Prep boys basketball: 'Mighty Quinn' leads Esko to victory
Quinn Fischer is too young to know the late-1960s’ Bob Dylan-penned “The Mighty Quinn” as sung by Manfred Mann.
But it almost seems the lyrics were written about the Esko senior guard, who shined in the Eskomos’ 62-44 win over Proctor in a Section 7AA high school boys basketball semifinal Tuesday night at Romano Gym.
Everybody's in despair, every girl and boy
But when Quinn the Eskimo gets here, everybody's gonna jump for joy
There was plenty of jumping for joy in the Esko rooting section Tuesday as Fischer scored 22 points to lead the Eskomos (25-4) into the section final Friday night against Virginia (24-5), a 60-43 winner over Barnum in the first semifinal.
Senior Adam Trapp also had 22 points — all from with a 3-foot radius. The 7-foot-3 center draws plenty of defenders in the paint so the Eskomos need production from elsewhere.
On Tuesday, it was Fischer’s turn.
“Quinn has always been a very solid player, but he’s stepped it up in the playoffs,” Trapp said. “He stepped up his intensity and started scoring a lot more points and taking on a leadership role.
“And that’s what we really need because a lot of teams are going to focus on me. And that’s good, put three guys one me because two of my teammates are going to be open.”
Trapp scored eight of Esko’s first 10 points and had 16 as the Eskomos took a 30-22 lead into the locker room at halftime.
But it was Fischer who turned up the intensity in the second half as he scored 11 points in the first 10 minutes, surpassing 1,000 career points and helping push the Eskomos to a 46-34 lead over the Rails (19-10). The margin was never less than 10 the rest of the way.
“They would collapse (on Trapp) and he’d find a way to put it in even with two or three guys on him,” Fischer said. “But when they collapse, we’re open for some easy buckets.”
Trapp missed five games at the end of the regular season and the beginning of the playoffs with a deep bone bruise. Plus, he’s been suffering flu-like symptoms the past 48 hours.
“I should be better now,” he said after the game. “I haven’t thrown up for at least an hour and a half.”
Fischer generated several of his points by getting his defender out of position and driving the lane for a basket or forcing a foul.
“I’ve been working on driving more and creating my own shots with Adam out,” Fischer said.
Esko coach Mike Devney has noticed the play of the 6-5 Fischer.
“He’s had a great year, especially the last half of the season. He’s been a stud. He takes some of that pressure off Adam,” said Devney, who is coaching his final season at Esko. “He’s one of the best finishers when he gets to the rim that I’ve ever had, probably pushing Gavin Erickson as the best I’ve ever had.”Virginia 60, Barnum 43
Bryce Kennedy scored 19 points and the Blue Devils rolled in the second half in the other 7AA semifinal at Romano Gym.
Virginia outscored Barnum 33-20 in the second half.
Jayden Bernard added 14 points and Ethan Youso tallied 13 for the Blue Devils (24-5).
Drake Weets led the Bombers (20-8) with 17 points.Section 7AA SemifinalsBarnum 23-20—43Virginia 27-33—60
Barnum — Kyle Kielty 2, Drake Weets 17, Tyler Nynas 9, Braeden Hlavka 2, Sam Goodwin 3, Alex Wheeler 3, Saul Myhre 3, Blaze Hust 4. Totals 13 11-17 43.
3-point goals — Weets 4, Wheeler, Myhre.
Virginia — Nate Fink 9, Jayden Bernard 14, Tyler Herberg 1, Ethan Youso 13, Jack Perala 4, Bryce Kennedy 19. Totals 26 5-12 60.
3-point goals — Bernard, Fink, Youso.Proctor 22-22—44Esko 30-32—62
Proctor — Brett Bower 3, Dylan Hom 4, Carter DuMars 3, Cody Hampton 6, John Pioro 22, Brody Eldien 6. Totals 13 7-9 44.
3-point goals — Pioro 3, Bower, DuMars.
Esko — Quinn Fischer 22, Ryan Pantsar 5, Trevor Spindler 13, Adam Trapp 22. Totals 18 25-31 62.
3-point goal — Pantsar.