BISMARCK – It became an eight-minute game after the Bismarck Indians and Kingston Cougars had battled to a tie for the first three quarters of play. The Cougars pulled out to the lead, but a determined Bismarck team fought back to pull out a 36-34 win to highlight their Homecoming night.
A series of maulings by both teams on a play late in the game resulted in Zach Holmes being fouled on a putback, and upon making two free throws, he put Kingston up by two. Trevor Wild drove the lane to make a lay-in with 55 seconds left to tie it at 34-34, and a Kingston turnover gave Bismarck the ball.
Coach Abe AuBuchon called time to set up the next play, and the Indians worked it to perfection with Jeff Jarvis making an uncontested lay-up for the lead.
Kingston (3-9) still had 24 seconds to tie or take the lead with a three. They had three attempts at it, collecting the offensive rebound twice, but Matt Franklin blocked the last try to end the game.
The Cougars owned the boards 34-21 with 15 of their rebounds on offense, helping to give them 20 more shots in the game from the floor where they were 14-51. Zach Holmes led Kingston with nine rebounds.
Both teams struggled with ball control in the first quarter, but Bismarck was able to take the early lead at 7-4. The Cougars went inside to Tylor Nunez to gain the lead, scoring six of their 13 points in the quarter. Nunez made a steal under Bismarck’s basket which led to lay-up on the other end by Dusty Bay to tie the game at 12-12 for the first of seven ties in the game.
A three by Robbie Eichenberger put Bismarck within one and rebounding by Thomas McClain kept the Cougars from gaining extra chances of scoring in the quarter. Kingston was able to stay up by one at the half.
Eichenberger opened up the second half with a steal and took it all the way for the lead. Bismarck’s Cody Goodson picked up his fourth foul and had to take a seat, leaving the rebounding to McClain.
Both teams had trouble getting off clean shots against the other team’s defense, and the scoring was 2-2 after the first three and a half minutes of the quarter. The Cougars ran the floor and took a five-point lead with two baskets off of transition.
Matt Franklin slipped off of a screen to take an inbound pass from the sideline at half-court and drive all the way for a lay-up plus a foul to tie the game at 23-23, and then he did the same exact thing seconds later to tie it again at 25-25 which stood until the fourth quarter.
Bismarck (2-11) will host West County on Tuesday in conference play, and Kingston will be at home the same night to host Arcadia Valley.
Kingston 4 13 8 9 – 34
Bismarck 7 9 9 11 – 36
Kingston – Nunez 8, Merseal 7, Holmes 7, Bay 4, West 2, Nash 2, Guenther 2, Ross 2. 3-pt. FG – none.
Bismarck – Franklin 9, Eichenberger 9, Goodson 6, Jarvis 5, Politte 4, Wild 2, Th. McClain 1. 3-pt. FG – Eichenberger.