'Hounds' upset bid falters in overtime
SWEET SPRINGS -- Senior Caleb Dohrman accumulated over 1,500 points during his stellar career at Sweet Springs.
But it may be a shot he didn't make Saturday which lives longest in his memory. With 3.3 seconds left in the fourth quarter, the three-time all-I-70 Conference center missed the front end of a one-and-one opportunity from the free-throw line which would have broken a 58-58 tie.
The Greyhounds stumbled in overtime, losing a 67-62 decision to St. Paul in the first round of the Class 2, District 14 Tournament at Sweet Springs.
Certainly, Dohrman had much more to do with keeping sixth-seeded Sweet Springs in position to upset the Saints than with the team's ultimate failure to capitalize on that chance.
The 'Hounds, though, missed on 15 of 32 tries from the charity stripe during regulation -- any one of which could have won the game.
"We got to the line plenty," noted Sweet Springs head coach Tim Smith. "Our style of play got us to the line. We wanted to get them in foul trouble."
It nearly worked. After falling behind, 12-5, five minutes into the contest, the 'Hounds tore up St. Paul the rest of the half -- going to the charity stripe 23 times. Conventional three-point plays by juniors Derrick Krause and Tommy Summers and Dohrman -- twice -- ended fast breaks.
"That was one of the best we ran it all year," Smith said. "We got the ball out on the wings and pushed it up the court."
Senior Brian Beerman knocked down a three-pointer 35 seconds into the second quarter, but the Saints missed all 15 of their field-goal attempts -- including six from outside the arc -- the rest of the half and trailed by five points at the break.
Beerman -- an all-conference point guard from Marshall -- connected twice more from outside early in the third period, but Summers scored 11 points over a three-minute span to put Sweet Springs up, 48-39, with 2:40 left in the frame. Senior Ryan Maggert, after bricking his first eight bombs, found the range. Then the 'Hounds had a call go against them from which they wouldn't recover.
With junior point guard Andrew Schroeder already fouled out, junior Keith Dohrman -- after hitting a pair of jumpers during Sweet Springs' 15-5 third-quarter run -- was given a technical foul by referee Dan Page for lifting his elbow above the shoulder to try to shield a defender. Beerman hit both free throws and, more importantly, Dohrman was done for the day.
Still, Summers' fourth trey of the game kept the 'Hounds' lead at eight with 4:06 remaining in the game. They didn't connect again from the field during the period, committing two turnovers and malomg just four of seven from the stripe.
Over the last 1:39, Beerman struck from outside, Maggert made four straight freebies and freshman Doug Schneider -- a transfer from Sweet Springs -- converted Beerman's feed inside to tie the score with 23 seconds left.
The Greyhounds missed six straight shots to begin the extra frame, while St. Paul senior Aaron Marsh -- playing with four fouls the entire second half -- sank two charities and a high-post jumper. Marsh's outlet pass after Krause's blown layup allowed junior Joe Fabry to score in transition, the blow which put Sweet Springs away with a seven-point deficit and 39 seconds to go.
"They were more mentally drained than physically," Smith described his team's state when forced to play an unexpected overtime. "We hadn't been successful winning the close games this year."
Beerman finished with 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Saints (16-8) -- who committed just five turnovers. St. Paul goes on to face Slater in Tuesday's semifinal.
Summers had 26 points, Caleb Dohrman contributed 16 points and 13 rebounds, and junior Drew Gilmore collected 12 boards for the 'Hounds.
Although the ending came sooner than desired, Smith was pleased with the progress made by Sweet Springs (7-18) after losing three outstanding starters from last year's district finalists.
"They've made tremendous strides," he declared. "You take this game and compare it to our first three or four, and it's a night-and-day difference."