Chase Marso made life difficult for the Lincoln Patriots in the first half.
In the second half, Marso passed on those responsibilities to teammate Nic Peterson and the Brandon Valley Lynx advanced to the boys Class AA state tournament with a 71-43 win.
Marso, a senior who lifted the Lynx (16-6) with a second-half surge in a win over Washington on Tuesday, scored 21 first-half points and finished with 30. Peterson, a 5-foot-9 junior guard, took over from there, scoring 15 points in the third quarter on the way to 26 for the game.
It was the second-half display from Peterson that really got the crowd into it and took the Patriots out of it.
“Everyone started passing me the ball,” said Peterson, whose 26 points was a career high. “The credit goes to those guys. I wasn’t really thinking about it, I was just catching the ball and shooting, but whatever – it’s fun this way, to win a game like this.”
The Patriots (11-11) now play at Watertown on Tuesday in a region playoff game to try to land a tournament berth, were matching Marso’s bombs in the first half, but it was tough work. An Addison Park layup off a Luke Meyers pass closed the Brandon Valley lead to 22-21 early in the second quarter, but the Lynx answered. Marso’s fifth 3-pointer of the first half pushed the lead to nine points with 2:01 to play in the half, and Brandon Valley went into intermission leading 34-26.
“We caught these guys on a hot night,” Lincoln coach Jeff Halseth said. “They were unbelievable. To shoot 46 percent on 3’s is impressive – and on a lot of them we were right there in their face and they still went over the top and made them.”
At the 5:10 mark in the third quarter, Peterson hit a 3-pointer, then went on to score Brandon Valley’s next 15 points, hitting four consecutive 3-pointers with the only miss coming when he was fouled on what would have been his fifth straight from deep. He made all three to give the Lynx a 54-31 late in the third.
The Lynx, now winners of seven straight, made 13 3-pointers in all.
“We’ve seen this before from those two kids but they haven’t (combined) it like that in a game before tonight,” Brandon Valley coach Brent Deckert said. “To do it in a game like this tells you a little bit about how competitive they are.”
While the Lynx were climbing the ladder and cutting down the nets, the Patriots were beginning the process of re-grouping in preparation for Watertown, which defeated the Pats 72-65 during the regular season.
Getting past a humbling night against a sharp-shooting Lynx squad will be the key to moving on.
“This is it – we have one more chance,” Halseth said. “We’ll see how practices go the next few days because I think we got through to them tonight. It’s a matter of communication and execution and they realized that tonight. We’re going to go to work again tomorrow.”
BRANDON VALLEY (16-6)
Nic Peterson 6 9-11 26, Chase Marso 7 9-9 30, Devan West 0 0-0 0, Adam Bauer 2 1-2 6, Jacob Adams 1 0-0 2, Nate Winter 1 0-0 2, Jacob Bruget 0 0-0 0, Cole Albertson 1 0-0 3, Ryan Immeker 0 2-2 2, Kevin Peterson 0 0-0 0, Ryan Sjoberg 0 0-0 0, Jon Heiberger 0 0-0 0. Totals — 21 20-23 71
Connor Burchill 0 0-0 0, Nermin Krdzalic 2 4-6 9, Caleb Rector 2 0-0 6, Luke Meyers 3 0-0 6, Sean Ladd 0 2-2 2, Calvin Krause 3 0-0 6, Vince Walker 0 0-0 0, Adam Jaros 0 0-2 0, Zach Saltmarsh 2 0-0 4, Addison Park 4 2-2 10. Totals – 16 8-12 43
Brandon Valley 20 36 56 71
Lincoln 17 26 39 43