Nicollet boys eke out win in OT

Raiders take down Greyhounds 90-85

Staff photo by Steve Muscatello New Ulm Cathedral’s Jon Zinniel (32) blocks Riley Hulke’s shot during the second half Wednesday at Nicollet High School. For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com

NICOLLET — Ean Thomsen scored 35 points, Riley Hulke added 17 points and 16 assists and Nicollet snuck past New Ulm Cathedral on Wednesday in overtime boys’ basketball action 90-85.

Thomsen also added seven rebounds and seven assists for the Raiders (5-4), while Dustin Bode had 14 points and seven rebounds. Josh Chadderdon and Anthony Macias added 14 and 10 points for Nicollet respectively.

Cathedral (5-4) was led by Alex Hillesheim, who scored 21 points and Nathan Hauser, who had 17 points. Also for the Greyhounds, Jon Zinniel had 16 points and Jacob Manderfeld added 13 points.

With a game full of lead changes, it was only fitting for things to be settled in overtime. Nicollet coach Chris Hulke was happy to be on the good side of an overtime finish this time.

“It’s a huge win for our program,” coach Hulke said. “I’ve been here four years, and we kind of talked about before here being our peak year, so to speak. I’m so proud of our kids. They play hard, they give me everything they have every single day in practice. We’re just an intense bunch, and we get along pretty good. And in the past, we’ve always lost a game like this, so it’s nice to see the tide turn a little bit.”

With Cathedral ahead 75-70 late in the game, Thomsen stole the ball and converted on a layup with 1:23 left in regulation. Thomsen then stole the ball again on a pass after Nicollet began to press, and Hulke dropped in a 3 to tie things up at 75-75.

Hillesheim put the Greyhounds ahead by 2 shortly after, but Thomsen put a basket in inside to tie the game again with 20.2 seconds to play in regulation. With neither team able to get another quality shot off late in the game, things went into overtime.

A Manderfeld bucket inside gave the Greyhounds a brief 81-79 lead in overtime, but Thomsen put the Raiders back up by 1 shortly after on a 3. With Nicollet ahead 84-83, Cathedral began to press.

The Raiders broke the press, though, and Thomsen found Chadderdon open for an inside bucket and an 86-83 lead. The Raiders were then able to hold off the Greyhounds, adding a pair of free throws and a layup by Thomsen to escape with the win.

The Raiders did start out strong with a 7-3 lead after a 6-0 run to prompt a Cathedral timeout. But the Greyhounds came back and took a 14-13 lead after a 3-pointer by Manderfeld.

A corner 3 by Zinniel put Cathedral up 26-19 with less than eight minutes left in the first half. The Greyhounds sank three more 3s after that to lead 43-36 at the half.

After a 3 gave Cathedral a 48-40 lead in the second half, Nicollet had a surge of energy and went on a 13-0 run that was started on a 3 by Thomsen and finished on a layup by Macias. A 3 by David Berg and a Hauser bucket inside stopped the run and tied things up at 53-53.

Neither team was able to grow a lead larger than 4 after that until overtime, where Nicollet took the 5-point win.

Coach Hulke also said that he felt that Thomsen was becoming one of the better players in the area and that he showed why during the game.

Both teams continue in the Nicollet Holiday Tournament on Thursday.

Cathedral plays at 1 p.m. against Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton, while Nicollet plays Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart at 7 p.m.

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