Carpenter sparks North Border to title in OT
-Greg DeVillers Grand Forks Herald
Tanner Carpenter has never been so happy about a missed free throw.
The North Border junior, after making the front end of a bonus, missed his second free throw with 10 seconds left in regulation. But he controlled the long rebound off his own miss in the lane, was fouled and hit two more free throws with seven seconds remaining. That tied the score at 44, forcing overtime.
North Border went on to defeat Midway-Minto 58-56 in the championship of the North Dakota Class B Region 2 boys high school basketball tournament in the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center on Thursday night.
The way things turned out, "That was a good feeling," Carpenter said about the miss.
"I honestly wanted to make that second shot. I was a little long on it. Our big guys did a great job of getting their hands on the basketball, tipping it back to me. Then I knew I just had to focus and do what I'd been doing."
Dustyn Chale's offensive-rebound putback gave North Border a lead at 46-44 to start overtime its first lead since going up 11-10 early in the second quarter. The Mustangs' Curt Enger answered with a basket.
Then Carpenter, who had eight of his game-high 27 points in overtime, rattled off five points in 31 seconds. He banked in a short jump shot from the left side, was fouled and hit the free throw. After a Midway-Minto turnover, Carpenter banked in a 12-footer from the right wing for a 51-46 lead with 2:01 left.
"Tanner's a big-time player," Eagles coach Cooter Symington said. "He wants the ball in his hands in those situations."
Midway-Minto got within two points three times thereafter, at 54-52 when Ryan Ulland banked in a trey with 1:14 left, at 56-54 on an Enger basket with 37 seconds left and on a Jake Zikmund basket with five seconds left.
Stephen Mondry led Midway-Minto with 16 points, all in the first half, to spark the Mustangs to a 27-21 halftime lead. Enger added 13 points and Zikmund came up big off the bench, scoring 12, including eight in a 9-4 run that gave the Mustangs a 38-33 lead with 2:35 left in regulation.
"Jake kept us in the game," Mustangs coach Shane Robinson said. "But we didn't go to the basket (late in the fourth quarter) like we had been. We got tentative. That hurt us."
A Paul Meyer basket underneath and a Nick Chaput 3-pointer got the Eagles' offense going, tying the score at 38 with 1:42 left in the fourth quarter. North Border had only 29 points with four minutes left in regulation; the Eagles matched that total in the game's final eight minutes.
"Our offense was unbelievable down the stretch," Symington said. "We made better decisions. And we hit some huge shots. That was the big thing."
North Border, the region runner-up each of the past two seasons, takes a 20-5 record against Region 5 champion Shiloh Christian in the state tournament quarterfinals at 6:30 p.m. on March 15 in Bismarck. Midway-Minto finished with a 21-4 record.
Midway-Minto - 8 19 5 12 12 56
North Border 8 13 8 15 14 58
North Border - Tanner Carpenter 27, Michael Mathison 9, Mike Smith 3, Nick Chaput 5, Dustyn Chale 6, Paul Meyer 6, Daniel Gunderson 2
Midway-Minto - Stephen Mondry 16, Curt Enger 13, Jake Zikmund 12, Russell Schanilec 5, Jacob Narloch 6, Ryan Ulland 3, Justin Mozinski 1