Tom Lunde didn't consider his team to be the underdog against Kinnebrew Contracting in the Class A amateur championship game Sunday at the Minot State Dome.
Despite his Wick Edge, LLC team having lost to Kinnebrew Contracting by 22 points less than 24 hours earlier, Lunde remained confident they could take the title.
His optimism came to fruition as Wick Edge posted a 105-100 victory against Kinnebrew Contracting to win the Class A men's championship in the North Dakota State Amateur basketball tournament. The win came hours after it had to play a tightly contested game against Sports on Tap to reach the title game.
"We've played against these guys for a long time," Lunde said. "We're good friends and we've always had battles."
Kinnebrew Contracting led throughout the first half. After a 3-pointer by Wick Edge's Jake Driscoll trimmed Kinnebrew Contracting's lead to 40-37, Kinnebrew Contracting closed out the half on a 9-3 run to grab a 49-40 advantage at the break.
It took all of 2:30 for Wick Edge to claw back and take the lead. Seven of its first eight points of the half came at the free-throw line before it started finding its touch from behind the arc. Wick Edge hit 14 treys in the game - eight in the second half. But Wick Edge couldn't distance itself as Kinnebrew Contracting countered with eight 3s of its own in the final 20 minutes.
"They're a really good team," Doug Wick said. "We had to play about perfect to beat them and we got a few lucky calls."
The second half alone featured four ties and eight lead changes. After being held to 40 points in the first half, Wick Edge tallied 65 in the second. Wick poured in 16 of his team-high 25 points in the second half and Driscoll added 15 of his 23.
"We shot better," Lunde said. "You get hot and you get cold, it's an up-and-down game."
Wick Edge fell behind by as many as six after grabbing the lead early in the half, but a 10-0 run put it in front 74-70. Wick hit two deep 3s to fuel the spurt.
Kinnebrew Contracting answered with 3s by Brandon Wilkens and Jeff Brandt to retake the lead 76-74. The back-and-forth battle continued until a bucket by Lunde put Wick Edge in front for good at 87-85. Wick Edge pushed its advantage to 95-88 with 3:05 left and salted the game away at the free-throw line. Its final eight points came from the charity stripe.
Lunde finished with 19 points.
"Tom Lunde played really good," Wick said. "We worked the ball around a little bit and made some shots we usually don't make."
Wilkens led all scorers with 29 points and Brandt and Mark Kinnebrew added 22 and 20, respectively.
Fourteen teams crowned Sunday
Wick Edge, LLC won the Class A title, but there were 13 other teams that tasted victory Sunday.
Harman Trucking knocked off Streeter Elevator to take the men's Class B title and Dakota Community Bank topped Scranton Equity for the Class C championship.
In the Commerical I bracket, Comfort Inn defeated Bismarck Sports Page. Of the 52 teams in the Commercial II field, White Maid Diner of Napoleon defeated Bismarck Good Feathers. Sperle Masonry claimed the Commerical Consolation title.
The Old Pro 38+ division was decided Saturday as Bismarck Stadium Lodge/Fertilawn won the first two games against Barley Pop/Coors Lite in a best-of-three series. Jamestown K.C. won the Old Pro 50+ division. Forty-five teams competed in the Recreation field and Pruitt's Boys took the title over Hardware Hank. SRT topped Wings-n-Rings/Bud Lite in the Recreation Consolation championship.
Weiget Refrigeration & Heating defeated Brick Squad in the Women's I bracket and The Original claimed the Women's II title over Colorworks Painting. Golden Girls won the Women's II consolation.
Mike Kraft covers Minot High athletics, the Minot Minotauros and the Minot State men's club hockey team. Follow him on Twitter @MKraft23_MDN.