Richland defeats Bishop Ryan, 62-47, claims third place at state tournament
Cole Myers had no intentions of entering the offseason on the wrong foot.
After suffering a 64-51 loss to No. 2-seeded Shiloh Christian, the junior guard and his No. 3-seeded Richland Colts bounced back to earn a 62-47 win over No. 4-seeded Bishop Ryan on Saturday in the third-place match of the Class B boys basketball state tournament.
Richland seemed to have an answer for every push Ryan made, as the Colts ended their season in the win column.
“We didn’t want to go out on a losing note, so it feels good to end the year with a win,” Myers said. “It wasn’t the championship, but we’ll take it.”
Both teams shrugged off their semifinal losses from the prior day and came out with some intensity to start the contest.
The lead exchanged hands eight times in the eight-minute frame, but Richland emerged with a slim 14-13 edge at the break thanks in part to Myers. After sinking a triple earlier in the contest, the junior ended the quarter with a layup in the closing seconds to put his team on top.
Myers carried that hot hand into the second quarter, as he drained a contested 3-pointer over the outstretched hands of Ryan’s Mason Hedberg at the 5:30 mark to push the Colts’ lead to 19-16. The statement triple sparked a 10-2 Richland run, and the third seed ultimately went into halftime up 30-23.
After a tightly-contested third quarter, the Colts entered the final frame up 43-37. Despite having the six-point edge, Richland head coach Cody Reiland refused to let his team take its foot off the gas.
“We’ve talked about it this whole tournament,” Reiland said. “We’re playing good teams, so we know they’re going to have their runs. We just had to limit our turnovers and hold on.”
Sure enough, the Lions made their move in the fourth quarter.
Ben Bohl led the charge. After sinking a long-range bomb on the previous possession, the senior guard attacked the rim and still finished the layup despite being fouled. Bohl knocked down the freebie to trim Richland’s lead to 49-46 with 5:20 left to play.
But the Lions never managed to get any closer, as the Colts pushed their lead back to double digits and ultimately earned the 62-47 win.
Myers finished with a game-high 18 points and 16 rebounds for Richland, and three other Colts players broke double-digit points: Colten Evanson (12), Carter Lingen (11) and Gavin Reiland (10). Graduating for Richland is Blake Loomis, Trenton Dufner, Casey Koenig and Hunter Lentz.
Bohl recorded 16 points, while Hedberg added 10 points and 12 boards. Fellow senior Chinaza Udekwe finished with nine points.
In addition to Bohl, Hedberg and Udekwe, the Lions will also see Rubensky Lormejuste and Nicholas Hardy graduate this summer.
“It’s been a blessing,” Hedberg said. “I wouldn’t trade my four years of varsity basketball here for anything in the world. I’m very grateful.”
It won’t be long before Hedberg returns to the Minot State Dome, though, as he and Bohl are set to join the Minot State men’s basketball team next season.
“I’m very excited,” Bohl said. “I’m looking forward to getting to know the guys a little better. I’ll take a few weeks off, but then it’s back to the gym.”
In the other consolation games played Saturday at the Minot State Dome, Powers Lake topped Ellendale for seventh place, 56-42. And New Rockford-Sheyenne ended its season with a 56-53 win over Beulah for fifth place.
Justin Martinez covers Minot High School sports and Class B high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @JTheSportsDude.