Blujay boys over Osborne in double overtime

Tuesday night at St. John's gym saw two teams with a real rivalry collide for the second time this season. The last few years, the games between the Osborne Bulldogs and the Blujays have provided match ups that their fans talk about for years. Last year the Bulldogs handed the Blujays their first and only loss of the year when the Jays were favored to win. This year the Bulldogs are state-ranked and have beaten the Blujays earlier in the season and entered as the favorites. If that intimidated the young Jays, they didn't show it as St. John's/Tipton defeated Osborne in double overtimes, 53- 52.

"I was extremely proud of the effort the boys played with," said Blujay Coach Lance Bergmann. "We knew we were facing a very difficult challenge playing Osborne. We had a game plan in place and I thought the boys did a pretty good job of executing it."

The game was close from beginning to end with the biggest lead by either team being seven points held by Osborne, twice during the game. Meanwhile, the biggest lead the Jays could muster was five points early in the fourth quarter. The first quarter was indicative of what the game would be like as both teams played outstanding defense throughout the game ending in a tied 6-6. 

During the second quarter, the teams essentially traded baskets. The biggest lead by either team in the first half was four points held by the Bulldogs. Four different Jays put points on the board in the second quarter as the first half ended with the Bulldogs leading a close 17-16.

The second half opened with the Bulldogs pulling out their biggest lead of the evening as they scored the first six points of the third quarter. A three pointer and a free throw by Brandon Bates closed the margin to three. The Bulldogs answered with a pair of baskets to extend their lead back to seven, which was answered by a three pointer from Adam Bates. The third quarter ended with the Bulldogs leading 29-23.

The fourth quarter opened with Brady Palen scoring followed by Braden Dameron, three pointer that seemed to spark the Jays. Those baskets started an 11 point run for St. John's/Tipton that gave them their biggest lead of the night, 34-29. The Bulldogs clawed their way back to reclaim the lead by a point. Regulation play ended with the score tied at 38.

The first overtime session started with a Adam Bates three point shot. After a Bulldog free-throw, Dameron hit his third three pointer of the night to give the Jays a five-point lead. The Bulldogs scored the next seven points to claim a two-point lead. A pair of free throws by Adam Bates and an added free-throw by the Bulldogs ended with another tie at 47 for a double OT. 

The second overtime saw the Jays jump out to a four point lead. The Jays were able to score another basket while holding the Bulldogs to two baskets and a free throw. With 2.2 seconds remaining, the Jays held a one-point lead, and recovered the possession for a 53-52 victory.

"We knew it was going to be low-scoring for us in the first half," said Bergmann. "We just needed to stay close going into halftime. We also wanted to be within striking distance going into the fourth and we were. We were able to get them in foul trouble, which helped us a lot. We missed some easy shots and made silly mistakes, but we were able to come away with a win and hopefully learn from this game. This went was very important for us going into our league tournament and getting a better seed. Overall, I was extremely happy with the game and we still have a ton to work on with our inexperienced team but we are continuing to grow as the season goes on."

Senior Adam Bates led the team in scoring with 15 points with 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals. He was joined in double figures by Braden Dameron with 11 points, including three three- pointers, 2 rebounds, 1 steal. Brandon Bates also scored in double figures with 10 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals. Ty Brummer scored 8 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals; Kail Dubbert  5 points, 3 assists, 2 steals; Brady Palen 4 points, 5 rebounds, 1 block; Garrett Darnell 6 rebounds.

St. John's/Tipton's record now stands at 5-3.  They are seed number six and will face seed 11 Lincoln in the late approximately 8 p.m. game on Friday to open the NPL tournaments. 

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