The Tigers did all they could to hang with second-seeded Glencoe-Silver Lake in Friday’s Section 2AA North Sub-Section semifinal, trailing just 29-24 at halftime.

But the Panthers’ Blake Mickolichek, who had zero points at halftime, made six straight three-point baskets in the second half, as the Panthers advanced to the championship game with a 73-53 victory.

“We were running at him,” said Coach Paul Fogarty of Mickolichek’s effort. “It wasn’t like we didn’t know he was there. His seventh and eighth attempts rattled out somehow, or it would’ve been eight straight.”

The Tigers, losers of four of their first five games, rebounded to win nine of 12 to end the season, finishing 10-7 overall.

“I’m really proud of this group,” Fogarty said. The Tigers will lose six seniors, including Ryan Bergs, Nehemiah Juaire, Cody Corbitt, Zac Fogarty, Carter Fairbanks, and Cade Morrison.

“There was never any complaining, they listened, they worked hard.”

Fogarty was also pleased with the way the upperclassmen brought a group of four sophomores along.

“The future looks bright; we like our juniors and our sophomores,” Fogarty said.

Jack Kruger and Corbitt scored 10 apiece for the Tigers, while Morrison added nine.

The Tigers stuck around in the first half, despite struggling to contain 6’4” Mitchel Jaskowiak, who ended the game with 22 points.

“We knew he’d be tough, and he had a great first half,” Fogarty said, adding that the Panthers will match up well with top-seeded Jordan when the teams meet Wednesday night, Marach 24,  for the North 2AA Championship.

“They play you,” Fogarty said, referencing the Panthers’ man-to-man defense. “They’re big and they’re strong.”

Victory Over NYA

The Tigers advanced with a 73-63 victory over sixth-seeded NYA in the opening round of the 2AA tournament.

Belle Plaine had won two of three meetings during the regular season by a total of three points, and no team had reached 60 points in the first three matchups. Fogarty was hoping the Tigers could speed the game up and get the score into the mid-60s, and his team succeeded.

NYA took its only lead of the night at 9-8, but an 11-0 run by Belle Plaine gave it a 20-9 advantage. The Raiders got as close as 61-58 near the three-minute mark, but Morrison’s fourth three-point basket of the night made it 64-58, and his fifth three-pointer made it 67-58 with 1:44 remaining.

Morrison had a team high 22 points. Kruger and Tolbert added 20 points each.

BPHS Boys Basketball Team Results

Jan. 15:   L - Jordan 88, BP 44

Jan. 19: L - Mayer Lutheran 81, BP 60

Jan. 21:  W - BP 68, LSH 44

Jan. 25:  L - New Ulm 67, BP 65

Jan. 29:  L - SWC 72, BP 68

Feb. 1:  W - BP 81, SE 61

Feb. 6:  W - BP 52, NYA 50

Feb. 9:   W - BP 80, TCU 58

Feb. 12: W - BP 68, ML 64

Feb. 20: W - BP 61, LSH 50

Feb. 23:  L - SWC 82, BP 67

Feb. 26:  W - BP 59, NYA 58

March  1: vs. TCU - Canceled

March  4:  W - BP 58, SE 30

March 6: vs. Watertown-Mayer Canceled

March  8:  L - NYA 53, BP 48

March 11: W - BP 73, LSH 51

Section 2AA Boys Basketball Results

March 18 - Quarterfinals

(3) Belle Plaine 73,(6) NYA 63

(1) Jordan 81, (8) SE 49

(4) MVL 57, (5) TCU 42

(3) G-SL 75, (7) LS-H 43

March 20 @ High Seed

Jordan 68, MVL 51

G-SL 78, Belle Plaine 53

March 24 @ High Seed

G-SL @ Jordan

March 26

2AA Championship

South Champ @ North Champ

Boys Basketball Standings

  (Conference, Overall)

SW Christian............10-1, 13-6

Mayer Lutheran........10-2, 16-3

Belle Plaine................7-4, 10-7

TCU..............................4-5, 5-9

NYA............................5-7, 6-13

Sibley East..................3-9, 3-15

LS-H.........................1-11, 3-15

Box Scores

GS-L 73, Belle Plaine 53

BP    24    29    53

GSL    29    49    73

Belle Plaine scoring – Tolbert 8, Kruger 10, Corbitt 10, Fogarty 1, Luskey 4, Morrison 9, Fairbanks 3, Retzer 6

Belle Plaine 73, NYA 63

NYA    27    36    63

BP    38    35    73

Belle Plaine scoring – Tolbert 20, Kruger 20, Corbitt 6, Luskey 4, Morrison 22, Retzer 1

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