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Litchfield's Zach Whitchurch celebrated his second-half shot that tied the score at 49-49 and ultimately sent the Class 2A quarterfinal game against Redwood Valley into overtime. Photo: JEFF WHEELER * firstname.lastname@example.org
Execution is a word Litchfield coach John Carlson uses frequently in practice. Conditioning is another big part of his philosophy.
Senior guard Zach Kinny was counting on the later when the Dragons and Redwood Valley headed to a second overtime Wednesday night in the Class 1A quarterfinals at Williams Arena. The first hadn’t gone so well up to that point.
Litchfield (25-5) scored the final 10 points in the second overtime to fend off Redwood Valley 64-55. The Dragons misfired on opportunities to win the game on their final possession of regulation and the first overtime.
“We are extremely well conditioned, and I knew we would take it to them in the second overtime,” Kinny said. He scored four of his team-high 18 points during the late scoring spurt. “Our execution at the end of regulation and the first overtime was suspect at best.”
The Dragons missed the final shot in the first overtime, and turned the ball over with 9 seconds remaining in regulation while holding for the last shot.
Redwood Valley (24-6) wound up missing a desperation three-pointer as the horn sounded at the end of regulation.
“I have to give Redwood Valley a lot of credit,” Carlson said. “They really rattled us in certain situations.”
In the second extra session, Redwood Valley senior guard Alec Koster opened the second overtime making one of two free throws, but it was all Litchfield the rest of the way. Koster finished with a game-high 27 points. His three-pointer with 1 minute, 1 second left in the first overtime tied at 54-all and forced a second overtime.
Litchfield senior guard Zach Whitchurch scored the final points of regulation, a three-pointer with 1:53 remaining to tie it at 49-all. It was his only three-pointer of the game.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s beautiful or not at this point,” Carlson said. “At this point of the season it’s just about being able to move on, and play another day.”
1) Zach Kinny (Litchfield)-Lead the team in scoring with 18 total points, including all five in the first overtime and four more in the second overtime. He was all over the floor offensively and defensively and put the Dragons on his back when it mattered most. To go along with his 18 points, Kinny added four rebounds and four assists.
2) Alec Koster (Redwood Valley)-He kept the Cardinals in the game until the very end when Litchfield began to pull away. He lead all scorers with 27 points, including scoring the first 11 points of the game for RV. He also had seven rebounds.
3) Riley Pater (Litchfield)-He was a force on both ends of the court, scoring 11 points and adding nine rebounds.
Benjamin Bakker MN Basketball Hub