EL DORADO — When Kaleb Lemmons’ 3-point shot at the regulation buzzer went in for the St. Paul Indians to send the game into overtime, the Moundridge Wildcat boys could have tucked tail between legs and given up.
Instead, the Wildcats regrouped to claim a 62-57 win Friday night in the Class 1A sub-state semifinals at the Power Station on the Butler Community College campus.
Moundridge, 16-8, faces the winner of Caldwell and Madison-Hamilton at 5 p.m. today in the finals (note time change).
“We had a lot of kids step up tonight,” Moundridge coach Vance Unrau said. “Collin Kohl at the point ran the offense like a seasoned veteran tonight. He’s not normally a starter, but he was focused and knew what we wanted to run. Dillon (Vogts) gets a lot of attention, but these other guys came through. Jon Schlosser hasn’t played a lot of varsity all season, but he has really played well down the stretch for us. He has given us a toughness inside. He was strong under the basket. We rebounded well tonight. We knew that would be important for us.”
Vogts overcame a slow start to score 21 points to lead the Wildcats. Schlosser scored 13 points off the bench.
“I just had to keep taking my shot,” Vogt said. “You have runs like that. They were going to start to fall. I have confidence in my shot and I have confidence in my teammates.”
St. Paul, which ends the season 12-9, was led by Adam Albertine with 20 points. Easton Dent added 16 points.
The Wildcats have had some inconsistent streaks during the season as well as in the game.
“It all comes down to our start,” Vogt said. “We’ve had games where we’ve scored 30 in the first quarter and we’ve had games where we scored two. We just have to get out to a good start. We were able to rebound from the first quarter. We had a lot of guys stepping up.”
Moundridge got caught trading twos for threes early in the game, complicating things with turnovers late in the quarter. A Collin Carlson layup with two seconds left in the period put St. Paul us 18-10. The Indians hit four of six 3-pointers in the quarter — three by Albertine.
“(Albertine), on the scouting report, wasn’t on our radar and he had four 3-pointers in the first half,” Unrau said. “At some point, we knew Dillon was going to get on track. He did. The defense started coming through and getting good stops.”
St. Paul cooled off from the field in the second quarter and Moundridge was able to get layups in transition. The Wildcats pulled to within one on a Vogts trey with 2:04 left in the quarter. A Schossler layup with 23 seconds left in the period put Moundridge up 26-25 at the half.
“I’m surprised we got so many run outs,” Unrau said. “We got a number of easy baskets because we got the ball down so fast.”
St. Paul opened the third quarter with a 6-2 run as Moundridge missed its first seven shots from the field in the period.
Schlosser broke the run with a putback with 3:44 left in the quarter. Schlosser hit a layup with a minute left in the quarter to tie the game. Albertini hit a layup with 11 seconds left in the period, but Vogts hit two free throws with 1.4 seconds left to tie the game 35-35.
Moundridge opened the fourth quarter with one of two Collin Kohl free throws. St. Paul then ran off five straight points. A Kohl 3-pointer put Moundridge up by one with 4:20 in regulation, but the Indians replied with one of two Lemmons free throws and a Lemmons trey on the rebound.
Back-to-back treys for Remington Creed and Vogt put Moundridge up by three. Creed hit two free throws with 25 seconds left to keep Moundridge up by three.
St. Paul missed one 3-point attempt, but got the rebounds. Lemmons hit a shot that hit both sides of the rim as the buzzer went off.
The Wildcats opened overtime with a 6-2 run. After a Dent layup, Helms hit one of two free throws with 48.3 seconds to keep Moundridge up by three. The Indians then missed a 3-point attempt with Moundridge getting the dead ball rebound. A long inbounds pass led to a Vogts layup, clinching the win.
“The guys will be ready for tomorrow,” Unrau said. “Caldwell is a really solid team. We’ll have to be ready to play.”