Rugby falls to Berthold at Region 6 Tournament
It will go down as 68-48 season-ending loss to Lewis and Clark-Berthold at the Region 6 boys basketball tournament on March 8 in Minot, but hidden in that score was some stretches of good play by Rugby.
Unfortunately, the Panthers needed a near-perfect effort to pull the upset.
No. 4 Rugby got off to a quick start, leading for the better part of the opening eight minutes. Junior Jason Goetz provided a bulk of the early offense, scoring seven of his nine points in the opening half.
Berthold would eventually get on track and lead 17-10 after one quarter. The Bombers would later stretch their first half lead to as many as 15, but the Panthers scratched and clawed, trimming the deficit to 11 by halftime.
A fast start to the third quarter was what Rugby needed, but it had a difficult time matching the Bombers’ size in the post. The Panthers played a zone defense, but Berthold managed to still work the ball inside.
A 10-1 run late in the quarter stretched the Bombers lead to 21 with a quarter to play. The Panthers made one last surge early in the final quarter, hitting a couple of three pointers and got the score to 61-44. However, that’s as close as it would get.
The Panthers couldn’t control Berthold’s three-head monster of Matt Yale, Dan Yale and Michael White. The trio combined for 41 points.
Rugby emptied its bench in the final minutes, enabling the seniors one last opportunity to play.
Turnovers, which have been a problem area for Rugby all season, were not. The team was below its season average.
Offensively, Rugby was often limited to one shot as the taller Bombers controlled the boards. Matt White grabbed 10 for Berthold.
Senior Michael Houim had a team-high 11 points for Rugby which ended its season at 8-15.
The outcome was not surprising since the one-loss Bombers were the pre-tournament favorite and boasted an experienced and talented lineup.
Rugby’s winning drought at the regional stretched to another year. The last victory came in 2002.
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