STATE BASKETBALL: In three OTs, Fond du Lac finds a way
MINNEAPOLIS — As fast as the Fond du Lac Ojibwe boys basketball team runs up and down the court, even Davonte Williamson was tired after today’s game.
Williamson scored a team-leading 23 points to pace the Ogichidaa to an unreal 85-82 triple-overtime win over Canby in a seemingly never-ending Class A quarterfinal for the ages at the University of Minnesota’s Williams Arena in Minneapolis, Minn.
The 6-foot-2 junior forward, played all 48 minutes and could barely speak to media outside the locker room after the most-tiring game of his young life.
“I need rest,” he said about 30 minutes afterward, still worn-out and holding an empty water cup in his hand.
Up 36-29 at halftime, fifth-seeded FDL — playing in their tiny tribal school’s first-ever state tournament in any sport — handed over a once 17-point lead, when the No. 4 Lancers leapt on a 19-2 run, including 15 consecutive points in five minutes, to tie things at 58-58.
From there, an epic back-and-forth battle began. The game remained tied through the first and second overtime periods, until the Ogichidaa outlasted Canby in the third, sparked by a 6-0 spurt on three straight buckets from Williamson, Bruce Martineau and Jordan Diver.
When senior guard Michael Slaba, who scored a game-high 35 points for the Lancers (25-5), missed his halfcourt desperation heave, the game finally finished.
“What’d we play for, two hours?” FDL Coach Earl Otis said outside the locker room. “I’m lost for words.”
Diver collected 19 points, while both Trevontae Brown and Dexter Delille — each who fouled out in the second half — scored 15 and 13 points, respectively.
The Ogichidaa (24-3), the state’s highest-scoring team, now advances to Friday’s noon semifinal with No. 1 Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (29-1) at the Target Center.
“It’ll be tough,” said Canby Coach Jon Hanson of FDL’s chances, “I hope they still have something left.”
Including Williamson, who added 20 rebounds to his point sum, and played all three overtimes with four fouls.
“He put everything on the line for us,” Otis said.
“He’s like my brother,” added Diver of his teammate. “He wasn’t leaving that court — he played his heart out.”
Class A quarterfinals:
Fond du Lac Ojibwe 36 – 31 – 6 – 2 – 10 — 85
Canby 29 – 38 – 6 – 2 – 7 — 82
Fond du Lac Ojibwe — Davonte Williamson 23, Jordan Diver 19, Trevontae Brown 15, Dexter Delille 13, Cameron Thompson 7, Bruce Martineau 6, Devyn Dupuis 2. Totals 36 4-14 85.
3-point goals — Diver 3, Brown 3, Williamson, Delille, Thompson.
Canby — Michael Slaba 35, Josh Gallegos 21, Kristian Leppke 15, Nick Prokop 8, Nathan Cooper 3. Totals 26 25-34 82.
3-point goals —Slaba 4, Leppke.