A pair of last second shots fell short for the Redwood Valley boys basketball team as host Marshall would escape with a 54-52 win Tuesday night in a key SWC match-up.
The loss ended a 15-game winning streak to start the season for the Cardinals (15-1), but despite a rough night, they still had a last second shot to win against a good Marshall team and are atop the SWC standings at 8-1.
It was a close game early on, with the Tigers (12-6, 6-2) leading 17-15 with 6:50 to go in the first half.
Mason?Schnaible – who had 15 of his 17 points in the first half – buried a pair of three pointers to help Mar-shall go on a 12-4 run and take a 29-19 advantage.
Junior Jordan Ford would respond for the Cards with back-to-back three point shots of his own, and Alec Koster would score four straight to cut the lead to 31-29 with just over a minute to go.
The Tigers would score the final three points of the first half, but the Cards would trail by just five despite shooting just 35 percent from the floor.
In the second half, the Cardinals would fight back to tie things at 43 with 6:49 to play and actually snagged a four point advantage – 47-43 – thanks to a pair of free throws from Ford and long jumper from Koster with five minutes left in regulation.
Four straight turnovers by the Cards would prove costly, as Marshall scored six unanswered to reclaim a 49-47 lead with three minutes to go.
They would increase the lead to five with less than 35 seconds to play and were seemingly in control before Steve Runkel buried a big three to cut the lead to 54-52.
A double-dribble with 24 seconds left would give the ball back to the Cards with the chance to win or tie the game, but Mike Busack’s three from the top of the key fell short. Beau Stough’s put back would also miss to end the game.
Despite an off night from standout Busack – he would finish with a season low seven points (two in the second half) on 3-of-15 shooting and 12 rebounds – the Cards got a strong outing from Koster who would score 21 points on 6-of-11 shooting and 8-of-12 free throws.
Ford added 11 points and three rebounds, and RJ?Juell scored five points off the bench.
Stough dealt with foul trouble and would finish with four points and six rebounds and Runkel had three points and three assists.
The Cards struggled to 5-of-22 shooting from beyond the arc and hit just 13-of-21 from the charity stripe.
Redwood Valley 52
Cardinal scoring - Koster 21, Ford 11, Busack 7, Juell 5, Stough 4, Runkel 3, Hengel 1
Tiger scoring - Schnaible 17, Christianson 8, Buk-owski 8, Mathiowetz 6, Tykwinski 6, Peterson 4, Saugstad 2, DeBoer 2
Friday night the Cardinals went on the road and picked up an impressive 65-56 win over the Worthington Trojans.
The Cardinals – leading by one at the end of the first half – would pull away early in the second half thanks to a 14-3 run.
The Trojans (10-5, 4-3) would claw back to within four with just over four minutes remaining, but Koster came up with five big points.
Adam Hengel finished off a fast-break opportunity with a lay-in to put the Cards up for good – 56-47 – with three minutes to play.
With the victory the Cards swept the season series with Worthington but could potentially see them again in the Section 3AA final.
Busack had a strong effort, leading the way with 25 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots.
Koster finished with 15 points and three assists, and Stough had 10 points, six rebounds and two assists.
The Cardinals shot a strong 77 percent on two-point field goal attempts (20-of-26) but struggled to 2-of-14 from long range.
Strong free throw shooting – 19-of-23 – was key as it offset 16 turnovers.
Redwood Valley 65
Cardinal scoring - Busack 25, Koster 15, Stough 10, Hengel 5, Ford 4, Widmer 3, Runkel 3
Trojan scoring - Weg 24, Henning 13, Traylor 8, Grafing 5, Wetering 3, Potter 3