Golden Plains boys pull off comeback victory
By CONOR NICHOLL
WINONA -- The Rexford-Golden Plains High School boys' basketball team trailed Triplains-Brewster by 10 entering the fourth quarter. Yet the Bulldogs, paced by a trapping defense, delivered a remarkable comeback. Golden Plains held Triplans-Brewster scoreless in the quarter on 0 of 9 shooting, 0 of 1 from the free throw line and forced eight turnovers.
The Bulldogs tied the game with 27 seconds left on a trey from senior Grant Spresser. In the final seconds, Triplains-Brewster senior Nathan Jorgensen missed a runner in the lane.
The ball bounced loose and Golden Plains senior Shane Ryburn grabbed it and dribbled down the court, just ahead of the Titans. Ryburn, who had a game-high 18 points, laid the ball in just before the buzzer for a 41-39 victory.
"That's as well as we have played together this year so far," Golden Plains coach Mike Doll said. "We played together -- more so than on the offensive end playing together, we played together on the defensive end together more.
"The way that we played with the traps, all five guys have to do their jobs for that defense to work," he added. "If we didn't, then we would give up backside rebounds or open shots."
Golden Plains moved to 2-4, while Triplains-Brewster dropped to 4-3. Doll, in his second year with Golden Plains, had coached the current Triplains-Brewster varsity in junior high.
"Kind of hard to seal a game when you can't score in the fourth quarter," Triplains-Brewster coach Michael Collett said. "It was a little disappointing, but I know the coach, he will keep his guys fighting through the end. They came and had more intensity in the fourth quarter."
Golden Plains usually doesn't run the trap so frequently, but thought it could get Triplains-Brewster in the corners -- and it did. The Bulldogs stayed with the trap virtually all second half. Junior C.J Felzien paced the Titans with 12 points, but took just one shot in the final quarter.
Golden Plains, which had just one turnover in the fourth quarter, forced four turnovers in the first 2 minutes, 55 seconds of the quarter to quickly pull within five.
"It takes all five of those boys out there knowing what they are doing," Doll said. "Basically working their tails off to get into those positions and get those tips and steals."
Spresser tied the game with a trey from the right wing. He and his sister, senior Hailee Spresser, had endured difficult circumstances this week. Their grandfather passed away, and the funeral was Friday. Hailee collected eight points and 11 rebounds in the girls' game. Grant Spresser finished with nine points.
"Him and Hailee came out and played very well with all that going on," Doll said. "I am very proud of both of them for that."
Senior Tristan Schwarz also scored nine points in what Doll called his best game this season. Senior Zach Spresser also played solidly in the big win.
"We teach our guys never to quit whether we are up by 20, down by 20, score is tied," Doll said. "We have just got to play 32 minutes and really, this is the first time all year we have played those 32 minutes."