Central Cass Squirrels outlast Des Lacs-Burlington, head to Class B championship game
Sam Kobbervig scored 26 points, including a seven in the last minute, to lead the Squirrels to the win. Central Cass will play Shiloh Christian on Saturday night.
BISMARCK — On the back of a Sam Kobbervig three and four free throws in the final minute of Thursday night's Class B semifinals, the Central Cass Squirrels punched their ticket to the Class B final with a win over the Des Lacs-Burlington Lakers at the Bismarck Event Center.
The seven points from Kobbervig — who had 26 total — put the Squirrels up by multiple possessions as they held on to win 64-57. The Squirrels will face the Shiloh Christian Skyhawks in the title game Saturday night.
Kobbervig said that he felt good heading into the game, which led to the confidence to shoot.
“I was just really feeling it in warm-ups,” Kobbervig said. “I’m just really happy it translated into the game. I was really confident with my shooting tonight so I figured just let it stroke and it happily went in.”
Between the 3 and the free throws, Kobbervig was cool under the pressure because of the teammates he shares the court with.
“I trust everyone out there,” he said. “I’m happy I made some free throws. I should’ve made them all and that’s on me. We’ll do better tomorrow.”
The shot at a state title, added Kobbervig, began several months ago.
“We put in a lot of hard work in the offseason and throughout this season,” he said. “Everyone, one through 15, has really bought into what our program is doing and I think it shows in how far we’ve come and the success we’ve had so far.”
In addition to Kobbervig’s 26, Cole Holzer had 13 and Mason Bosse 11.
The Squirrels went down early in the first half, falling behind 21-11 to end the opening quarter. However, the second quarter was a different story as Central Cass outscored DLB 16-8 to trail by one at the half, 28-27.
The Lakers responded to end the half, though, as they went 5-5 on free throws from Paxton Ystaas, Ty Hughes and Carson Yale with a two-point basket from Yale to boot.
Carson Yale (17) and Rylan Olson (16) led the Lakers in scoring.
The early deficit came in part due to a little experimenting, said Squirrels coach Matt Norman.
“It was just a gritty game, honestly,” Norman said. “We wanted to try something defensively to help us settle in and that backfired. So, we came back in, regrouped, and told the boys that we’d guard man-to-man and make sure we were communicating.”
With the Skyhawks ahead, Norman knows the Squirrels have quite the battle between them and a possible state championship.
“It’s going to be a tough game against a quality team for sure,” he said. “We have a lot of work to do tonight to figure out what we want to do. But, it’s going to be a lot of the same.
“I’m just proud of these kids and happy to have one more night with them.”
The Class B championship game tips off at 8 p.m. Saturday night.
Des Lacs-Burlington 21 28 40 57
Central Cass 11 27 47 64
Des Lacs-Burlington: Yale 17, Olson 16, Schaefer 8, Fisher 7, Ystaas 7, Hughes 2.
Central Cass: Kobbervig 26, Holver 13, Bosse 11, Vrchota 9, Buhr 3, Bachmeier 2.