Greyhounds upset BOLD in OT
ST. PETER — After a lights-out shooting display from Ethan Kirchberg and solid defense down the stretch from Jon Zinniel on Thursday night, No. 4-seeded New Ulm Cathedral picked up a big 73-70 overtime win over No. 1-seeded BOLD in a Section 2A, North Subsection semifinal boys’ basketball game at St. Peter High School.
The win moves the Greyhounds on to the North Subsection finals for an 8 p.m. Monday-night meeting with No. 2-seeded Minnesota Valley Lutheran at Gustavus Adolphus College.
It may not be fair to call it an upset, but considering Cathedral was seeded and also ranked below BOLD in Class A, the Greyhounds definitely turned some heads on Thursday night. Cathedral lost to BOLD last season in the playoffs almost exactly a year ago and also dropped a game at home to the Warriors this year.
Thursday night, however, was Cathedral’s night.
“It just comes down to hard work, and not just in this game but the whole year,” Zinniel said. “It starts the game after we lost to them last year, we just worked hard and just kept going. It was tough, and even going into overtime, we just kept going.”
After BOLD tied it up late in the second half at 64 on a bucket inside by Mathew Moorse, neither team was able to get a final shot to drop, forcing overtime.
Chris Knowles added the first bucket in overtime for a 66-64 Greyhounds lead, but BOLD forward Carter Henry converted on an and-one at the other end to put BOLD back in front by 1. Henry also scored his 1,000th career point in the first half.
Kirchberg then sank a 3 to put Cathedral back in front, 69-67, a lead which the Greyhounds didn’t relinquish the rest of the way. It certainly wasn’t easy from there out for Cathedral, but Zinniel made big plays on defense in the closing minutes, including getting a steal for a driving bucket inside to lead 71-68 and blocking a 3-pointer with less than a minute left in OT.
Knowles came down with the rebound on that blocked shot by Zinniel and sank a pair of free throws, but the Greyhounds struggled from the foul line after that, missing six free throws from there on out. Fortunately for the Greyhounds, a deep 3 from Jordan Sagedahl didn’t drop as time expired, sending Cathedral on to the next round.
Kirchberg ended the night with 26 points, four assists and three steals, while Zinniel had 18 points, six rebounds, three blocks and two steals. Also for the Greyhounds, Alex Hillesheim scored 15 points, while Knowles added 10 points.
“Very hard-fought win, BOLD is a very good team, but we just grinded it out,” Kirchberg said. “We just got rebounds when we needed to, made shots when we needed to and it was just a really hard-fought win.”
Kirchberg has been one of the top 3-point shooters in the Tomahawk Conference this season, and he further backed that up on Thursday after knocking down seven 3-pointers. He wasn’t interested in taking too much credit after the game, though.
“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to my teammates because I just take the open shots and hope to make them,” Kirchberg said. “Most of the credit’s got to go to my teammates.”
With both teams trading buckets early on in the first half, the Greyhounds got a 3 each from Knowles and Hillesheim to take a 14-9 lead. Another Cathedral 3 later on, this time by Kirchberg, gave the Greyhounds their largest lead of the night, 25-17, with 6:51 left before halftime. But after a 9-0 run later in the half, the Warriors retook the lead, 32-29, after a 3 by Drew Sagedahl.
That 3 prompted a timeout by Greyhounds head coach Alan Woitas with 2:45 left before the break. Kirchberg knocked in another 3 out of the timeout to tie it, but BOLD ended the half up 35-32.
Cathedral looked strong again in the second half, getting a corner 3 from Kirchberg, a jumper in the paint from Zinniel and a steal and two-handed slam by Hillesheim for a 41-39 lead. Zinniel continued the run for the Greyhounds with a 3 for a 44-39 lead.
After BOLD retook the lead, 48-47, on a 3-pointer, the lead changed hands five more times after that before overtime.