Barnum falls short in section final
March 25, 2022
The Barnum boys basketball season came to an end Friday night as a state-ranked Nevis team defeated the Bombers 67-37 in the section 5A finals in Foley.
Barnum - the top seed out of the eastern half of the subsection - met up with the western half's top seed in front of a large and very loud crowd in Foley. The defending section 5A champion Tigers were seeking their fourth trip to the state tournament while Barnum was seeking its third state appearance, and first since 2007.
Things got off to a rocky start. On the way to Foley, the bus had mechanical issues and had to pull over in Sturgeon Lake and await another bus, pushing the Bombers arrival at the Foley gym 45 minutes behind schedule.
But the Bombers shook off any nerves and played well in the first half, battling with the much taller and more physical Nevis squad. Matt Berry scored 7 points in the first half, finding openings in the Nevis 2-3 zone. He was successful finding some easy layups to help Barnum take the lead twice: one at 3-2 and another at 21-17, following a Hayden Charboneau 3-pointer.
The Tigers battled back before the half ended with John Paul Benson doing damage inside and Eddie Kramer hitting a 3-pointer before the buzzer. Nevis led 30-25 at the break.
The defending section champions came out in the second half and switched up their defense, playing a half-court trap. That made it hard on the Bombers to run and set up their offense.
At the same time, the Tigers continued to pound the ball inside to Benson and Kramer added three more long-range bombs as Nevis outscored Barnum 22-7 to start the second half.
Trailing, the Bombers continued to fight but couldn't get their offense on track. Nevis would get to the free throw line 30 times for the game - 17 times in the second half - and make 21 of those free throws. Those shots extended the lead and the contest ended with a 30-point Tiger victory.
"I am very proud of this group of seniors," Bombers head coach Richard Newman said, "They came to the gym every day ready to work and they are all good kids."
Top scorers for the Tigers were Benson with 16 points, followed by Kramer with 14 and Ty Warrington with 12 points in the win; 10 of his 12 points came from the charity stripe.
Berry finished with 9 points to lead Barnum while Charboneau ended with six. Joe Peterson, Evan Gustafson each ended with 5 points, while Willie Richardson and Layne Wickstrom scored three. JJ Stevens, Carlos Beckstrand and Max Moors had 2 points each.
The Bombers' season came to an end with an overall record of 21-9 on the year.