LINDSTROM — This time, the Hibbing High School boys basketball team made one more play than their opponent.
That play happened to be a Mayson Brown 3-point shot at the buzzer, which lifted the Bluejackets to a 76-74 victory over Chisago Lakes Friday.
The Wildcats led by one with 6.4 seconds to play, then Hibbing coach Joel McDonald called a timeout with 2.9 left in the game.
After three-straight timeouts, Brown hit the game-winner.
“The play worked like it was supposed to,” McDonald said. “He hit it, and we won by two.”
It was a game that was interesting from a fan perspective, but from a coaching perspective, it was a nightmare.
“It was exciting, but it was one those tough games from a coaching aspect of it that we didn’t play a whole lot of defense,” McDonald said. “The guys that hurt us were exactly the guys we didn’t want to hurt us.
“We had to limit or negate what the skill guys do against you.”
One of those players was Andrew Koehler, who netted 25 points for Chisago Lakes. The other two were Ryan Sanvick and Ethan Thompson, who both had 15 points.
“Koehler had a decent night with offensive rebounds, and he lit it up way too much,” McDonald said. “We escaped with a win, and that’s an appropriate way to put it.”
The Wildcats took that late lead, but that didn’t seem to faze Hibbing in the least.
“I have to give them credit because they didn’t panic on the last possession,” McDonald said. “Mayson knocked down the shot. You can see that not working out of stress of the moment, but during those numerous timeouts, we talked about it repeatedly.
“We had the screens, the passes and the shot, everybody did their job. It doesn’t often come down to one play, but this one did. We played against a hungry team. They out-worked us for a good part of the night.”
Brown finished with 26 points on the night, but he was outscored by his teammate, Ayden McDonald, who had 30.
“Offensively, we were too quick to shoot, and defensively, we rotated poorly,” McDonald said. “We were in foul trouble in the first half. I have to give Chisago credit. They came at us, but we responded well enough, but not good enough as to what our goals are, and where we want to be.
“A win is a win. We made one more play than our opponent, and came out with a win.”
HHS 43 33 — 76
CHS 43 31 — 74
Hibbing: Hayden Verhel 3, Mayson Brown 26, Tre Holmes 6, Parker Maki 6, Amari Manning 2, Eli Erickson 1, Isaac Colbaugh 2, Ayden McDonald 30.
Chisago Lakes: Nick Wasko 7, Grant Koehler 4, Ethan Thompson 15, Noah Lasiuta 5, Ryan Sanvik 15, Reed Marquardt 3, Andrew Koehler 25.
Total Fouls: Hibbing 22; Chisago Lakes 14; Fouled Out: Maki, Erickson; Free Throws: Hibbing 8-11; Chisago Lakes 13-25; 3-pointers: Brown 5, Holmes 2, McDonald 3, Thompson 5, Lasiuta, Marquardt.