Mankato East’s Jordan Merseth splits two defenders on his way to the basket in the first half. Merseth scored the winning basket just before the buzzer. The Cougars defeated the Zephyrs 66-64 Saturday. Photo by Earl J. Ebenstensteiner, SportsEngine
The Cougars’ Jax Madson (3) drives to the basket in the second half. He was the Cougars' leading scorer with 24 points. The Cougars beat the Zephyrs 66-64 in the Breakdown Community Clash on Saturday afternoon. Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner, SportsEngine
When games are tied going into a final possession, well-drawn up plays can make the difference in the outcome. When those don’t go exactly as planned, it might turn to something more.
Jordan Merseth found himself in the right place at exactly the right time, having the presence of mind to tip in an offensive rebound right before the buzzer to give Mankato East (14-1, 11-0) a thrilling 66-64 victory over Mahtomedi (12-5, 7-1) on Saturday.
A buzzer-beating tip-in by Jordan Merseth helped lift Mankato East, ranked No. 5 in Class 3A by Minnesota Basketball News, over No. 6-3A Mahtomedi 66-64 in a Breakdown Community Clash matchup at St. Michael-Albertville High School on Saturday.
The play was drawn up for East’s Joich Gong, who drove to the basket and got blocked by J’Vonne Hadley. The Cougars’ Jax Madson came down with the loose ball and put up a turnaround jumper that clanked off the front rim. Merseth was in the right place at the right time and tipped in the game-winning shot just before the buzzer sounded.
It was relatively close throughout, with the lead never reaching double digits for either side. At the end of the first half, Mahtomedi led 31-26.
Merseth was a consistent threat for the Cougars (14-1, 11-0) against Mahtomedi’s 2-3 zone, running the baseline and getting easy buckets in the paint. He finished with 16 points and eight rebounds. Madson led all scorers with 24 points, most of which came from behind the arc.
The Zephyrs (12-5, 7-1) were led by Hadley, who put together a complete stat line of 21 points, eight rebounds, four assists, two steals and a pair of blocks. Zac Centers added 20 points.
With the victory, East extended its winning streak to 13 games.
The Zephyr’s J’vonne Hadley scored 24 points, however the Zephyr’s defense couldn’t stop the Cougar’s offense losing the game 66-64 in the Breakdown Sports Community Clash at St. Michael-Albertville High School. Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner, SportsEngine
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