12 points was just too much for the Ada-Borup boys basketball team.
The Cougars were able to trim the lead held by Park Christian to 6 points, but the Falcons ceased Ada-Borup’s advancement with a 6-0 run of its own en route to a 77-71 win Tuesday in Moorhead.
“We knew (Ada-Borup) had a run in them,” Park Christian coach Gary Walton said. “But we knew how well we were playing, and we kept our confidence and just tirelessly worked to get scores to distance ourselves.”
Scoring the distancing buckets the whole game were three Falcons: Matt Moberg (20 points), Zach Kvalvog (19) and Hunter Nickel (19).
It was their physical transition scores and outside shooting that kept Ada-Borup at least five points out of the game the entire second half, as Nickel single-handedly pushed the Cougars further back from what was a 40-34 game with three unanswered lay-ins.
Nickel didn’t just score at pivotal moments of the game for Park Christian (13-4), but he also grabbed 14 boards and rejected 9 Ada-Borup shot attempts.
Apart from the blocks by Nickel, it wasn’t like Ada-Borup (12-3) was totally limited from scoring, it was just its defense that had troubles limiting its opponent.
Joel Merkens completed his second consecutive double-double, finishing with 24 points and 16 rebounds. Blake Fetting had 19 and Lance Ruebke notched 12 points.
“We had a big hole to dig out of in the second half being down 12 points,” Ada-Borup coach Trevor Stewart said. “It doesn’t help when (Park Christian) came to play and wanted it so much more than we did. Our defense had troubles stopping their big man (Nickel) and we were slow offensively. Not the right combination to win.”
The Cougars’ loss ends their 7 game win-streak, and it happened after it took a momentous win over Ulen-Hitterdal on Tuesday.
“We let our guard down and were sloppy,” Stewart said. “It’s a whole different game compared to Ulen-Hitterdal… we played with big heads, and you can never do that, no matter the situation.”