Faribault Begins Playoffs with Win On Blackout Night
The Faribault Falcons boys basketball team led nearly every tick of the clock Tuesday night in a 63-59 win over the Worthington Trojans. It was the start of the Section 2AAA Tournament. The game was played at Nomeland Gym and the students came dressed in black attire for a black out. The Falcon Pep Band was there. It was the final home game for nine Faribault seniors.
The Falcons jumped out to a 7-0 lead before Worthington had a 7-0 run of their own to tie the game. Terrific balance was the story in the first half with Faribault leading at the break 34-22. Six players scored the the Falcons led by junior Abdi Abdullahi with 7 points. Seniors Andy Prange and Mitch Nelson each had 6 points along with sophomore Nick Ehlers. Senior Joe Palmer had 5 points and junior Maverick Jeanes 4 points.
Worthington had just four players score led by their outstanding point guard, sophomore Terbuto Ochohothow with 12 points. Senior Katasharo Ojulu had 5 points, sophomore Brock Bruns 4 points and senior Lucas Boever had 1 point.
Coming out to start the second half the Trojans played with more urgency and cut the lead to 8 when Falcons Head Coach Eric Hildebrandt took a time out to refocus his team. It worked for awhile as they punched the lead back up to double digits before Worthington came storming back.
With 7:10 left in regulation the game was tied for the second time at 45. Faribault would never relinquish the lead but the Trojans would attack the basket and get to the free throw line a number of times down the stretch. With 6:41 to go in the contest Abdullahi knocked down a big three for the Falcons. He would also close out the game making six free throws in the final couple minutes and finished with 16 points.
A sick Joe Palmer finished the game with 17 points and ended up guarding Ochothow and shutting him down those final minutes. Ojulu had 19 points, Ochothow 18 points and Bruns 13 for the Trojans. The Falcons had senior Andy Prange join Abdullahi and Palmer in double digits with 14 points. The Falcons free throw shooting outside of Abdullahi was suspect. The rest of the Faribault team was 3 of 10.
The Trojans were 14 of 18 for the game from the so called charity stripe. Ojulu finished with 19 points, Ochowkow 18 points and Bruns 13.
We named the nine seniors our Faribault State Farm Insurance agents Faribault players of the game, Ben LaCanne, Kipp Bonde, Jerad Moriarity, Trey Krannich, Simon Lual, Cole Morrissey, Mitch Nelson, Joe Palmer and Andy Prange.
Worthington finishes their season 15-11. The 11-16 Falcons go to Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter Saturday to play the top seed and #2 ranked Waseca Bluejays. The Bluejays flew away from New Ulm 82-36.
All other games in the section were yawners: #2 seed and #3 ranked Mankato East beat Hutchinson 72-59 and #3 seed and #6 ranked Marshall rolled over Mankato West 70-38.
In other boys playoff basketball Tuesday night:
Section 1A in Rochester:
- Top seed Spring Grove survived a scare by Houston 45-42
- #4 seed Hayfield wins a thriller over #5 Blooming Prairie 50-48
Section 1AA in Rochester:
- #1 seed Lake City defeats #9 Zumbrota-Mazeppa 49-37
- #4 seed LaCrescent over #5 Rochester Lourdes 74-58