Boys Basketball: Schramski's 3s lead Tigers to subsection semisLAKE CITY – The 3s kept falling for Lake City’s Ben Schramski and his last one was the biggest.
By: Nick Gerhardt, The Republican Eagle
LAKE CITY – The 3s kept falling for Lake City’s Ben Schramski and his last one was the biggest.
Schramski drained a 3-pointer with 6 minutes, 11 seconds left to play Thursday against Zumbrota-Mazeppa in the first round of the 1AA West subsection tournament to give the fourth-seeded Tigers a 51-50 lead they never relinquished en route to a 64-57 victory over the fifth-seeded Cougars.
Schramski hit five 3-pointers in the game and finished with 16 points. Schramski finished 5 of 8 from behind the arc and spearheaded a terrific shooting night. Lake City (17-8) shot 50 percent from the field, including 53 percent from 3-point range.
Schramski hit four 3s in the first half and his last one ended a dizzying run of lead changes.
“This is my second year coming out here and I know the nerves,” Schramski said. “It’s crazy out there, especially for the first-timers on our team. I just tried to go out there and play confident and get some confidence in the other guys around me too.”
There were nine lead changes prior to Schramski’s 3-pointer, but there wouldn’t be any after that. Josh Atkinson made a basket to push it to a three-point lead and Lake City head coach Shawn Sweeney decided to run as much time off the clock with each ensuing possession.
“With four minutes to go we said, ‘OK, we’re going to the delay game. If they want it, come get it,’” Sweeney said. “We were up three and some of our guys looked over and said, ‘God, I think he’s lost his mind again.’ I had good confidence in our team to handle the ball.”
Atkinson had eight points off the bench for the Tigers and Mitch Kuchinka provided valuable minutes while starters Coleman Sweeney and Luke Bremer dealt with foul trouble during a crucial stretch in the game.
“That would be a typical performance for him,” Sweeney said of Atkinson. “He’s a very good defender, in my book, somewhat of an underrated player. He’s a guy that can come off the bench and flip the switch and go. He’s been an important guy for us all year long.”
Zach Hinrichs finished with 16 points, 12 of which came in the first half. Hinrichs pulled down 12 rebounds and helped put Lake City up 33-26 at halftime.
Jake Griebenow added 12 points and knocked down a 3-pointer with 2:46 left to play that put the Tigers up eight.
The Tigers came into the game with a six-game winning streak, including a 51-42 victory over top-seeded Byron in the final regular season game Feb. 23 in Lake City. The Tigers and Bears will meet Monday in Rochester at the Mayo Civic Arena at 6 p.m. in the subsection semifinals.
The Cougars (10-14) made it interesting in the final minute as they cut a 10-point lead to four with 40 seconds to play. Kuchinka hit a layup and made a free throw to seal the win.
Lucas Ziemba led Z-M with 19 points while Kevin Niebuhr scored 13, 11 of which came in the first half. Nathaniel Rauen scored 10 points.
The Cougars, who finish the season on a five-game losing streak, shot nearly as well, going 21 of 45 from the field for 46 percent. Z-M went 10 of 16 on 2-point field goals in the second half for 62.5 percent.