LaBrae has South Range’s number again
Tennant comes up
big in OT for Vikes
By John Bassetti
Benton Tennant had just seven points, but five came in overtime to lift unbeaten LaBrae over previously unbeaten South Range, 52-48, in a non-league game Friday night.
For a third straight season, LaBrae topped South Range in a close contest.
Following a 41-41 regulation score, Tennant, a 5-9 junior, hit a 3-pointer to start the four-minute overtime, then added two free throws with 2.9 seconds remaining for the final result.
Coach Chad Kiser said it’ll make his Vikings (10-0) a better team and John Cullen said that it revealed the heart within his Raiders (12-1).
LaBrae led 22-9 and 23-10 before South Range’s 18-point fourth quarter forced overtime.
Logan Kiser had a game-high 19 points for the winners while South Range got 17 points from Mike Cunningham and 10 from Jaxon Anderson.
Chad Kiser said that the departure of South Range’s Brady White prior to overtime helped big-time. Getting White to foul out and LaBrae’s offensive rebounds were key for the Vikings.
“It definitely helped,” Kiser said of White’s exit near the end of regulation when he climbed over Logan Kiser’s back. “I thought that we got both of their bigs in foul trouble in the first half,” the Vikings coach said. “But there were a lot of fouls called off the bat on both teams and it kind of hindered both starting lineups. We had some starters sitting and so did they.
“We were trying to draw that foul for quite a while and I know they were trying to do the same to Tyler [Stephens] inside,” coach Kiser said of eventual attempts to tag White with his fifth foul and the 6-5 Stephens’ good fortune in not drawing his fifth foul. The 6-4 White incurred his third and fourth fouls within 25 seconds of each other in the third quarter.
Despite Aaron Iler scoring 12 points, Kiser felt that South Range’s defense kept the quickness and aggressiveness of the Raiders’ 6-2 guard below his 16-point average and forced his Vikings to be tentative offensively. However, Logan Kiser stepped up to provide the offensive punch.
Coach Kiser said that his son was drained from the flu at school on Friday.
“He took two IV bags [after school] to keep him hydrated. We tried to give him a little break as much as we could in the first half, because a lot of our offense goes through him.”
An uncharacteristic zone trap defense by LaBrae had an effect on the outcome.
“We haven’t played zone all year until tonight, but I thought it gave us a chance to stay out of foul trouble once we got in there because we wanted to try to pressure them and wear them down. We tried zone to see what it would look like and we did a good job of not standing in it. We had a couple [South Range] shooters we wanted to take away and really close out on, but we lost them a couple times during that stretch when they came back,” Kiser said of LaBrae’s 13-point lead vanishing.
South Range coach John Cullen agreed that White’s loss was devastating.
“You can’t make that foul,” Cullen said of White’s final foul. “He does an awful lot for us and causes commotion, but they [LaBrae] kicked us and punched us in the mouth in the first quarter, but it was pretty tight the rest of the game. Defensively, we had them on their heels in the second half. Both teams had to impose their will on the other teams, but they did a little better job and made a big shot at the end,” Cullen said of Tennant’s 3-point goal in OT.
“It’s the best team we’ve played, but I’d sure like to play them again.”