Linton-HMB downs Strasburg-Zeeland for third place in Region 3 Tournament
Linton-HMB salvaged third place in the Region 3 Tournament by downing Strasburg-Zeeland, 54-46, in Jamestown on Feb. 28. The Lions finished the season with an 18-6 record, while Strasburg-Zeeland ended the season with a 20-4 mark. It was the fourth meeting of the season between the county rivals, with each team winning twice.
Strasburg-Zeeland’s only lead of the first half came at 3-2 after Darek Keller dropped in a three-pointer at the 5:10 mark of the opening period. Linton-HMB went on a 12-4 run after that, and Tyler Humann’s three-pointer extended the Lion’s lead to 14-7 with 1:23 left in the period, but Keller answered with another triple, and Cole Nieuwsma added a late basket for Strasburg-Zeeland to cut the lead to 14-12 at the end of the period.
Turnovers plagued Strasburg-Zeeland in the second quarter, and the Clippers scored just 2 points over the first 5:58 of the period. Meanwhile, Linton-HMB opened the period with an 8-2 run, and Travis Baumiller’s free throw gave the Lions their biggest lead (22-14) of the half with 2:22 left in the frame. However, Mason Kramer converted a threepoint play with just over 2:00 left to start a 10-4 run by Strasburg-Zeeland, and Scotti Scherr’s three-pointer in the closing seconds of the frame cut the lead to 26-24 at the break.
Both teams hit 9 field goals with 3 three-pointers in the first half, but Linton-HMB hit 5 of 8 free throws, while Strasburg-Zeeland went 3 for 3 from the line in the half. Both teams collected 16 rebounds and committed 7 turnovers apiece in the half. Ryan Schneider scored 10 points for Linton-HMB to lead all scorers in the first half.
A pair of baskets by Jon Stabler on consecutive trips to start the second half gave Strasburg-Zeeland a 28-26 lead, but that would be the final lead of the night for the Clippers, who misfired on their next 11 field goal attempts. Baskets by Mason Ryckman and Schneider put Linton-HMB back on top for good, and after Cole Nieuwsma hit a free throw for Strasburg-Zeeland, Tyler Humann knocked down a three-pointer, and added a basket off a steal to give the Lions a 35-29 advantage.
The game was delayed midway through the third quarter so medical personnel could tend to Strasburg- Zeeland’s Darek Keller, who suffered from breathing complications due to a chest injury he suffered last summer. Keller was taken by ambulance and accompanied by Clipper Head Coach Brent Kleinsasser to a Jamestown hospital, where he was treated and released.
When play resumed, Ryckman hit a jumper to cap an 11-1 run, which extended Linton-HMB’s lead to 37-29 with 3:41 left, but the Lions went scoreless over the rest of the period, and Kramer hit a three-pointer in the waning seconds of the frame to cut the lead to 37-32 with one quarter left. A free throw by Cole Nieuwsma cut the margin to 37-33, but that would be as close as the Clippers would get the rest of the way.
Linton-HMB built an 8-point (45-37) lead on Schneider’s jumper with 4:15 left, but Strasburg-Zeeland stayed close, and Kramer’s basket trimmed the deficit in half (47-43) with 2:00 left. However, Ryckman put in a jumper off an offensive rebound by Schneider on the Lion’s next trip, and Linton-HMB followed a pair of Clipper misfires by hitting 3 of 4 free throws to make it a 3-possession (52- 43) lead with :41 left. Brody Nieuwsma answered with a three-pointer on the other end, but Brooks Flyberg put in two free throws to seal up the victory with just :09 left.
Linton-HMB shot just 37 percent (18 of 49) from the field, including just 25 percent (4 of 16) from behind the arc, but the Lions sank 14 of 21 (67%) free throws, including 9 of 13 in the final period. Linton-HMB held a 38-35 advantage in rebounds, while committing 9 turnovers. Strasburg-Zeeland hit on just 18 of 51 (35%) field goals, including just 9 of 30 (30%) in the second half, and 5 of 23 (22%) on three-pointers. The Clippers made 5 of 7 free throws and turned the ball over a dozen times in the game.
Schneider finished with game-highs in points (16) and rebounds (12), and also picked up a pair of steals, while Humann hit a pair of 3-pointers and tallied 14 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and a game-high 4 steals for Linton-HMB. Flyberg netted 9 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists, Ryckman tallied 8 points and 6 rebounds, and Baumiller chipped in 4 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists for the Lions.
Kramer paced Strasburg- Zeeland with 10 points, while Scherr netted 9 points, and Cole Nieuwsma (7 rebounds), Keller and Kyle Nieuwsma (5 rebounds) scored 6 points each. Brody Nieuwsma added 5 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists, and Stabler scored 4 points and grabbed 7 rebounds for the Clippers.
Linton-HMB: Ryan Schneider 16, Tyler Humann 14, Brooks Flyberg 9, Mason Ryckman 8,Travis Baumiller 4, Andrew Small 3.
Strasburg-Zeeland: Mason Kramer 10, Scotti Scherr 9, Darek Keller 6, Kyle Nieuwsma 6, Cole Nieuwsma 6, Brody Nieuwsma 5, Jon Stabler 4.
3-Pointers: Linton-HMB (4-16): Humann 2, Baumiller 1, Small 1, Strasburg-Zeeland (5-23): Keller 2, Kramer 1, Scherr 1, B. Nieuwsma 1. Fouls: Fouled Out: None..