FOUNTAIN LAKE -- Neither Jessieville nor Fountain Lake led by more than six points after the first quarter in their contest on Tuesday, but senior Alex Burleson returned to the court in the fourth quarter to help the Lions secure a 53-48 win on the road.
The two teams traded runs in the first quarter at Irvin J. Bass Gymnasium-Sammy Lambert Court. Fountain Lake head coach Jake Dettmering said his team missed too many easy shots in the early going.
"A lot of times when you miss a layup, it ends up being a layup for the other team because everybody gets caught in transition," Dettmering said. "Credit to them for coming out ready to play and executing, but I know we missed some opportunities early on and did not help ourselves out."
Jessieville jumped out to a 9-0 lead before junior Joe Murphy finally got the Cobras on the scoreboard with 2:30 left in the first quarter. Fountain Lake answered with an 11-0 run capped by a 3-pointer from junior Jordan Mungle.
The first quarter ended tied 11-11, but Burleson was called for a technical foul after no call was made on his attempt to drive to the basket as time expired. Mungle made two free throws to give Fountain Lake the edge.
"He knows my rule; technical fouls are two quarters," said Jared White, head coach for the Lions. "He had to sit the second and the third. My guys hung in there. They weathered the storm. He came back and he was ready to have his teammates' back just like his teammates had his back in the second and third quarter."
A steal and layup by senior Cade Dodge extended a 17-2 run for the Cobras after Jessieville established an early lead. Holloway made two free throws to cap the run.
"I think we settled down and started playing," Dettmering said. "We made some shots. That helps. We were able to pressure them a little bit and that generated some offense for us."
"It didn't look good," White said. "For some reason, we settled in, hit a shot, were able to get a stop or two and we just kind of got comfortable against it. That is a heck of a press they put on us."
Senior Parion Johnson picked up his third foul early in the second quarter, but the Cobras still led 27-26 at halftime. He picked up his fourth foul less than two minutes into the third quarter, but managed to push a pair of possessions for four points before he was substituted by Dettmering.
"They changed defenses a little bit," Dettmering said. "They played a little bit more man than what I was expecting, but I don't know if that was something that threw us off.
"Probably a big thing that threw us off, as far as rhythm and offensive execution, was Parion being in foul trouble a lot in the game. I was having to play him with fouls and he was being passive because of it."
Jessieville was unable to take the lead again until senior Jacob Bearden made the score 41-39 in favor of the Lions with 4:30 left to play. Johnson fouled Holloway on the next possession for his fifth foul. A subsequent technical called on Johnson added two more free throws.
Holloway made both of his attempts and Burleson made 1 of 2 to start a busy quarter at the line. Jessieville never trailed again.
The Lions shot 12-for-16 at the free throw line in the fourth quarter. Burleson made 8 of 10 attempts in the final quarter, including 5 of 6 in the final 1:07.
"I can't tell you how proud of this group of guys that I am," White said. "This was definitely a game where I watched some guys grow up on the court. When Alex went to the bench, they really cranked up the pressure and we had some guys have to step up and handle the ball. Although we were not perfect doing that, we found a way to hang in there."
Dodge led Fountain Lake in scoring with 13 points and Johnson finished with nine. Murphy, Mungle and junior Adman Johnson added eight, seven and six points, respectively.
Holloway led all scorers with 17 points and Burleson finished with 13. Junior Braxton Shiflett scored 10 points, including six in the fourth quarter. Bearden finished with eight points and junior Chase Pedersen scored five.
"I thought our defense was much better tonight," White said. "We had several kids trying to help with their chest. Chase took two big charges and Braxton took a big one as well. We shot free throws well down the stretch and that's how you win close ball games."
Jessieville (5-3) is back at home on Friday against Centerpoint. Fountain Lake (4-4) is next scheduled to play on the road Friday at Bismarck.
Sports on 12/07/2017
Print Headline: Lions finish off Cobras, 53-48