New London-Spicer’s Brycen Christensen wasn’t ready for the season to be over.
With the Wildcats trailing Minnewaska 27-22 at halftime, the New London-Spicer sophomore forward scored all of his team-high 17 points in the second half, including the team’s final seven points of the Section 3AA-North quarterfinals. Fifth-seeded NLS emerged a 60-58 winner over the fourth-seeded Lakers at Minnewaska Area High School.
Tyler Danielson tied the game up for the Wildcats at 53-53 with 1 minute, 59 seconds in regulation. Then with 1:03 to go, Christensen put NLS up for good with a 3-pointer, then made it a five-point game after going 2-for-2 at the free-throw line with 36.9 seconds left.
Minnewaska made it a one-possession game after an Aaron Ver Steeg layup, only for Christensen to make it a 60-55 game following another 2-for-2 trip at the charity stripe.
On the next trip down the floor, Ver Steeg hit another 3-pointer to make it 60-58, and had another chance at a big bucket after Christensen missed on a 1-and-1. In the final seconds, Ver Steeg put up an open 3-pointer, but the ball bounced off the back of the hoop to cement NLS’ victory.
Along with his team high in points, Christensen had nine rebounds, four assists, four steals and two blocks. Jaden Zylstra added 15 points for the Wildcats, followed by 13 from Tyler Danielson.
Ver Steeg led all scorers with 18 points, also coming up with eight rebounds and three steals for Minnewaska. Peyton Johnsrud added 12 points and two blocks, and Hunter Kostelecky came up with 10 points off the bench for the Lakers, who end the season with a 7-11 record.
NLS will hit the road again at 7 p.m. Saturday at top-seeded Morris/Chokio-Alberta.
NLS (9-10) 22 38 — 60
Minnewaska (7-11) 27 31 — 58
NLS - Scoring: Brycen Christensen 17, Peyton Coahran 4, Tyler Danielson 13, Wolzen Holland 5, Grant Paffrath 4, Mason Toutges 2, Jaden Zylstra 15 … 3-point shots: Christensen 3-4, Coahran 1-4, Danielson 3-6, Holland 1-3 … Rebound leader: Christensen 9 … Assist leader: Christensen 4 … Steal leader: Christensen 4 ... Block leader: Christensen 2
MINNEWASKA - Scoring: Peyton Johnsrud 12, Mitchell Gruber 5, Sam Hested 5, Damon Uhde 5, Aaron Ver Steeg 18, Hunter Kostelecky 10, Brady Hoffman 3 … 3-point shots: Johnsrud 2-5, Gruber 1-2, Uhde 1-1, Ver Steeg 1-2, Kostelecky 1-1 … Rebound leaders: Ver Steeg 8, Hested 6 … Assist leader: Johnsrud 2 … Steal leaders: Ver Steeg 3, Kostelecky 3 ... Block leaders: Johnsrud 2, Hoffman 2