The Nevis Tigers got off to a fast start on Thursday morning and were able to maintain their early lead from start to finish as they eliminated the Border West Buccaneers from the Class A State Boys Basketball Tournament with a 63-55 victory in their Consolation Semifinal contest.
The game was tied 1-1 and 6-6, and once Nevis took the lead, they never relinquished it. They hit six of their seven 3’s in the first half and dominated the boards as they built a 15 point lead midway through the first half. The Bucs battled back and got the deficit down to 8 on a Kyle Kremer 3 just before halftime, trailing 31-23 at the break.
The two teams were even in the second half, scoring 32 points each. Border West kept within striking distance throughout the final 18 minutes as Dylan Bainbridge scored 16 of his 20 points after halftime. Bainbridge made 10-of-12 free throws, including all eight of his second half tries. He also had a team high 5 assists. The Bucs forced 11 second half turnovers and 15 in the game, utilizing an aggressive half-court defense and some full court pressure down the stretch, however, Border West struggled with turnovers, committing 18.
Clint Determan joined Bainbridge in double figures with 13 points, making 6-of-8 from the free throw line. Determan completed his double-double by securing 13 rebounds. Cole Gilsdorf added 8 points and Kremer had a pair of 3’s for 6 points. As a team, Border West made 18-of-25 free throws and buried 7 3’s.
Nevis featured a balanced attack, led by a double-double from Alex Lester who had 17 points and 12 rebounds. Fifteen of his seventeen points came in the second half. Spencer Lindow had all 11 of his points before halftime, hitting his first 3 three-point shots to help Nevis build their early advantage. Devan Lindow and Joe Houchin finished with 10 points apiece and John Paul Benson hit 3 3’s for his 9 points.
Border West ends their season with a record of 26-4. Nevis (25-7) will play Sacred Heart for the Class A Consolation Championship at 8:00am Saturday at Gangelhoff Center on the campus of Concordia University of St. Paul. Sacred Heart edged Mankato Loyola, 59-58, in their consolation semifinal game.