Maple River performs at the line, moves on to face Edgeley/KM

Feb. 19—JAMESTOWN — If Nathan Hoots hadn't shaved his head — some of his hair might have turned grey Monday night.

Down 35-30 after three-quarters of play, the Raiders buckled down and came back to defeat No. 3 seeded Linton/HMB in the Region 1 tournament quarterfinals 48-40.

"We've had those types of games all year long," Hoots, the head coach for the Maple River girls basketball team, said. "We love making me stressed. Mission accomplished tonight."

The Raiders will face off against top-ranked Edgeley/Kulm-Montpelier in the tournament semifinals Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Jamestown Civic Center.

"We were excited about the matchup," L/HMB head coach Mike Schirado said. "We knew it was going to be a fun night and I think people across the state were thinking that it looked to be a pretty fun first-round matchup. We believed in ourselves and we just came up short in the end and that's just how the game goes sometimes."

Hoots said the Raiders' plan of attack for Monday night was to try and match Linton/HMB shot for shot and run them off the 3-point line as much as they could.

"The games that we did see of theirs — they shot tremendously," Hoots said of the Lions. "They did shoot well in the first half but our defense showed up to play and we responded those last four minutes.

"The combination of holding them to one shot every time down, Adyson (Hannig) and Bri(Elle) (Killoran) cleaning up the defensive rebounds and us making free throws for a minute and a half down the stretch made those last four minutes were probably the best four minutes of basketball we've played all year."

Hannig was the Raiders' top-scorer with 16 points — eight of which came at the line.

"I know that I have to stay calm because free throws are totally a mental game," Hannig said. "I was just trusting what we've been working on all season but yeah, I was praying for sure."

Hannig was 8-of-12 at the line while her teammates Violet Richman and Killoran were 3-for-4 and 5-for-6 respectively. Linton/HMB tallied nine fouls in the last 60 seconds of play.

"You want to make the last minute last five hours if you can," Schirado said. "If you have enough fouls, you make it as long as you possibly can. You don't just fold in the last 30 seconds even if mathematically it feels like you don't have a chance."

Maple River went 14-for-18 in the last minute and 21-30 overall from the line.

"The girls wonder why we shoot them so much," Hoots said of practicing free throws. "We normally have two to three five or 10-minute segments a day. The girls rolled their eyes at me early but now we're close to 70% as a team. It's so awesome to know that the eight or nine girls that I play I can put them in and they are going to make at least 1-of-2 if not both."

Linton/HMB did what they could from the line, knocking down 11-of-15. The squad shot 22.8% from the floor notching 13 total field goals. Allie Dockter and Jersey Vogel tied for the team's leading scorer title both earning 14 points.

"I am just proud of how they grew as a team," Schirado said of his squad. "I think they can look back on this season fondly and say that they have great memories and it was a great experience. Our underclassmen played for our seniors and our seniors played for them. I am proud of their togetherness."

While the Lions' season has officially ended — Maple River's schedule just got that much harder and the Raiders will have to stay together if they want a win against Rory Entzi and the Rebels.

"It's going to be — play the best that we can with whatever we have left in the tank," Hoots said of the Raiders' plan against Edgeley. "(Edgeley) has been playing unbelievably well. There isn't a team in the state who is playing better than they are right now. We will have our hands full and then some."

Maple River 48, Linton/HMB 40

L/HMB 15 5 15 10 — 40

MR 14 9 7 18 — 48

L/HMB — Allie Dockter 14, Jersey Vogel 14, Emma Weiser 10, Brooklyn Schumacher 2. Totals: 13 FG, 11-15 FT, 17 fouls. 3-pointers: Vogel 3.

MR — Adyson Hannig 16, Violet Richman 14, BriElle Killoran 11, Abigail Killoran 3, Kiana Lerud 2, Carley Hovelson 2. Totals: 13 FG, 21-30 FT, 16 fouls. 3-pointers: Richman 1.