A 13-3 run midway through the first half helped Redwood Valley seize control and roll to a 58-42 victory over a feisty BOLD squad Thursday night in Section 3AA-North semifinal action in Granite Falls.
With the victory the Cardinals (25-1) have advanced to face rival Montevideo (22-5) - a 66-47 winner over Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial - in a rematch of last year's Sub-Section 3AA-North title game Saturday afternoon at 12:30 on the campus of SMSU in Marshall.
In last year's Sub-Section title game, the Cardinals trailed by 13 in the second half but would battle back to win 62-60 on a last second three-pointer by standout Mike Busack. From there, the Cardinals would ride that momentum all the way to the Class AA State semifinals where they fell in four overtimes to Rochester Lourdes.
This season the Cardinals met up with Montevideo in mid-January, winning 60-54 on its home floor as Busack scored 32 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. The Thunderhawks will be a tough out, sporting a roster that includes nine seniors led by guards Brett Bergeson, Kyle TeBeest and Phillip Ward and forwards Colton Vien, Jake Douglas and Brett Erickson.
Trailing 5-2 early on, the Cardinals road the shoulders of senior standout Busack to take back the momentum.
Busack buried a pair of three’s and senior Beau Stough had a big put back off of a missed free throw as the Cardinals would claim an 18-5 advantage.
The Warriors (14-11) would score four straight to cut the lead back to nine but Steven Runkel came off the bench to knock down a pair of three’s and Busack would rock the gym with a thunderous one-handed jam as Redwood Valley took a 34-18 lead into the break.
Alec Koster bombed a three-pointer to start the second half and give the Cards what looked like a comfortable 19-point lead at 37-18.
BOLD senior Kyle Athmann single-handedly tried to keep the Warriors within reach as his three-point shooting helped cut the deficit to 45-37 with under nine minutes to go.
Busack was just too much however as he would convert a three-point play and knocked down a jumper in the lane to increase the lead back to 50-37.
Stough’s two free throws and a driving lay-in by Koster would essentially put the game away as the Cards led 56-38 with under four minutes to go.
Busack would finish with 30 points, 12 rebounds, three steals and two assists.
Koster added 10 points, seven assists and two steals and Runkel had eight points and three rebounds.
Stough finished with six points and 11 big rebounds and Adam Hengel added four points.
Athmann knocked down five three’s and would finish with 23 points and six rebounds.
Zach Remillard chipped in with six points and Jake Marcus added five.
Section 3AA-North Semifinals
Redwood Valley 58
Cardinal scoring - Busack 30, Koster 10, Runkel 8, Stough 6, Hengel 4
Warrior scoring - Athmann 23, Remillard 6, Marcus 5, Schulte 4, Rock 2, Slagter 2