No. 2 Ryan rallies late for a dramatic OT win over No. 3 Thompson
Two of the Top 3 Class B boys basketball teams collided Saturday evening at the Our Redeemer’s Christian School invitational held at the Minot Municipal Auditorium.
The prominent early season showdown didn’t disappoint.
No. 2-ranked Bishop Ryan (5-0) overcame a 10-point third quarter deficit to force overtime and eventually handed No. 3 Thompson (5-1) its first loss of the season with a stunning 79-73 victory.
“That was something,” Ryan coach Jeremy Feller said directly after the game. “Thompson is No. 3 for a reason and I feel like they need to stay there. They are a good basketball team… It’s too bad that they are so far away.”
Ryan junior guard Mason Hedberg ignited the furious fourth-quarter rally with 16 out of Ryan’s 20 points in the quarter. The Lions were outscored in every quarter except the fourth quarter and overtime.
“I felt like we peaked a lot,” Feller said. “We got a couple stops and the momentum, then we gave up a couple of threes. Those 50-50 balls were game changers momentum wise, so that was big when we got on the floor and found Hedberg for wide open 3-pointers.”
With shots not falling from the outside early, the Lions and Tommies went at each other in the paint. Holding an 8-6 lead after Thompson’s Hayden Overby got to the rim, Tommies senior Tyler Hegg snapped the drought from deep and showed signs of what was to come.
A forceful block by Ryan junior Ben Bohl got the Lions going and they tied the score back up at 11-11, but another 3-pointer by Hegg helped the Tommies hold a 15-11 first quarter lead.
Hegg had 10 points in the first quarter, 19 points in the first half and finished with a game-high 29 points.
Ryan regained the lead briefly after a 3-pointer by Bohl at 20-19. Bohl made three 3-pointers and led Ryan with 28 points. Hedberg chipped in 24 points and senior Anthony Vetter added 13 points.
Hegg put the Tommies on his shoulders once more to end the first half. With a hand in his face, Hegg banked in a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Thompson a 32-25 lead at halftime.
“At halftime, I told them that this is a gut check,” Feller said. “We haven’t been down in a game yet this season.”
With 6-foot-4 Hegg causing all sorts of problems for the Lions, Feller had to make an adjustment.
“We went a little smaller,” he said. “Credit to our bigs. Some of them sat for almost the whole (second) half and they were just as happy as everybody else because we are in this together as a team. Mason (Hedberg) accepted the assignment at halftime and was able to slow him down a little bit.”
Vetter added: “We came in (to halftime) and said, ‘This kid (Hegg) is scoring too much on us.’ We put Mason Hedberg on him, so I got to give a cap off to Mason Hedberg. We used him as a length guy because he has longer arms and he did a good job of sitting back on him and getting into his shot.”
Ryan’s offense picked up in the third quarter by scoring 21 points, but Thompson was right there every step of the way with Overby, Hegg and Cole Sorby leading the resistence.
Nicholas Reck hit another timely 3-pointer for Thompson with seconds left in the third quarter to give the Tommies a 56-46 lead after three.
“We are in a hole and we have to come back,” Vetter said was going through his mind. “We had to D-up, get a stop and get a score. Another stop, score. Do that and we will be back in the game. So, that’s what our mindset was.”
Hedberg took charge by locking down Hegg and lighting up the scoreboard in the fourth.
After just rimming out on a 3-pointer, Hedberg made the most of his second chance moments later behind the arc to energize the Ryan supporters and cut Thompson’s lead down to 65-64 with under two minutes to go.
A technical foul called on Thompson’s Cadyn Schwabe after a hard-fought Ryan defensive stand sent Hedberg to the line for a pair of clutch free throws with 52.6 seconds left. He made both.
The Tommies turned to Overby to answer, as he went to the basket hard, drew contact and was fouled with 10.9 seconds remaining.
He missed the first free throw, and Feller called a timeout. Icing the shooter, however, didn’t work.
Overby, who finished with 15 points, calmly sank the second free throw to tie the game at 66-66. Vetter had a chance to win it in regulation, but his contested jumper from inside the paint rolled off the rim.
Shots rolling around and off the rim continued into overtime. Thompson’s Marcus Hughes broke the deadlock with a made free throw with just over two minutes left.
After Vetter and Hughes traded baskets, the Lions got away for good with junior Chinaza Udekwe converting an acrobatic layup, Bohl finishing a three-point play and Hedberg making a pair of free throws to put Ryan up 75-69.
Schwabe made a desperation 3-pointer that turned into a four-point play to rattle Ryan’s nerves with under 30 seconds remaining at 75-73, but Caden Shean and Bohl hit their free throws down the stretch to seal the 79-73 overtime victory.
“It’s a high-quality win,” Vetter said. “Beating them is a privilege and (showed) that we can come back from a deficit and beat a team we won’t probably see again this year. Unless, we see them later on in the postseason.”
The Lions get their first taste of Region 6 action this season with a home game against Towner-Granville-Upham on Thursday. That contest is scheduled to tip off at 7:15 p.m.
Alex Eisen covers Minot High School, Minot State athletics and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.