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Fond du Lac HS's Trevontae Brown shoots a three-pointer after returning to the Class A semifinal game from injury. Dave Harwig/viewthroughmylens.net

STATE BASKETBALL: Jaguars just too much for Fond du Lac

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MINNEAPOLIS — Fond du Lac Ojibwe’s Trevontae Brown may have missed his last shot during the Class A state boys basketball semifinal against Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, but the lone senior wasn’t about to miss a chance to try.

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      Brown, who suffered a deep cut above his right eye when receiving an accidental headbutt with 11:38 remaining, scored 12 points but it wasn’t nearly enough for the fifth-seed Ogichidaa to outlast the state’s top-ranked and top-seed Jaguars Friday at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn.

      “I knew getting stitches would take too long,” said Brown afterward, wearing a large bandage to stop the once visible bleeding. “I just wanted to play. I love the game.”

      In a game that FDL — playing in their tiny tribal school’s first-ever state tournament in any sport — never led, the Ogichidaa came closest when tying it 12-12 on Brown’s rare 4-point play, just moments after he tossed a crowd-arousing alley-oop to teammate Davonte Williamson.

      Down 45-32 at halftime, FDL (24-4) fired in the first six points of the second to close within seven, but BBE (30-1) became too much to handle for fast-paced FDL’s 10-man roster, which noticeably looked beaten and worn from Thursday’s thrilling 85-82 triple-overtime win over Canby.

      “I’m proud of all of these boys,” said Ogichidaa Coach Earl Otis afterward. “They stuck it all out on the line.”

      Junior Dexter Delille — who like Brown, scored 12 points to follow Williamson’s team-high 18 Friday — walked slowly out of the locker room, clearly exhausted.

      “We have 10 people — but we all played hard to the buzzer,” Delille said. “We did everything that we could.”

      The Jaguars — led by Brian Goodwin’s game-high 25 points and 21 via Billy Borgerding — could seek a second state title Saturday, facing No. 2 Rushford-Peterson (31-1).

      Meanwhile, with their bandwagon of fans in full support, the entertaining Ogichidaa will play in Saturday morning’s 10 a.m. third-place game against No. 3 Maranatha Christian Academy (26-4) scheduled at Concordia University-St. Paul.

      For Brown, who returned with 6:04 remaining Friday, Saturday will be the final high school game of his six-year prep career.

      “We want the best trophy we can, for him,” Delille said.

      “It shows you what kind of competitor — what kind of kid — he is,” BBE Coach Dave Montbriand said of Brown.

      “He didn’t want stitches, so he went for the butterflies,” teammate Bruce Martineau said. “He wanted to come back.”

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