Wyatt Mund took an outlet pass from a Milnor teammate with about 12 seconds left in a tie game with Shiloh Christian. With one defender in front of him and plenty of court to work with, it was apparent the athletic junior would find a way to get to the basket and score.
It's what he'd done all game.
Mund streaked past the Shiloh defense for the go-ahead layup and Milnor tacked on another basket in the closing seconds to secure a come-from-behind 60-56 win over the Skyhawks in the first round of the Class B state tournament Thursday at the Minot State University Dome.
Milnor junior Briton Bussman prepares to take a layup in front of Shiloh Christian sophomore Blake Emmel during the Bison’s win in the first round of the Class B state tournament Thursday at the Minot State University Dome.
"I just knew we had to go out there, take what we could," said Mund, who finished with game highs of 32 points and 16 rebounds. "I saw the lane and I drove it, and it worked."
Milnor (20-6) advanced to play Region 3 champion LaMoure-Litchville-Marion in a semifinal today at 6:30 p.m. The Loboes (22-2) defeated the Bison 61-51 earlier this season.
Shiloh Christian led for much of the game Thursday behind hot outside shooting. The Skyhawks (17-8) connected on 9-of-15 3-point attempts.
But after reserve Andrew Hartman hit a 3 to put Shiloh ahead 54-46 midway through the final quarter, Milnor closed the game on a 14-2 run. The Skyhawks didn't score in the final 2 minutes, 37 seconds.
"I just felt like we were a little rushed," Shiloh coach Mike Dwyer said. "Instead of getting our reversals and getting touches, we were just a little too uncomposed."
Shiloh's withering down the stretch was aided by Mund - who broke the career 1,000-point mark early in the first half and scored 17 after the break. He finished 11-of-17 from the field and 10-of-12 from the foul line.
"We've played great team basketball all year and Wyatt wasn't concerned with how many points he was scoring or any of that," Milnor coach Ben Nelson said. "Today, when the opportunity was there, he took advantage."
The 6-foot-4 Mund routinely scored in the paint on strong moves and putbacks, and also knocked down several midrange jumpers.
"I know on (Shiloh's) defense, they like to jump a lot and they go for pump fakes," Mund said. "I knew if I (could) go to the basket, it would work."
Milnor junior Briton Bussman, the highest scorer in the state tournament at 24.7 points per game, finished with 17 points on 8-of-20 shooting.
The Skyhawks were paced by seniors Donovan Lambert and Walter Bearstail, who combined for six 3s and scored 18 and 11 points, respectively.
The Bison turn their attention now to L-L-M, which got by No. 3 Dickinson Trinity 52-49 in Thursday's first quarterfinal.
"LaMoure has got a great team, they've got a lot of good athletes," Nelson said. "We're going to have to come out and play a good game tomorrow to be able to hang with them."
Shiloh plays Dickinson Trinity at 1 p.m. in a consolation game.