Last second shot falls; Viking boys in Section finals
The ball hit the rim, bounced up in the air, then hung precariously on the edge, almost looking like it would fall off.
Then, as though a magic gust of wind came by, it fell through the net — sending the Minneota Vikings into the Section 3A finals with a 53-51 win over Lakeview.
The player who shot it, Jacob Hennen, watched like everyone else as the destiny of his team hung in the balance.
“It hung up there, then rolled to the right. I saw Isaac (Hennen) was standing below the basket so I thought hopefully, if it fell off, he’d grab it,” said Jacob Hennen.
But no need — it fell Minneota’s way, ending a tension-filled game that had everyone in the building on the edge of their seats.
The last shot as the final five seconds ticked away was no accident.
“I was supposed to curl around, get the ball and put it up. If it missed, we’d go into overtime,” said Hennen.
Minneota used his brother Thomas as a decoy to draw double coverage from Lakeview. “We figured they’d follow Thomas and that would open up this side,” said Coach Dale Busselman.
“And we asked Isaac (Hennen) to set a pick (to help Jacob get open). Thomas took everybody with him. We figured if Jacob missed, we’d still get a chance for overtime,” said the coach.
But he didn’t want overtime. And when the ball dropped in Minneota’s favor, it wasn’t necessary.
“It was tough to lose, but we played well. I told Isaac Hennen whoever won was going to get into the state — so I hope they do,” said Lakeview’s Jon Wyffels, who hit two, three-pointers and scored eight points and gathered in nine rebounds.
Wyffels was on the bench when Jacob Hennen’s fateful shot fell through “It seemed like it hung there. I hoped it would fall off,” Wyffels said.
The final 9:58 of the game as an emotional blur for the Vikings. Leading just 43-40, the game was interrupted when a fan fell from his seat to the floor and was in obvious pain.
EMT’s worked on him and finally wheeled Minneota fan Shawn Boerboom from the gymnasium.
It hit the Vikings hard since his son Nolan was on the floor playing for Minneota. The Vikings were trying to work through four fouls on center Logan Sussner and Nolan Boerboom was going to be needed on the floor.
“The whole team lost a little focus,” said Coach Busselman.
“It really was hard,” added Assistant Coach Mike Hennen. “Everybody was hurting. It changed the mood of the team,” said Assistant Michael VanWestern.
But the Vikings built a 47-40 lead after Thomas and Jacob Hennen each scored and with 5:58 to go, the Vikings appeared to have gained their exposure.
But Lakeview wasn’t finished. Kailen French and Tate Varpness brought the Lakes back and with 2:15 to go, Varpness hit a pair of free throws to tie the game at 49.
Two Isaac Hennen throws made it 51-49 but with 40 seconds left — Varpness drifted into the lane with the ball and sank his 16th and 17th points and it was tied again at 51 with 40 seconds to go.
Minneota slowed the game down — hoping for a last shot, but Lakeview had fouls to give and fouled, trying to steal the ball. Finally, there were 5.5 seconds left not the clock and Minneota had just enough time to pull off the final miracle.
“We snuck that one out,” said Assistant Coach Hennen.
Logan Sussner was philosophic about the win, “As long as we win,” he said. “That ball hit the back of the rim, it rolled to the side, then through. Hey, as long as it went in, I don’t care how,” Sussner added.
“We wanted to win this for Nolan,” Sussner said about Nolan Boerboom, who had to play after knowing his father was taken off the floor by EMT’s.
Minneota had beaten Lakeview rather easily, twice, on previous occasions. “Everything’s different in the Sections. It’s do or die — and this time it worked,” Sussner said.
LAKEVIEW’S game plan worked to perfection. They took the game away from Thomas and Jacob Hennen. Varpness dogged Jacob Hennen all night and the Lakers didn’t give Thomas a chance to get the ball.
But that left Isaac Hennen open and he responded with 16 points in the first half. He ended with 18. “Isaac carried the team the first half. It just happened that way,” said Jacob Hennen.
“It just opened up for me,” said Isaac Hennen.
“But really, even though Logan (Sussner) only scored six points, he gave at least that many points to me with his assists. They were double-teaming on him and he kept finding me,” Isaac Hennen added.
“Jarod Goepferich (6-7 center) and others were double-teaming me. He stood over me so, as long as they were all over me I’d roll it to Isaac,” said Sussner.
In the end, Minneota earned a Section 3A title game with Russell-Tyler-Ruthton at 5 p.m. Thursday at SMSU in Marshall. The winner will go to the state tournament.
“I don’t think any Minneota boys team has ever gone this far,” said Assistant Coach Hennen.
He’s right. And if they beat RTR, they’ll have ANOTHER “Never been this far before.”
UPDATE ON BOERBOOM CONDITION
It appears Shawn Boerboom's condition was related to a medication issue. He did NOT suffer a heart attack. He may be released from the hospital in the next couple of days.
MINNEOTA (2’s, 3’s, FT, F, TP) Jarod Josephson 0 0 0-0 0 0; Thomas Hennen 4 1 2-2 3 13; Jacob Hennen 4 1 0-0 0 11; Logan Sussner 2 0 2-3 4 6; Isaac Hennen 6 1 3-4 4 18; Nolan Boerboom 0 1 0-0 2 3; Trystan Sorenson 1 0 0-0 0 2. Totals 17 4 7-8 13 53.
LAKEVIEW (2’s, 3’s, Ft, F, TP) Jon Wyffels 0 2 2-2 2 8; Tyler Imes 0 0 0-0 1 0; Tate Varpness 7 0 3-4 2 17; Jarod Goepferich 3 0 1-2 1 7; Aaron Loe 0 0 2-2 0 2; Parker Hoffman 0 1 0-0 0 3. Totals 14 3 14-17 9 51.
Score by Halves
Lakeview 26 25 — 51
Minneota 28 25 — 53
SHOOTING: Minneota (2’s 17 of 37 for 46 percent; 3’s 4 of 12 for 33 percent; overall 21 of 49 for 47 percent); Lakeview (2’s 14 of 34 for 41 percent; 3’s 3 of 22 for 14 percent; overall 17 of 56 for 30 percent).
FREE THROWS: Minneota 7 of 8 for 88 percent; Lakeview 14 of 17 for 82 percent.
REBOUNDS: Minneota 25 (Jacob Hennen, Josephson 5 each; Sussner 4; Boerboom, Isaac Hennen, Thomas Hennen 3 each; Sorenson 2); Lakeview 27 (Wyffels 9, Goepferich 6; French 7, Loe, Varpness, Hoffman 1 each).
TURNOVERS: Minneota 9; Lakeview 8
STEALS: Minneota 5 (Isaac Hennen 3, Sussner 2); Lakeview 2 (Wyffels, French 1 each).
ASSISTS: Minneota 9 (Josephson 4; Sussner 3; Thomas Hennen 2); Lakeview 8.
BLOCKS: Minneota 1 (Sussner); Lakeview 1 (Goepferich).