Crookston vs. Ada-Borup

6 p.m., Friday, March 1

Ada-Borup players and coaches weren't talking about it, but they knew an undefeated season was becoming more possible by the day.

So, last Tuesday, with two seconds on the clock and trailing Hawley by one point, you couldn't blame the Cougars for feeling confident. They had the ball, and a shooter at the free-throw line.

The free throw bounced off the rim, but Ada-Borup got the rebound. When the putback attempt bounced off the rim, unbeaten was no longer a reality as Hawley won 78-77.

Still, as No. 9-1A Ada-Borup (21-1, 8-0) closes its regular season Friday against Crookston, and the Cougars' primary objective — their first state tournament berth since 2009 and second in school history — remains within reach.

"We need to be playing our best basketball at the end of the year," Ada-Borup coach Trevor Stewart said. "That’s the focus and always has been. Winning section playoff games won’t be easy, but we know we are good enough to give ourselves a chance."

Junior Mason Miller (15.7 ppg, 10.2 rpg), who surpassed 1,000 career points this season, is the Cougars' leader, while Preston Gwin (10.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg) headlines the supporting cast.

Crookston (7-17, 2-6) has scoring prowess in Nick Garmen and Caden Osborn. Garmen, a senior who recently became the school's all-time leader in three-point baskets after passing Ryan Porter's 191 threes, had 40 points in an overtime victory over Badger-Greenbush-Middle River — the second-highest single-game total ever by a Pirates player.