Boys Basketball: Bombers clinch conference titleCANNON FALLS - It wasn’t pretty but the Cannon Falls boys basketball team came away with a 55-48 victory over Goodhue Friday to clinch the Hiawatha Valley League Blue Division conference title.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
CANNON FALLS - It wasn’t pretty but the Cannon Falls boys basketball team came away with a 55-48 victory over Goodhue Friday to clinch the Hiawatha Valley League Blue Division conference title.
The Bombers (17-5, 9-1 HVL Blue) shot terribly from the free-throw line, making just 12 of 37 attempts, but kept the Wildcats’ offense off-balance and scored in crucial moments.
“We were able to withstand some adversity,” Cannon Falls head coach Josh Davisson said. “We did a nice job of composing ourselves.”
A frazzled Bombers’ team took a long time to find that composure in the middle of the second half. Goodhue (15-6, 7-4 HVL Blue) trailed 45-27 with 10 minutes, 22 seconds remaining in the game but kept Cannon Falls scoreless for nearly six minutes and cut the lead to four points, 45-41.
A tip-in by senior Cedric Dicke finally infused life back into the Bombers with 4:40 left and gave the team a 47-41 lead.
“That was the first one that got us going again,” Davisson said. “That was huge for us.”
Cedric Dicke finished with 10 points and 16 rebounds for Cannon Falls but made just 4 of 12 free throws. Junior Noah Callister added 15 points and four rebounds. Sophomore Jordan Lundell scored 13 points and was a steadying influence down the stretch, making 4 of 4 free throws.
“I stayed calm,” Lundell said. “I envisioned myself shooting in my backyard.”
Goodhue was led by junior Tyson Dicke, who tallied 13 points on 5 of 6 shooting. He also had seven rebounds and two steals. Senior Michael McNamara finished with nine points, 13 rebounds and two blocks. Senior Jacob Staehli scored 10 points. The Wildcats shot 36 percent from the field and committed 14 turnovers.
The pace was perfect for the Bombers early as Callister scored 11 of Cannon Falls’ first 22 points. The Bombers pushed their lead to 22-14 with seven minutes left in the first half but the Wildcats pulled within six points with 3:32 remaining in the opening half. Lundell and junior Paul Rolfes each scored in the final two minutes to give Cannon Falls a 33-22 lead at halftime.
“We got kind of tired early,” Goodhue head coach Tony Poncelet said. “You’re not going to outrun these guys.”
In first few minutes of the second half, it looked like the Bombers were on their way to a blowout victory. But the Wildcats battled back with tough defense and missed free throws by Cannon Falls.
“I give them credit,” Lundell said. “They made it so we couldn’t make any passes.”
Goodhue went on a 14-0 run, most of it without senior Ryan Bigelow, who fouled out with 8:36 remaining. From 12:16 to 6:16, the Bombers missed all 10 free throws they attempted.
“That makes games a little tighter than they need to be,” Davisson said.
Cedric Dicke’s tip started a 7-2 run as Cannon Falls regained control of the game. Tyson Dicke fouled out with 4:26 left and the Bombers made just enough free throws in the final minutes to survive.
“I was just glad we battled back,” Poncelet said. “It could have been very easy for us to lay down.”
Both teams are back in action Tuesday with Cannon Falls playing at home against Z-M and the Wildcats hosting Triton.