Stanley rallies past Turtle Lake- Mercer/McClusky to claim 7th place

In every basketball game there is often a single play that can determine the outcome of the contest.

During the seventh-place game in the North Dakota State Class B boys basketball tournament Saturday at the Minot State Dome, the Turtle Lake-Mercer/McClusky Trojans seemed to be in control of their contest with Stanley.

Stanley junior Wyatt Hanson changed all that with a 3-pointer as time expired in the third period.

Hanson’s 3 trimmed a Turtle Lake lead to 45-41. From there, the Blue Jays outscored Turtle Lake 23-3 in the final period en route to a 64-48 win to claim seventh.

“We came out flat defensively,” Stanley coach Kory Anderson said. “And we kept urging them in timeouts. We finally started getting stops in the fourth quarter.”

Just moments after Hanson’s buzzer-beating 3 to end the third, the Stanley junior added another 3 to open the fourth to trim Turtle Lake’s lead to 45-44.

“It was huge,” Anderson said of Hanson’s 3-pointer to end the third. “It gave us confidence that we can score.”

His 3-pointer also seemed to give the Blue Jays a lift at the defensive end of the court as well.

“Coach wanted us to step it up defensively,” Hanson said, who finished with 18 points. “He demanded the effort and we gave it to him.”

The Trojans (17-10) built an early 17-8 lead after the opening period behind the play of senior Blake Anderson, who scored seven points in the period on 3 of 7 shooting.

But the Blue Jays (20-8) chipped away at the deficit away at the deficit by outscoring Turtle Lake by five in the middle two periods combined, setting up their 20-point run in the final period.

“It’s great to go out and get a win for our seniors,” Hanson said.

Sophomore Trapper Jacobs scored 20 points in the loss for the Trojans, while Anderson finished with 12.

For the Blue Jays, this weekend figures to set the bar for future success.

“We’ve got to keep working hard so we can get back here,” Hanson said.

Mark Jones covers high school sports and general assignments. Follow him on Twitter @MarkJones27_MDN.