It was their lowest scoring output of the season, but thanks to an O’Gorman squad that continues to sputter on offense, the Brookings Bobcats’ 36 points were enough to defeat the Knights by four Tuesday night at the O’Gorman gym.
The No. 4 ranked Bobcats improved to 8-2 on the season, but it didn’t come easy down the stretch against the pesky Knights. O’Gorman erased a five-point deficit in the final 70 seconds to cut it to two with 11 seconds remaining when Davis Cowan scored.
But Tyler Nagy, who led the Bobcats with 15 points, hit two free throws moments later to seal the win.
Brookings opened the game on a 12-3 run and looked to run away early. But the Knights responded with an 11-3 run of their own, and tied the score at 17 midway through the second quarter.
“We played tight. Why? I don’t know,” Brookings coach Travis Engebretso said. “We had that nice run getting up 12-3, but after that we tightened up. We tried to be perfect instead of just playing basketball.”
The Knights, led by Tyler Pals’ 13 points, drop to 5-6, and have now lost three straight. During that three-game skid, O’Gorman is averaging just 38 points per game.
O’Gorman was without starting point guard Braxton Elliot, who did not play due to illness. Jackson Lund took Elliot’s place, adding three points while surrendering zero turnovers.
“We have a hard time scoring at times,” O’Gorman coach Derek Robey said. “Jack Lund came in and did a fine job. He hit that shot in the second quarter, and that was big because we need to find other guys who can score. Right now, we’re kind of one-dimensional.”
Trailing 23-20 midway through the third quarter, Cowan missed two free throws. From that point, the Knights missed five of their final six free throw attempts over the final quarter and a half.
“There still a fight in us and we’re still playing hard,” Robey said. “We just can’t make mistakes down the stretch, and when we go to the line, we need to cash in.”
Meanwhile, the Bobcats were 8-for-12 from the line in the fourth quarter, and found themselves in the double bonus with two minutes to play. Brookings took advantage of that situation and was 5-for-8 from the line during the double bonus.
For the game, however, neither team really shot the ball well. Brookings finished at 30 percent, while the Knights hit shots at just a 23 percent rate.
“I don’t really know what’s wrong with us. That’s the second game in a row that our shots just weren’t falling,” Nagy said of his team, referencing a 55-46 loss to Watertown. “You really just need to push through it and play good D. We just have to start making our shots.”
Brookings outrebounded O’Gorman 41-33, but it was the offensive rebounds – especially early the game – that made a difference. The Bobcats had several second-chance opportunities, and went into halftime with nine offensive rebounds. Braxton Carlson led the Bobcats with 15 rebounds.
“Giving up that many on the offensive end in the first half is going to come back and haunt a guy,” Robey said. “We had our chances. We’ll try and learn from it and move on.”
Zach Kress 1 0-0 2, Braxton Carlson 2 2-2 7, Tyler Nagy 6 3-4 15, Kaleb Vig 2 2-5 6, Konner Beste 0 0-1 0, Seth Moret 0 1-2 1, Zach Page 2 1-2 5. Totals 13 9-15 36.
Jackson Lund 1 0-0 3, Kyle Scholten 2 5-6 10, Davis Cowan 2 0-2 5, Connor Nagel 0 1-2 1, Spencer Hopkins 0 0-2 0, Tyler Pals 6 1-1 13. Totals 11 7-13 32.
Brookings 12 19 26 36
O’Gorman 7 18 25 32
3-point goals – BHS 1 (Carlson 1), OG 3 (Scholten, Lund, Cowan 1). Rebounds – BHS 41 (Carlson 15), OG 33 (Pals 9). Assists – BHS 5 (Page 2), OG 5 (Nagel 2). Blocked Shots – BHS 5 (Carlson 4), OG 1 (Cowan). Total fouls – BHS 10, OG 12. Turnovers – BHS 6, OG 6.