ARCADIA — First it was Tanner Jones from the left corner, so Dustin McDonald from the left wing and Will Reader from the right corner.
The Bangor High School boys basketball team had struggled across the arc in contempo games, but that wasn’t the case Th night at the Wanek Center.
The acme-seeded Cardinals shot well from 3-bespeak range — specially in the first one-half — as they built a sizeable atomic number 82 before fighting off a late surge to earn a 72-55 win over second-seeded Blair-Taylor in a WIAA Division 5 exclusive semifinal.
“To beat Blair-Taylor … get-go time since I’ve been the head passenger vehicle we’ve vanquish them twice in one year,” said Bangor coach Jacob Pederson, who came out of the locker room visibly moisture from a post-game celebration. “Then it feels pretty expert to get that opportunity and (to) get another shot on Saturday.”
The Cardinals (23-iv) will play Southwestern on Saturday in Prairie du Chien equally they look for their starting time state appearance since back-to-back trips in 2018 and 2019.
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“Nosotros’ve got to focus tomorrow in practise and become dorsum at it and get shots upward,” Jones said.
Jones, a junior baby-sit and the Scenic Bluffs Conference Player of the Twelvemonth, helped Bangor take control early afterwards the Wildcats (18-10) scored the game’s starting time three points.
After senior forward Gunner Ellenburg scored inside, Jones finished in transition as the Cardinals capitalized on a turnover. Jones then striking dorsum-to-back 3-pointers from the left corner against Blair-Taylor’south zone — the first of which swished straight through the net and the 2nd of which bounced favorably twice off the rim before going in.
“We hadn’t really shot the ball that well here as of late,” Pederson said. “So to come across it go through like that, that was big.”
Bangor’southward hot start forced the Wildcats out of their zone, just the Cardinals connected to hit from deep. Midway through the first half, McDonald hitting back-to-back triples every bit part of a 10-0 run that pushed Bangor’southward lead to 24-9.
“We were only playing together at that signal,” said McDonald, who finished with a team-loftier 23 points. “Nosotros were merely confident coming in, ready for information technology, so nosotros just let it fly at the get-go.”
Reader got in on the activity with a 3 from the right corner, which put the Cardinals in front 29-14 with five minutes, xxx seconds left in the first half. And after Blair-Taylor pulled within 36-24 at the interruption, Reader opened the second half with a 3 from the left corner.
Reader finished with 13 points, while Jones added 12 and Ellenburg had ix.
“They’re only so able-bodied and so aggressive that we simply had lilliputian problems with them,” Wildcats coach Randy Storlie said. “They’re a really expert brawl guild. They deserve to exist ranked sixth in the land.”
Just even after a 5-indicate spurt extended Bangor’s pb to 48-30 with 12:41 left, Blair-Taylor battled dorsum.
Junior Evan Nehring and seniors Kyle Obieglo and Cain Fremstad all made iii-pointers, while the Wildcats gained some momentum when McDonald was chosen for a technical foul. That served every bit the kickoff of a 12-4 run, which ended with a 3 from Obieglo and cut the Cardinals’ pb to 62-53 with two:xx to play.
Fremstad scored a game-high 28 points, and Obieglo added 11 points.
Blair-Taylor could have had the opportunity to pull within 7 points after Reader missed a well-contested layup the side by side trip downward the floor, but Ellenburg came down with an offensive rebound — one of many for Bangor on the night — and ultimately made a pair of free throws.
“We didn’t rebound the brawl very well at all, and they had a lot of second chances,” Storlie said. “Against a team like that, that just can’t happen.”
The Cardinals then refocused on defense and scored the adjacent half dozen points — capped by a dunk by senior Ashton Michek that put them upward seventy-53 with 35 seconds left — to seal the win.
“Nosotros knew they were all expert shooters coming in. We know they tin can shoot,” McDonald said. “We just said, ‘Stride upwardly on them, don’t let them get these open up looks.'”
Bangor at present turns its attending to Southwestern, which beat Potosi 59-55 on Th and holds a 20-vii record.
In Photos: Bangor vs. West Salem boys basketball game
Eric Lee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @ByEricLee