The Nashua Porcupines, sporting a 7-5 conference record squared off against the 10-2 Hinsdale Raiders in the 4:30 p.m. game on Friday and it turned out to be one of the better contests of the tourney. There were five lead changes and three ties in the game.
Nashua’s Trafton Mayhew scored first for the Porcupines with a sweet mid-range jump shot. Then Lukas Johnson scored a basket in the paint for the Raiders. Mayhew rippled the rope again and Hinsdale’s Kyle Albus lit it up from beyond the arc. Nashua’s Kyle Gorman thought “if that Kyle can hit a three so can this Kyle” and fired off a pretty 3-pointer of his own.
Wyatt Pattison hit a couple freebies for the Raiders, Lane Nickels hit a three for Nashua, Dallas Capdeville got a very hard fought bucket after gaining the offensive rebound, but missed the free throw after he was fouled and Gorman hit another three to end the thrill-filled first quarter of play.
Whew! That tired me right out. First quarter score Nashua 15 and Hinsdale 9. Raider fans were getting restless.
Nickels started the second stanza with a deuce followed by Capdeville with a nice baseline drive under extreme pressure. Then Cache Younkin stole a Nashua pass and took it coast to coast, drove hard, stopped and let three defenders hammer him as he shot and made it. He missed the freebie.
Later in the game Younkin drove the lane and put up a 10 foot floater over the defenders that had the crowd in awe and the Raiders just three behind with five seconds left in the half when that Mayhew kid from Nashua nailed a jumper at the buzzer to give the Porkies the 24-19 lead at half.
However, by the end of the third quarter and with the aid of a Capdeville 3-pointer from the left baseline the Hinsdale Raiders pumped hope into their faithful followers by closing the deficit 33-32.
With two freebies and a couple buckets by Pattison and a driving bucket by Capdeville the Raiders went up by six with a little over a minute left in the contest.
Nashua’s Fisher hit a three with 25 seconds left on the clock to cut the Hinsdale lead to five. Hinsdale inbounded under Nashua’s basket and lost the ball back to the Porkies. Nickels drew back and let a three go that tickled the twine. It’s now 45-43 Hinsdale with 20 seconds. Hinsdale inbounded and Brett Johnson got fouled quickly and went to the line shooting a 1 and 1 but missed the first. Nashua took the ball down court but turned it back to the Raiders.
The ball was passed inbound to Cache Younkin and he was immediately if not sooner fouled and sent to the line to shoot 1 and 1. He’s just a freshman, but his poise is that of a veteran player so if you want to foul someone who might miss, don’t foul this kid. He hit them both with just six seconds left and Nashua couldn’t get a shot off. Game ended Hinsdale 47 and Nashua 43 sending the Raiders into the championship game against Lustre Christian.
Lustre advanced to the Saturday late game via wins over the 0-12 Dodson Coyotes and the 9-3 Frazer Bearcubs setting up their almost predestined meeting with the conference champion Hinsdale Raiders at 10-2.
Hinsdale’s two losses came at the hands of the Scobey Spartans in their first conference game of the season and to the Frazer Bearcubs in their last game of the regular season. The Lustre Lions had lost to the Raiders twice during the season and were out for revenge and they found it. Stay tuned for the exciting action.
Hinsdale’s Kyle Albus scored first with a long range three followed by a deuce by Xia of Lustre. Nordlie nailed a 3-pointer and Headdress hit a deuce and the harm for the Lions while Pattison got an a bucket underneath for the Raiders and the first act ended with Hinsdale ahead 9-8.
At the end of the first half it was anybody’s ball game as Lustre led 31-28.
Headdress and Nordlie combined for nine points to start the Lions second half that put the Raiders deep in a hole that they couldn’t dig themselves out of.
With the Raiders forced to foul, the Lions hit 9-12 free throws in the last two minutes and Lustre became district champions with a decisive victory 53-32.
Neufeld's ball handling along with Headress’ and Nordlie’s shooting were the difference in this game along with the fact the Lions shot 16-21 from the stripe while Hinsdale only had nine opportunities from the charity line and hit four.
The Raiders out-rebounded the Lions but Neufeld was the leading rebounder for the game with 12. He added nine points.
AJ Headdress tallied a game high 18 points for Lustre while Nordlie added 14 and Xia contributed 12.
For the Raiders it was Capdeville with the team high of 10 points and nine rebounds. Pattison scored eight and had five rebounds,
Lukas Johnson had four points and six rebounds, Albus had five points and a rebound, Brett Johnson had two points and four rebounds. Cache Younkin rounded out the scoring for Hinsdale with three points.
It was a very good season for the Raiders and the fans are expecting better things for them at Divisionals which kick off on Wednesday for the boys and Thursday for the girls in Wolf Point.
I would like to extend a hearty thank you to the Lions Club of Wolf Point for putting on such a great hospitality room and for being in attendance to “roll the rope” and to answer questions from the many fans. It takes a lot of hard work to do what you guys do and it is surely appreciated.
That’s it for now folks. Thanks for listening.