Highs, lows for Cardinals - Coeur d'Alene Press: Sports

Highs, lows for Cardinals

Rally from NIC men comes up a little short in semifinal

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Posted: Saturday, March 2, 2013 12:00 am

COEUR d’ALENE — The rally on Rolly came up a little short for the host North Idaho College men’s basketball team on Friday afternoon.

Trailing 56-38 with under 13 minutes remaining, NIC rallied to tie the game at 68 with 2:59 remaining, only to have Snow College sophomore Connor Van Brocklin hit a 3-pointer with 17.9 seconds left as the third-seeded Badgers upset the No. 2-seeded Cardinals 77-72 in a Region 18 men’s tournament semifinal at Rolly Williams Court.

NIC (25-5) now waits to see if it will be awarded an at-large bid into the NJCAA tournament March 18-23 in Hutchinson, Kan.

“We definitely hurt our chances today,” NIC men’s coach Jared Phay said. “There would have to be a lot of things that would need to fall into place for us. I don’t want to say there’s no possibility — because there is, but we definitely didn’t help ourselves today.”

NIC jumped out to an early 13-6 lead but the Cardinals found themselves down 36-32 at halftime after the teams exchanged the lead seven times in the first half.

Van Brocklin scored 20 of his game-high 25 points in the second half for Snow (22-9), which faces Salt Lake in tonight’s championship game at 7:30.

“Connor’s been our guy all year long,” Snow coach and athletic director Rob Nielson said. “I told him at halftime that he needed to shoot the ball. And he got hot — and the kids knew that — they kept giving the ball to him and he was working to get those shots.”

Snow opened the second half by scoring 17 of the first 21 points, limiting NIC to field goals on two dunks by Michael Middlebrooks before the Cardinals started to battle back midway through the second half.

“They’re too good a team,” said Nielson, who previously coached at Dixie State. “This is a neat place to play and a tough place to win. Our guys came out and did enough to win. I knew they had the momentum late, but we made a couple of plays late to win it.”

Chris Sarbaugh scored nine points and had five assists and three steals and tied the game at 68-68 with a pair of free throws.

“We had more energy and just outworked them,” Sarbaugh said of the final eight minutes of the game. “We just had more energy on the defensive end. The first five minutes of the second half, which is the most important minutes — we had no energy and got into a big hole. We got back into it and gave ourselves a chance — but it was just too big a hole.”

Mikey Hope led NIC with 19 points.

Chiek Tidiane Sane had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Snow.

SNOW COLLEGE

Nick Gruninger 2-7 0-0 4, Casey Taylor 1-2 0-0 2, Cheik Tidiane Sane 6-9 5-6 17, Haudrick Hilaire 0-1 0-0 0, Roberts Baltruns 1-3 0-0 3, London Simonsen 4-6 5-5 16, Connor Van Brocklin 9-17 2-2 25, Brock Smith 4-6 1-2 10, Brad Mears 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 27-52 13-15 77.

NORTH IDAHO

Jordan McCloud 0-2 0-0 0, Jalil Abdul-Bassit 7-17 1-2 16, Chris Sarbaugh 2-8 5-5 9, Andrew Baracco 0-0 0-0 0, Keon Lewis 2-6 4-4 8, Michael Middlebrooks 5-5 0-0 10, Mikey Hope 6-12 4-4 19, James Webb 1-4 3-5 5, Nathan Rathbun 0-0 0-0 0, Kaj Sherman 2-6 1-2 5. Totals 25-60 18-22 72.

Halftime — Snow 36-32. 3-point goals — Snow 10-22 (Gruninger 0-2, Taylor 0-1, Baltruns 1-3, Simonsen 3-5, Van Brocklin 5-9, Smith 1-2), NIC 4-21 (Abdul-Bassit 1-7, Sarbaugh 0-4, Lewis 0-2, Hope 3-6, Webb 0-2). Rebounds — Snow 32 (Sane 10), NIC 32 (Webb, Sherman 6). Assists — Snow 10 (Gruninger 7), NIC 10 (Sarbaugh 5). Team fouls — Snow 22, NIC 13. Fouled out — Smith.

Salt Lake 89, Southern Idaho 73: Scenic West Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player Skyler Halford scored 21 points to lead the top-seeded Bruins (27-3) past the No. 4-seeded Golden Eagles (20-12) in a semifinal game.

Gary Payton Jr. had 15 points, nine rebounds and four assists for Salt Lake, which went 3-0 against the Badgers this season — winning those games by a combined 10 points.

Montigo Alford scored 17 points for Southern Idaho.

SOUTHERN IDAHO

Montigo Alford 5-12 4-4 17, Juwan Newman 5-8 2-2 12, Jaysean Paige 4-11 3-8 12, James Reid 4-10 2-2 14, Darius Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Kareem Storey 0-3 3-4 3, Billy Reader 1-2 0-0 2, Sebastien Michineau 0-0 2-2 2, Detwon Rogers 3-4 0-0 9, Kennedy Esume 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 22-50 18-24 73.

SALT LAKE

Casey Oliverson 3-4 0-4 6, Gary Payton 5-9 3-4 15, Tyrell Corbin 6-11 0-0 14, Morgan Hesleph 1-2 1-2 4, Jaden Jackson 3-4 0-0 6, Yi Hsiang Chou 1-1 0-0 2, Seth Weinheimer 0-1 0-0 0, Kurtis Toolson 0-0 0-0 0, Sai Tummala 5-11 0-0 11, Skyler Halford 7-13 4-4 21, JuWan Buchanan 2-7 1-1 5, Nick Jenson 2-3 0-0 4. Totals 35-66 9-15 89.

Halftime — SLCC 45-34. 3-point goals — CSI 11-26 (Alford 3-6, Paige 1-5, Reid 4-10, Storey 0-1, Rogers 3-4), SLCC 10-22 (Payton 2-5, Corbin 2-4, Hesleph 1-2, Chou 1-1, Tummala 1-4, Halford 3-5, Buchanan 0-1). Rebounds — CSI 33 (Newman 8), SLCC 32 (Payton 9). Assists — CSI 9 (Storey 6), SLCC 11 (Payton 4). Team fouls — CSI 14, SLCC 19. Fouled out — none.

ALL-REGION 18 MEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM

First team

Skyler Halford, Salt Lake (Most Valuable Player); Sai Tummala, Salt Lake; Jalil Abdul-Bassit, North Idaho; Cheik Tidiane Sane, Snow; Keon Lewis, North Idaho; Nick Gruninger, Snow.

Second team

Connor Van Brocklin, Snow; Sebastien Michineau, Southern Idaho; Miles Gatewood, Utah State-Eastern; Michael Middlebrooks, North Idaho; Juwan Newman, Southern Idaho; Gary Payton Jr., Salt Lake.

Honorable mention

Chris Sarbaugh, North Idaho; Thomas Powers, Colorado Northwestern; Tyrell Corbin, Salt Lake; James Reid, Southern Idaho; Jason Timpf, Utah State-Eastern.

Coach of the Year — Todd Phillips, Salt Lake.

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