collapse to give Madison standout Preston Nording a look from the wing. The three-point shot was long, but a foul was called. Nording hit all three tries from the free-throw line, and Dell Rapids’ season was ended with a heartbreaking 55-54 defeat.
“The official on the top made a judgment call and thought we committed a foul on the shot,” said Jason Fersdahl, Dell Rapids head coach. “Give Nordling a lot of credit. He stepped up and hit all three free throws.”
A poor first quarter had Dell Rapids digging out of a hole early. Madison outscored the Quarriers 17-6 in the first quarter before Dell Rapids could find any rhythm
But a string of defensive stops midway through the second quarter seemed to give the Quarriers some confidence heading into the break, sparking a 21-15 third-quarter scoring run.
“With the competitors that we have on our team, I knew the game was not over and that we were going to fight and do whatever it took to close the gap,” Fersdahl said.
Dell Rapids edged Madison in nearly every stat line, except free throws. Dell Rapids shot 39 percent from the field to Madison’s 38 percent, grabbed 33 rebounds to Madison’s 32, and committed just five turnovers to the Bulldogs’ 10.
Neither team shot particularly well from the charity stripe, but Madison made 13 of 21 while the Quarriers hit just six of 16.
Quarrier junior Riley Schmidt had a team-high 13 points and four assists, and Schumaker chipped in with 12 points.
Quarrier senior Cody Nielsen grabbed 10 rebounds.
Fersdahl praised his team for their resolve and a successful season.
“I could not be more proud of our players for showing the heart and determination they did throughout the game and all the way to the final horn,” he said. “Our players showed great sportsmanship at the end of the game in dealing with a very difficult loss and for that, I feel the entire community should be proud of the fine young men that represented Dell Rapids on the basketball floor this season.”
The Quarriers finished the year with a 14-8 record.