Royals Force OT Come up Short

Royals Force OT Come up Short

Article by Chris Harris, Devils Lake Journal Sports, February 15th, 2019\

Lake Region State College pulled a miracle out of its hat in regulation. But came up empty when it dug into it a second time.

A LaMarr Wood basket as the horn sounded forced five extra minutes, but in the end, United Tribes Technical College came away with the 87-84 victory over the Royals in overtime Thursday night from the Sports Center and in doing so, the Thunderbirds completed the season sweep of the Royals.

"It was a tough one," said Royals head coach Jared Marshall. "We had it, pushed it and then they kinda came back and we made a great play at the end of regulation. I really thought once we forced overtime, we had it. I really did."

The Royals, who trailed by 12 with 15 minutes remaining, clawed their way back and took over the lead by four after a Jordan Lynn free throw with 8:54 left on the clock. However after Benjamin Thompson completed the 3-point play, the Thunderbirds led again 59-58 with 7:29 remaining. The Thunderbirds maintained the advantage until the final second.

Down two with 7.3 seconds left, Jayden Komrosky stole a long inbound pass by United Tribes, and after a basketball equivalent of a scramble drill, the ball found Wood who powered his way up for the layup as the buzzer sounded sending the game into overtime. The inbound Thunderbird turnover and tying score was set up by TJ Mickelson 3 a possession earlier.

In overtime, the Royals (18-10, 6-5 MonDak) never trailed by larger than four and another Mickelson 3-pointer cut Lake Region State's deficit to one at 85-84 with 28.1 seconds left in the overtime. But Dayson Kohlus made two free throws that gave the Thunderbirds a three point cushion. Two 3-point attempts by both Mickelson and Akeen Woods were missed ending the ballgame.

"They made some big shots, they made some big plays so hats off to them," Marshall said. "It was little mental mistakes at the end. We get a stop and then we'll turn it over or we're close to getting a stop and we fall asleep.

"It just one possession here or one possession there sort of thing."

Woods, who started in place of Lynn, scored 19 points on 7 of 11 from the field, five rebounds and three assists. Zac Olson also had 19 points and Wood finished with a double-double, 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Royals who have now dropped three straight.

"I'm at a loss, I'm disappointed for them. At the end of the day, it's on me for us not getting it done. We had every right to win that game."

The Thunderbirds were led by four-time MonDak Player of the Week Rob McClain, Jr. who finished with 28 points, all but four coming in the second half, 13 rebounds and eight assists and Chayton York who scored 18 points and had five assists.

United Tribes Technical College improved to 14-13 overall, 4-7 in conference and ended a four game losing streak.