MCDONALD'S SWNEWS4U.COM GAME OF THE WEEK (Jan. 7–14)
BOYS BASKETBALL: #1 Cuba City 74, #4 Fennimore 70 (2 OT)
FENNIMORE — Four Cuba City players combined to go 6 of 8 at the foul line over the final 2:22 of the second overtime period to life the #1-ranked Cubans over the #4-ranked Golden Eagles, 74–70, in a SWAL boys basketball thriller at FHS on Friday, Jan. 10.
The undefeated Cubans (10–0, 5–0 SWAL) doubled up the Golden Eagles (9–2, 3–2) in the second OT 8–4 to escape with a four-point victory and keep pace with #3-ranked Darlington (11–0, 5–0) atop the SWAL standings, while Fennimore fell for a second consecutive game in league play.
Fennimore gave #1-ranked Cuba City all it could handle and then some through .
It took the mighty Cubans two extra periods to finally escape with a the double overtime victory, despite Fennimore playing the final 2:22 of regulation and the first overtime without starters Kellen Kenney and Warren Adam, and all of the second overtime without leading scorer Adam Larson.
“We definitely stepped up as a team,” said coach Larson. “We filled our roles and were ready to play Friday night. We did not back down from that challenge. We looked forward to it. I like to think that we learned from the Darlington game earlier in the week.”
Freshman Brady Larson erupted for a career-high 20 points, including five 3-pointers and junior Warren Adam scored a season-high 17 points on 8 of 11 shooting to give the Golden Eagles a shot at the upset.
But it wasn’t meant to be.
Fennimore senior point guard Kellen Kenney, who missed school and practice Wednesday and Thursday due to sickness, was lost for the game when he picked up a technical foul with 3:54 left in regulation.
Adam picked up a dubious fifth foul — it appeared to be a foul by Adam Larson — with 2:22 left in regulation and was disqualified.
Adam Larson did pick up his fifth foul with 4.7 seconds remaining in the second overtime.
Each time Fennimore survived, but the Cubans outscored the host Eagles 6–2 over the final 2:22 of double overtime.
“On paper, maybe we were not supposed to be in that game,” said Fennimore head coach Troy Larson. “They are ranked number one, they might be favorites in the polls, but these kids and the kids in this league may be closer, more comparable to Cuba City than some think.
“Of course not being able to get the W was tough, but hopefully this keeps our fire burning. We were right there without three of our key players at the end. Are there lessons in losing? I don’t know, but this can be a real confidence booster for our guys. Now they know we are capable of beating anyone.”
Brady Larson hit a pair of 3-pointers in the game’s first three minutes as Fennimore jumped out to an 11–5 lead. He finished the first half with 13 points.
“I think for Brady, this game was a testament to his hard work that he has put in,” said coach Larson. “He was a handful for Cuba City. They tried to pressure him full court, dog him all night and he handled that pressure and made shots that kept us in the game. Brady really played the way he was capable of playing. That was really, really nice to see especially with him being just a freshman.”
Cuba City rallied to take a 32–27 lead on a Jack Misky jumper with 3:39 left in the half, but Adam Larson scored six points in the final three minutes as the Golden Eagles regained a 35–33 halftime advantage.
Cuba City junior Brayden Dailey, a Division 1 recruit that transferred from Mineral Point this summer, scored six points in an 8–0 run early in the second half and drew Adam Larson’s fourth foul with 14:52 remaining.
Coach Larson adjusted by going to a 2–3 zone the rest of the game.
Warren Adam scored on back-to-back possessions, then gave Fennimore a 48–46 lead with a back cut basket on a pass from Kenney with 11:03 left. Moments later Brady Larson hit another three to make it 51–48.
“Warren really played hard and took advantage of what the defense gave him,” said coach Larson. “He let the game come to him and when the opportunities where there he took advantage of them. We can win a lot of games with Adam and Kellen, but we are not going to win games with just them. Our league is so well-coached, so well-scouted that teams take away your top options and force you to see what else you have. Brady and Warren showed they are capable and ready for us.”
Brady Larson hit his fifth triple of the night, and after a pull-up 3-pointer by Cuba’s Jackson Noll, Kenney scored on a drive to make it 58–55 with 4:43 left.
Noll answered with a deep three from the right wing to tie the game at 58–58 and on the next possession Kenney traveled. In frustration, he shoved Cuba City’s Riley Richard and was whistled for a technical foul.
Coach Larson has a hard and fast rule, if you get a technical foul, you sit for the remainder of the game, no exceptions. He benched his older son Reid for the second half a Fennimore win at Mineral Point a year ago, and his other son Adam earlier this year against Barneveld for technical fouls.
“We are an emotional team and we have to use our emotion for good things,” said coach Larson. “That was an example of our emotions getting the best of us.”
With Kenney out of the game, Cuba was poised to take control, but Dailey missed both technical free throws and the Cuba failed to score on the ensuing possession.
Adam scored on Fennimore’s next possession, and Miles scored on a layup to give the Eagles a 62–61 lead, but Adam was called for his fifth foul with 2:22 left.
With another chance to give the Cubans the lead, Dailey again missed at the line, splitting a pair, and the game was tied at 62–62.
Both team’s traded misses in the final minute, the last a free throw line jumper by Olson with five seconds left that could have given Cuba the win.
Olson had a steal and a layup early in the first overtime. Fennimore countered with two free throws by Adam Larson, but those were the only points either team would score in the first extra session.
Dailey drew Adam Larson’s fifth foul with 4.7 seconds left, but again missed a pair of free throws that could have won the game.
The talented 6’6” D1 prospect scored on Cuba City’s first possession of overtime, but Fennimore answered again on a offensive rebound by junior Druw Fifrck.
Olson missed a driving layup on the next trip down court, but Dailey followed it up with a monster two-handed rebound dunk.
Olson got a steal moments later, but missed a breakaway layup, and Fennimore answered once again when Brady Larson was fouled and made a pair of free throws to tie the game at 68–68 with 2:34 left.
Misky split a pair of free throws, then Richard made a pair after Fennimore missed a 3-pointer with 1:22 left.
Fennimore missed a shot in the paint and had to foul again.
Dailey split a pair to make it 72–68, then after a Fennimore turnover, Olson put the game out of reach with two more free throws with 11.4 seconds to play.
“It was a very good high school game,” said coach Larson. “I was proud of how the kids competing. We have two losses in the conference and that’s not great, but the good news is we get another shot at both of them.”
Dailey finished with 25 points and 15 rebounds. Olson added 19 points, six rebounds and five assists. Both played all 44 minutes. Misky finished with 15 points and five boards, while Noll added 10 points.
Adam Larson had 17 points, eight rebounds and five blocks before fouling out. Kenney finished with seven points, eight assists and five rebounds.
Cuba City 74, Fennimore 70, 2 OT
(from Friday, Jan. 10 @ Fennimore)
Cuba City......33 29 2 10 — 74
Fennimore...35 27 2 6 — 70
Cuba City (9–0, 5–0) —Riley Richard 5, Jackson Noll 10, Jack Misky 15, Brayden Dailey 25, Brady Olson 19. Totals — 25-53 19-31 74.
Fennimore (8–2, 3–2) — Warren Adam 17, Adam Larson 17, Brady Larson 20, Kellen Kenney 7, Jacob Young 3, Druw Fifrick 2, Landon Miles 4. Totals 25-57 14-21 70.
3-point goals — CC: 5-17 (Richard 1, Noll 2, Misky 1, Olson 1), F: 6-17 (A. Larson 1, B. Larson 5). Team fouls —CC: 19, F: 20. Fouled out — F