Soph sub wins thriller for Maranatha over MIB; they face Goodhue for 1A crown
By Bruce Strand
Each team has a 2,000-points scorer but it was a low-profile sophomore sub who settled the issue in a classic state tournament thriller Friday.’
Jazryn Thompson wrestled for the rebound after a missed free throw with 3.2 seconds and laid the ball off the glass and through the cords as the horn blew to give Maranatha Christian a 75-74 overtime win over Mountain Iron-Buhl in the Class 1A semifinals.
They’ll meet Goodhue on Saturday at noon in the finals. Goodhue, ranked and seeded No. 1, routed Wheaton-Herman-Norcross 74-35.
Thompson, a 5-foot-8 guard, actually went from goat to hero in rapid fashion as she fouled MIB’s Allie Negen on a 3-pointer from the corner with eight seconds left and the Ranger freshman swished all three shots for a 74-72 lead.
“I was so glad. I wanted so bad to do something after that,” said Thompson, very shy and otherwise very short of words during the post-game press conference. She played eight minutes, and the game-winner gave her a total of three points, matching her season average.
Maranatha (26-6) reversed a 69-53 loss on the Ranger court in December and advanced to the finals for the second straight year. Marantha has two state titles and lost to Ada-Borup last year. Goodhue is making its sixth state trip and reached finals once before, losing to Barnum in 2010.
Alaina Jarnot, senior guard who has over 2,000 points and over 1,000 assists for Maranatha, shot 3-for-17 until catching fire in the last two minutes of regulation and overtime, when she drilled five straight shots, three of them 3-pointers, to finish with 21 points.
“It was really frustrating, everything was going in and out, and I was praying to God, and all of a sudden, when it really mattered, they started going in,” beamed Jarnot.
Jarnot had an exhausting time guarding MIB junior Chelsea Mason, who went over 2,000 points during the season.
“Number 14 is an amazing player,” she said. “Playing against her made me really tired!”
Mason notched 17 points, seven assists and six rebounds, but fouled out during the overtime trying for a steal. She doubled over in despair at mid-court before trudging to the bench.
While some close games are settled by one team screwing up, this was a duel where each came through time after time.
“Both teams made big plays down the stretch, and they (Maranatha) happened to have just enough time to make the last one,” said Jeff Buffetta, MIB coach. “They are so fast and they have some great shooters … I felt we played a very good game except for too many turnovers late in the game. We executed our game plan really well. The girls have nothing to hang their heads about.”
Kylie Post hit 17 points and nine rebounds for the Mustangs and was 5-for-5 at the line before missing the two at the end with Thompson saving her bacon. Jaclyn Jarnot added 13 points and nine rebounds and Sami Payne 12 points. The Mustangs almost blew the game at the line making 14 of 25 while MIB went 25-for-33.
Mya Buffetta scored 15 for the Rangers, including 10-for-11 at the line. Negen finished with 12 and Macy Savela and Tatum Primeau eight each.
MIB led 58-51 with just under two minutes left but Maranatha scored seven points in 17 seconds on a three-point play by Jaclyn Jarnot off a feed from Alaina, jump shot by Alaina, and layup by Kylie Post, helped by two straight forced turnovers on inbounds plays, tying the score at 58.
The press Maranatha sprang on MIB late was, ironically, one that “they’ve really taken apart when we used it against them in the past,” said Mustang coach Chris Buerman. As perennial state qualifiers — MIB has made it six straight years, Maranatha seven straight — they schedule each other in the regular season.
The Rangers regained a 62-59 lead with Buffetta sinking four free shots but Alaina Jarnot knotted the score with a 3-pointer from the key and Jaclyn Jarnot stole MIB’s inbounds pass with 40 seconds left. Alaina Jarnot dribbled the clock down to five seconds, drove the lane, got double-teamed and lost the ball as time expired. Overtime.
Alaina Jarnot drained another three to knot the score at 67 with 1:40 left in overtime — afar driving for a layup that was blocked but recovering the ball. Again Buffetta got fouled and sank two more freebies for a 69-67 Ranger lead. Each team forced a turnover. Alaina Jarnot drove the lane for a runner she banked home to tie it 69. Buffetta — again — got fouled and cashed a couple for a 71-69 lead with 1:01 left. Alaina Jarnot struck with another 3-point dagger for a 72-71 lead and Post stole the Ranger inbounds pass.
Mason then fouled out trying to steal the ball from Thompson with 36 seconds left, and doubled over in despair at mid-court before trudging to the bench. Thompson made one of two.
Down 73-71, the Rangers missed three shots from close range but got the ball back each time. With 10.3 seconds left, they came out of a time-out and got the ball to Negen for a three-point attempt and she was fouled by Thompson.
With 8.1 seconds left, the freshman nailed all three for a 74-72 lead. But Maranatha came right back with Post driving to the hoop where she was fouled. With 3.2 seconds left, she missed both shots but Thompson saved the day for Maranatha.
Goodhue tumbles Wheaton-Herman-Norcross
Goodhue cruised past Wheaton-Herman-Norcross 74-35, ending the Warriors’ impressive run. The Wildcats (29-4) shook loose 31 turnovers from WHN and were led by a pair of hot shooters. Maddy Miller sank 24 points, going 10-for-16 from the field, and Sydney Lodermeier 18 points, hitting 7-for-9 from the field. Each made four of five free shots. Taylor Larson and Emily Benrud added nine points each.
No. 10 ranked Wheaton-Herman-Norcross (29-3) had beaten the defending state champion, No. 3 ranked Ada-Borup, 54-52 in the section finals. Seeded fifth, the Warriors thumped No. 4 Cromwell-Wright 70-55 in the state opener. But they could not keep up with Goodhue. Jordan Stafford led with 12 points as they were bogged down by turnovers and made just 13 of 34 field goals.