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Aguilar Shot At Buzzer Lifts Otters to Semi's

By Dean Nielsen, 03/30/21, 10:45PM CDT


Dominic Aguilar banked in a contested shot from the deep right wing at the buzzer, sending the Fergus Falls Otter boys basketball team to the State Semi-Finals as they defeated the Annandale Cardinals 47-44 at Alexandria high school Tuesday night.

Fergus Falls will now meet the winner of Wednesday's Waseca and Morris Area/Chokio Alberta game, at the Target Center in Minneapolis next Wednesday, April 7th at 5 p.m.

“What a great win for our guys,” stated Fergus Falls Head Coach Matt Johnson.  “Annandale had a great game plan and I thought our guys made some really good adjustments to hold them to 14 second half points.”

The game was evenly contested throughout with 17 lead changes and 5 ties. No more than four points separated either team. The Otters were able to take 30-29 halftime lead, and were led by 11 points from Aguilar and 10 from Chance Fazio. They connected on 13-of-24 shots for 58%. Annandale shot 59% making 13-of-23 attempts. Hawkin Miller led the Cardinals with 11 points.

The scoring pace slowed in the second-half, especially during the middle stages as both teams were guilty of several turnovers. Annandale's 6-7 Sr. post player Logan Purcell got into foul trouble in the half and had to spend several minutes on the bench. Kaden Conklin connected from beyond the arc giving the Otters their largest lead of the contest, 44-40, with 7:30 to go. Fergus Falls had three possessions with a chance to expand their lead, but were unable. Annandale came back to knot the contest and also had a chance to win in regulation, but turned the ball over with 3.5 seconds to go leading up to Aguilar's winning basket. 

"Kaden Conklin hit a couple of huge shots and played a great game for us," added Johnson.  "Rebounding was the number one key heading into the game and we held our own against a big and physical team."

Fazio led the Otters on the scoreboard with 16 points and added 10 rebounds to complete his double-double. Aguilar had 14, and Conklin 10. Fergus Falls shot 46% for the game making 19-of-41. Miller had 13, Purcell 10, and Brady Spaulding 8 for the Cardinals, who connected on 19-of-40 attempts for 47.5%.

"Dom showed senior leadership and I was so happy for him when he the game winner.  So clutch," concluded Coach Johnson.

Annnandale's season ends with just their second loss, by a total of four points, and a final record of 18-2. Fergus Falls extends their winning streak to nine straight, and are 16-7.

Fergus Falls     30 17  47                                                                             Annandale       29 15  44

Fergus Falls--Aguilar, 5 0-1 14; Aho, 1 0-0 2; Conklin, 4 0-0 10; Fazio, 7 2-2 16; Newman, 1 0-0 2; Pribbenow, 1 0-0 3.                                

Totals: 19 (7) 2-3 47

Annandale--Boltz, 0 1-4 1; Braun, 2 1-1 5; Gagnon, 2 0-0 6; Jones, 0 1-2 1; Miller, 6 0-0 13; Purcell, 5 0-0 10; Spaulding, 4 0-0 8. 
Totals: 19 (3) 3-7 44

Photo credit - Dacia Stiles

Photo credit - Dacia Stiles