WABASSO - Playing in three tight games this season, Wabasso boys basketball coach Stan Rohlik says he' s called the same sideout play four times this season, hoping to get the Rabbits in the win column.
"Last year, I didn't run it once," Rohlik said.
Tied at 74 against Sleepy Eye Saint Mary's, the Rabbits ran the sideout play and Aaron Brau put up the long jumper, bouncing off the rim and sending the Tomahawk Conference game into overtime.
The Wabasso Rabbits take on the Sleepy Eye Saint Mary's Knights on Dec. 14 in Wabasso
In the extra period, the Knights' Scott Salfer hit a free throw with two seconds remaining, and Brau's half-court shot went high, giving SESM the 87-86 win over the Rabbits Monday in Wabasso.
In a battle of winless teams, the Knights now move to 1-2 overall, while the Rabbits drop to 0-3.
Leading 70-60 with under five minutes left in the second half, SESM went on a 14-4 run to tie the game up in regulation.
Photo by Joe Brown
Wabasso’s Dalton Salfer (3) looks to pass the ball inside during the second half of Monday’s Tomahawk Conference game with Sleepy Eye Saint Mary’s at Wabasso. For more photos, go to cu.marshallindependent.com.
"We had a 10-point lead in the second half and we just had lazy defense," Rohlik said. "When you get that 10-point lead, you got to finish on both ends and we didn't do that."
Dylan Bock scored 16 points for the Rabbits, and Brau added 22. Senior Dalton Salfer hit six three-pointers in the contest, finishing with a game-high 31 in the loss.
It was a frustrating outcome for Wabasso, who looks to get in the win column when it hosts New Ulm Cathedral on Thursday.
Sleepy Eye Saint Mary's (87)
Sean Mathiowetz 27, Adam Sellner 20, Joe Meyer 6, Scott Salfer 4, Jordan Anderson 2, Kansas Adams 10, Jon Millard 16.
Dalton Salfer 31, Dylan Bock 16, Aaron Brau 22, Cole McKeown 7, Taylor Zuehlsdorf 4, Seth Guetter 2, Daniel Goblirsch 4. Totals 23-58 10-17 86. Three-Pointers 10 (Salfer 6) Rebounds 32 (Zuehlsdorf 12) Assists 10 (Brau 10) Steals 9 (Salfer 4) Blocks 4.
Halftime Score: SESM 39, Wabasso 36.
"We always start the first half good, but in the second half, we've been struggling," Salfer said. "We're not going all the way through our plays. It's a team thing, it's not one person, and we need to work on it."
Sean Mathiowetz's 27 points paved the way for the Knights, who hit 11 threes in the game.
"That's the hardest thing with Sleepy Eye Saint Mary's. They're not afraid to shoot from the outside and they're definitely going to put it up," Rohlik said.
But the killer, Rohlik said, was the second-chance opportunities SESM got in the game.
"When they put it up, we have to make them put it up once," he said. "You have to be able to rebound and we did an awful job of it (Monday). We can't give up three or four extra shots."
Trailing 39-36 at halftime, the trio of Salfer, Brau and Bock put the Rabbits back in contention, scoring 30 of the Rabbits' 38 points in the second half.
"I'd sit on the perimeter and shoot," Salfer said of his offensive performance, "and my shots were just dropping (Monday)."
Without Steven Rohlik in the lineup, Wabasso is without any starters from last year's team. Looking for that senior leadership, Stan Rohlik praised Salfer's ability to lead an inexperienced lineup.
"Dalton's really picked up his game," Rohlik said. "They look for him to leadership and everything out there. They feed off him."
Said Salfer, "I know they look up to me as a captain, and I have faith in our team. They all played together in B-squad (last year)."
After Taylor Zuehlsdorf hit a free throw with 19.4 seconds left in regulation, the Knights' Joe Meyer hit a layup to tie the game.
In overtime, Scott Salfer fueled SESM's offense with seven points, including the Knights' last four points.
Rohlik said the Rabbits are close, they just need to figure out how to close out opponents.
"Once we do, we'll be taking off," he said. "It's just confidence. They'll get it. It'll come."