By Brian Hansel
The Verndale Pirates almost made a man-to-man strategy payoff for the second straight game March 9 in a 65-60 West Sub-Section 5A loss to Browerville.
Having lost to the Tigers twice during the regular season playing a zone defense, the sixth-seeded Pirates decided to take it to the taller Browerville club with a more aggressive defensive plan.
“The kids wanted to do it,” Verndale Head Coach Jordan Hinkle said. “We put them in a good spot.”
Josh Gilb’s 3-point play with a minute on the clock put Verndale in a 58-58 tie with Browerville. The Pirates were guilty of two turnovers in the last minute and were forced to foul. They went ahead 63-58, and time ran out on the Pirates.
“In the last minute we lost it twice, but they made good plays to do that,” Hinkle said.
Kyle Petermeier led the Tigers with 22 points. Mitch Heid gunned in 17 and Bryce Irsfeld tacked up 14. The Tigers converted on 26 of 37 free throws for a solid 70 percent average.
The Pirates also shot 70 percent from the free-throw line where they converted 14 of 23 attempts. The Pirates had a tough shooting night from the field, making 19 of 54 floor shots for a 35 percent clip.
Dallas Ehrmantraut led the Pirates with 19 points. Gilb came up with 16 tallies and Marcos Gomez added 13.
The Pirates closed their season out with a 15-11 mark.
K. Petermeier 22, M. Heid 17, B. Irsfeld 13, C. Hansmeyer 5, B. Dreher 8. Totals: 15/3 26-37 65
M. Gomez 13, C. Ehrmantraut 2, D. Ehrmantraut 19, E. Blaha 7, J. Gilb 16, J. Kveton 2, D. Fisher 1.
Totals: 11/8 14-23 60
Browerville 32 33 — 65
Verndale 25 35 — 60
Verndale 72, Pillager 61
Senior standout Dallas Ehrmantraut pumped in 32 points and grabbed 10 rebounds March 7 as the sixth-seeded Verndale Pirates upset the third-seeded Pillager Huskies 72-61 in West Sub-Section 5A action at Pillager.
Ehrmantraut also turned in a nice floor game for the Pirates with six steals and six assists.
Josh Gilb tacked up 15 points for the Pirates and James Kveton added 13. The Pirates had a big night at the foul line where they converted on 15 of their 19 attempts for a strong 84 percent clip.
E.J. Ziegler and Aaron Jacobson led the Huskies with 17 points apiece. Conner Uselman netted 11 points. The Huskies shot 48 percent from the field, but only took 12 shots from the foul stripe, converting seven of them into points.
M. Gomez 5, D. Ehrmantraut 32, E. Blaha 5, J. Gilb 15, J. Kveton 13, D. Fisher 2. Totals: 25/2 15-19 72
M. Neururer 5, D. Strack 2, R. Hunstad 6, C. Uselman 11, E. Van Vickle 3, EJ Ziegler 17, A. Jacobson 17. Totals: 21/4 7-12 61
Verndale 37 35 – 72
Pillager 29 32 – 61