Knights lose in final seconds to Wolverines, 60-58
Fervent final 40 seconds
The final fervent 40 seconds of the of the Knights boys basketball game against Dike-New Hartford last Saturday night were everything that makes high school basketball great – excitement, intensity, suspense, performance under pressure, and a buzzer-beater attempt to ultimately decide the game.
Union managed to tie the score briefly in those final seconds but despite their ardent efforts, they came up short against the Wolverines, losing 60-58.
Heading into the second quarter the Knights were trailing the Wolverines 9-21 and struggling somewhat with D-NH’s full-court press.
But in the second quarter, Union’s rebounding improved greatly, the team as a unit displayed more fire and began playing quicker, more purposeful basketball. Outside of the game’s final seconds, the second quarter featured some of Union’s best basketball of the night.
The Wolverines still led at the half, 29-22, but they had been considerably slowed down by the Knights.
Union point guard Ty Lorenzen was the offensive leader for the Knights with 13 points – three of those 3-pointers – but it was truly a team effort by the starting five with Grant Behrens, Logan Rosauer, and TJ Freeland scoring 12 points apiece.
Forward/guard Behrens was particularly active at the net for the Knights, sinking six of his ten free throw attempts, two of his nine 3-point attempts, and three of his 11 field goal attempts.
Behrens, Rosauer, and Freeland led the defense for the Knights – Freeland with 10 defensive rebounds, while Behrens and Rosauer had six apiece.
Starting forward Danny Petersen led the steal count for the Knights with three. Petersen also had one field goal and two defensive rebounds.
The third quarter ended with the Wolverines still leading the Knights, 43-39.
But it was the final minute of the game that kept everyone on the edge of their bleacher seats. The sequence began with D-NH up 54-53.
Freeland was fouled on a field goal attempt to begin the frenzied dash to the buzzer.
D-NH’s Brewer Eiklenborg was then fouled on a field goal attempt – making one of his free throws to inch the Wolverines’ lead up further to 55-53.
Union’s Danny Petersen then stole the ball at 40 seconds left and went in for a layup – sinking it to tie the score, 55-55 – only to be fouled by Eiklenborg who was then benched as it was his fifth of the game.
Petersen missed both free throw attempts.
D-NH’s Jacob Stockdale was then fouled on a field goal attempt – he made both free throws to put the score at 57-55 in the Wolverines’ favor.
With 20 seconds remaining, the Knights had possession but turned it over, leading to another foul and the Wolverines subsequently adding two more points to bring their lead to 59-55.
Following a timeout with 15 seconds left on the clock, the Knights again fouled the Wolverines and the score moved to 60-55, D-NH still in the lead.
Lorenzen then made a beautiful 3-point shot with only 1.6 seconds left, putting the Knights behind by just two points again and giving the team a chance at ending the game victorious.
At the whistle, the Wolverines pitched the ball to their end, but Behrens picked it off with mere fractions of a second remaining.
Behrens sent a Hail Mary from the Wolverine’s 3-point line – the shot hit the rim right at the buzzer and bounced away.
The Wolverines won the game 60-58 and now sit at 4-8 for the season.
When asked about that thrilling final second of play, Behrens said: “I saw [Dike-New Hartford] throw deep to my guy so I just went for it and tipped it forward. I knew I didn’t have time so I got the ball off quick.”
In that moment Behrens said he thought the shot felt “really good” coming off his hand.
“Watching it just miss off of the back of the rim and being that close was a huge letdown,” Behrens said.
Following the loss to D-NH, Union was at 5-6 for the season.
The Knights are at home later this week in a conference matchup against Oelwein on Friday beginning at 7:45 p.m. The Huskies were 1-10 heading into the week.
On Saturday the boys are again at home, facing Benton Community – the Bobcats were 3-8 heading into the week.
Saturday’s tipoff in La Porte City is set for 3:00 p.m.