March 15, 2007 at 8:45 a.m.
Neither team was able to find the range early. Two minutes into a scoreless contest, Chisago Lakes head coach Herb Jangor sent a new quintet onto the floor. Senior Scott Leigh's slashing drive 10 seconds later earned a trip to the freethrow line. He went two-for-two to erase the home team's zero on the board.
Fridley didn't score until 13:43, when a three-pointer dropped through the net. Shortly after the Tigers took a 5-0 lead, Jangor signalled for a timeout. When play resumed, his starters were back on the floor.
At 10:55, senior Chris Golv launched a long one from the left wing. When it swished at 10:55, the score was knotted at five.
Thirty seconds later, Zach Sill got the ball near the baseline, just outside the paint on the left side. As the defense collapsed on him, he spotted Tyler Bouwens in the right corner. Bouwens passed to Brian Jennissen beyond the arc on the right side. Jennissen immediately got the ball inside to Josh Figini. Figini scored, was fouled and completed the three-point play to give the Wildcats an 8-5 lead.
The Jennissen to Figini connection worked again, 30 seconds later. Jennissen dribbled into the paint, went airborne and dished to Figini, who scored. That hoop completed an 8-0 Wildcat run and prompted Fridley coach Jim MacDonald to take a timeout with 9:51 to play. CL had a 10-5 lead.
The Tiger coach must have advised his players to shoot better. In the next four minutes, they ran off 13 unanswered points. They hit shots, including a trio of three-pointers, from all over the court. With 5:40 left in the half, the Tigers led 18-10.
The teams traded baskets as the clock ran down. The Wildcats scored on a drive by Figini, a three by Taylor Jones, a Figini freethrow and the first of three Tyler Bouwens triples before the break. When the buzzer sounded, Fridley held an eight-point, 27-19 lead.
The teams played even for most of the second half, with Fridley leading by six to eight points for much of the time. "This was one of those games where it just wasn't meant to be. For what ever reason, it just wasn't there last night," said Jangor. "It certainly wasn't for lack of effort. We had five or six shots that went in and out."
The Wildcats had trouble shooting the whole night. They connected on only 13 of 43 field goal attempts, including 9 of 28 from beyond the arc. CL even struggled from the charity stripe, going 8 for 18.
"The game showed the character of our kids," Jangor added. "With the way things went, we had no business even being in the game. But, they battled and battled. They never gave up."
The Wildcats hung around and, on the strength of two last-minute threes by Bouwens, forced the game into overtime. In the OT, the 'Cats had chances, but still couldn't get the ball to fall. The Tigers outscored the home team 12-6 to make the final score Fridley 67, Chisago Lakes 61.
Chisago Lakes 19 36 6 61
Fridley 27 28 12 67
Chisago Lakes Scoring
Chris Golv 9
Tyler Bouwens 10
Zach Sill 13
Josh Figini 16
Scott Leigh 2
Troy Aadland 2
Taylor Jones 9
"Give the kids a lot of credit. This group of seniors has a lot of character and has provided leadership all season. For all four years, they've served the program well. They're a great group," Jangor concluded.