Prep boys basketball: Mountain Iron-Buhl falls to Deer River in OT
The Warriors will face Cherry in the Section 7A championship game at 6 p.m. Friday at Romano Gym.
DULUTH — After trailing Deer River by 11 at halftime, Mountain Iron-Buhl’s Asher Zubich scored 13 second-half points to help the Rangers build an eight-point lead late in the Section 7A semifinal Wednesday at Romano Gym.
The Warriors would rally to tie the game in regulation and then outscore MIB 15-2 in the overtime period to take an 86-71 win and a spot in the Section 7A championship.
With his team down 45-34 at halftime, MIB coach Jeff Buffetta knew his team needed to come out with more energy if they wanted to be competitive in the second half.
“I challenged the guys at halftime to pick up their energy and play and I’m proud of them,” Buffetta said. “They responded and we played a great second half. We had a chance to close it out there and we missed a couple opportunities. When you get to overtime it’s usually whoever scores first gets the momentum and it’s such a swing. We have a great group of seniors here that gave it their all performing for the last four years and it’s a tough way to go out.”
Zubich finished with a team-high 17 points, with Nik Jesch adding 14 and Josh Holmes scoring 13.
Deer River’s Ethan Williams led all scorers with 29 points and Cale Jackson had 23. Jackson had 18 in the first half, but the MIB defense held him in check most of the second half. The Warriors hit 12 3-pointers against the Rangers, with Jackson hitting four.
“They’re a good shooting team and they always are,” Buffetta said. “We had to jump out on those a little bit harder than we did and get a hand in their face. I think we did that in the second half, rushed them and changed things a little bit.”
Deer River (25-4) will face Cherry in the Section 7A final at 6 p.m. Friday at Romano.
Mountain Iron-Buhl 34-37-2—73
Deer River 45-26-15—86
Mountain Iron-Buhl — Braylen Keith 4, Asher Zubich 17, Mason Clines 9, Rylen Niska 4, Josh Holmes 13, Nik Jesch 14, Chris King 7, MiCaden Clines 5. Totals 28 11-16 73.
3-point goals — Niska, Holmes 2, Jesch 2, MiCaden Clines.
Deer River — Cale Jackson 23, Caiden Schjenken 17, Ethan Williams 29, Kayden Gotchie 1, Rhett Mundt 4, Sam Rahier 12. Totals 28 18-21 86.
3-point goals — Jackson 4, Schjenken 3, Williams 2, Sam Rahier 3.