Boys basketball: Princeton 61, Bureau Valley 60
PRINCETON — The polar vortex gave way to Prouty Pandemonium Friday night with the Princeton Tigers holding on for a 61-60 victory over Bureau Valley.
The Tigers used an 8-0 run to take a 42-35 lead at the end of the third quarter and hit 10-14 free throws in the fourth quarter to hold on to victory in front of a large Senior Night crowd at PHS’ Prouty Gym, both sides which were eager for some basketball after a lengthy delay due to the weather that brought record low temperatures.
“I thought we had great intensity overall and overall great game,” PHS coach Kevin Howard said. “Shot the ball well, hit free throws, 10 assists, nine steals, shot 60 percent. Guys contributed everywhere. Seniors all came to play.
“I thought we’d come out and play well defensively and thought we were going to take care of the ball. I just didn’t know how we were going to shoot the ball. And I didn’t know how our conditioning was going to be, and I thought it was OK.”
It was the Tigers’ second win of the season over the rival Storm, and their second sweep in the series in two years.
“It was pretty big for us,” PHS junior Branden Haring, who contributed seven of his night’s nine points when the Tigers needed them most in the fourth quarter.
Sophomore guard Jamie Reinhardt led all scorers with 20 points for PHS (7-11, 4-2). Teammate Koel Hjerstedt added 13 points before fouling out late, and Beck Robbins had 12.
BV senior Nate Paup led the Storm (13-8, 1-4) with 16 points with classmates Kale Barnett and Tyler Gustafson adding 14 and 12 points, respectively.
The Storm rallied in the fourth quarter, taking a 48-46 lead midway through on a 3-pointer and two free throws by Paup.
Branden Haring came up big for the Tigers, hitting what Howard called a clutch 3-pointer and a putback off a missed free throw before scoring on a drive to put PHS ahead 53-50 with 44 seconds left.
The left-handed dribbling Haring surveyed the scene before taking the drive strong to the basket on the right side.
“I got confidence in the end. Thought I could make the shot and took it and made it. It was big for us,” he said.
Reinhardt made it 55-50 with two free throws. Robbins added another pair of free throws with 19 seconds left to make it 57-53 after a 3-pointer by Gustafson.
Reinhardt, who was a perfect 8-8 from the charity stripe on the night, made four more throws in the final 8.6 seconds, and the Tigers needed every one of them as Barnett banked in a long 3-pointer at the final buzzer to make it a 1-point final.
It was another disappointing loss for the Storm, who have had their share of close calls this season.
“It’s our fifth loss by 1-2 points,” said Storm coach Jason Marquis, who second-guessed himself for not using all of his timeouts.
When asked if his kids showed any ill affects from the lengthy layoff, Marquis said, “When the horn sounded, it felt like basketball.”
“It was a good atmosphere,” Marquis added. “This is why the kids put in all the hard work to play in front of a crowd. These are the environments you look back on and appreciate.”
The Tigers scored the first seven points of the game to establish early control, leading 12-7 at the end of the first quarter.
A late 3-pointer by Reinhardt gave PHS a 25-22 lead at half.
• Notes: Princeton won the sophomore game. ... Both teams had games Tuesday canceled by the weather. PHS’ game with Hall will now be Saturday.