VIDEO: Guard depth leads Spring Valley to victory
ELLSWORTH -- It was like a heavyweight boxing match with whistles.
Junior Alex Motley hit a three-pointer to give Ellsworth a 55-52 lead with 2 minutes and 32 seconds to play in the second overtime. Junior Tyson Kado responded 13 seconds later to knot it up at 55.
The Panthers went ahead 59-56 after Logan Benson sunk a pair of free throws and then senior Sean Borgerding, who scored 13 points on a cold night shooting, made a 3-pointer to tie it with 16 seconds left.
After a timeout, Ellsworth advanced the ball into the frontcourt, Benson attacked the basket into a sea of Cardinals and attempted to pass but the ball was knocked loose. Cardinals guard Dylan Bosshart momentarily emerged with the ball and took two dribbles before Motley dispossessed him.
Loose ball, bodies everywhere.
Spring Valley senior Blake Klatt went to the free-throw line with 1.3 seconds remaining. He missed the first, made the second and Spring Valley defeated Ellsworth, 60-59, in nonconference prep boys basketball on Tuesday night.
“It really was like a heavyweight title fight,” Ellsworth head coach Tim Dahl said. “There were body blows and a lot of fouls.”
Said Spring Valley coach Rob Bosshart: “I feel for Ellsworth. They played really hard. So did we, though. It was just a really gritty game.”
Klatt finished 2-for-7 from the line and had 10 points.
Ellsworth, the longer, more athletic team, gave the Cardinals everything they could handle. The Panthers 1-3-1 zone defense proved to be a good test. Spring Valley was also challenged by the Ellsworth full-court defensive pressure in the first half.
Freshman point guard Aaron Borgerding and Bosshart, a sophomore, were not fazed by the challenge.
“Our main guards are young, but they don’t play like they’re young,” head coach Rob Bosshart said. “We’ve been leaning on them a lot this year and they’ve been up to it.”
Dylan Bosshart was key for the Cardinals down the stretch.
Bosshart benefited from a great passing play that zipped two passes by the Borgerding brothers through the zone to find him a wide open layup under the basket before the zone could rotate.
“We work on things like that in practice all the time,” Aaron Borgerding said. “We know our ball movement has to be quick to beat a zone like that.”
The young guards gave the Cardinals late leads. Bosshart gave the Cardinals the lead for the first time in the second half with 4:28 left. He gave them a 45-43 lead with 35 seconds remaining in regulation. Drake Flom responded for Ellsworth attacking the basket and drawing a foul with 14.7 seconds remaining. Flom, missed the free throw and the game went to overtime.
The Panthers went 16-for-28 from the free-throw line. Better than the Cardinals, who made 10 of 22, but something Dahl expects the team to improve on to win close games.
In the first overtime, Bosshart gave Spring Valley the lead with a free throw and then again with 2:19 to play in the period. He finished with 13 points.
The younger Borgerding, who finished with 10 points, made a floater in the lane in the midst of a broken play with 24 seconds left in the first overtime period to tie it at 50.
With senior guard Zach Boisen recovering from an illness, the Cardinals had to have great guard play. Missing Boisen also meant they had to go even deeper into their bench.
“Cody Anderson played really well tonight,” Rob Bosshart said. “When guys are out it gives different guys opportunities and what he was able to do tonight was huge.”
Anderson led a fast break and dished to Sean Borgerding to give Spring Valley a 52-50 lead at the beginning of the second overtime. His ability to handle and pass the ball helped the Cardinals spread out the Ellsworth defense.
“This win will stick out (in his memory),” said Anderson a senior. “Everybody kept pushing. We had to step up and keep pushing ourselves and we did. It shows a lot of maturity and team chemistry.”
“The kids were great playing against the different things they did to us,” Rob Bosshart said. “We have to have the confidence in our ball handlers as we go on in this season.”
The Cardinals hope the depth in their guard ranks helps them handle many challenges.
“This is beginning of something,” Aaron Borgerding said. “We have had a dream since the summer to go far this season and if we keep playing like this and keep building we’re going to do that.”