2/28/2014 10:55:00 AM Johnson free throws keep Bombers alive
by Mike Dalton
The CFHS boys basketball team is still alive in post-season play, after a thrilling overtime win Monday night over the Hayfield Vikings.
Both Cannon Falls and Hayfield won their opening games, pitting the two long-time adversaries against one another at the Mayo Civic Center. The Bombers won 54-52.
The two squads have been playing each other since grade school, and Cannon Falls has never won - until Monday, that is. Hayfield beat the Bombers 44-40 earlier in the year, in a game that saw senior Hunter Johnson missing a breakaway layup at the end of the game.
Hayfield wasn't going to let Brock Peterson or Jordan Lundell beat them with long jumpers, which forced Austin Noble, Alex Bultena and Johnson to play big, and all three did.
With Cannon down by four with under a minute to go in the overtime period, Bultena got a quick basket to make the score 52-50. Johnson stole Hayfield's inbounds pass and got fouled. Bultena scored again to make it 52-52 with 28 seconds left.
Hayfield worked the clock and played for a last shot, but Noble was able to tip a pass inside and bat it to Johnson, who had another breakaway layup opportunity. He was tackled from behind before making his attempt, and the referee called an intentional foul, giving Johnson two free throws and the Bombers the ball. The game officials put .3 seconds on the clock, and Johnson redeemed himself from earlier in the season, standing at the line and calmly draining two free throws. Cannon successfully inbounded the ball, and the game was over.
"Both sides left everything on the court," commented Bomber coach Josh Davisson. "Down four with less than a minute to go, the guys made the plays to put themselves in position to win. I was so proud of the way Hunter made those free throws."
Bultena led the team with 17 points. Johnson had 15 and Lundell 11. Noble grabbed nine rebounds.
Cannon won its quarterfinal game against Zumbrota-Mazeppa on Saturday, 66-55.
Johnson led with 19 points, Lundell had 18 and Peterson 17. Noble had 10 rebounds.
Cannon, the #3 seed, now plays in the sub-section final game on Saturday, March 1, against #1 seed Byron at 8 p.m. at the Mayo Civic Auditorium. The winner of that game plays again on Thursday, March 6, at 8 p.m. at the Mayo Civic Arena for the right to advance to the state tournament.