ABERDEEN --—Despite a few tense moments, Langford still managed to throw a Block party at Wachs Arena Thursday night.
Tyler Block produced a huge three-pointer in the final minute and the Lions held on for a 45-41 semifinal win over Hanson during the State B boys’ basketball tournament.
"You always see those shots. It’s one of those, no-no-no, yes, it went in," said Langford coach Paul Raasch. "Tyler hit a big shot. He was ready to shoot it, got his feet set and the result was good for us."
The two had talked about taking a three-pointer when Langford called a time out about a minute earlier.
"I asked coach when we had that last time out, if I was open to take the clutch three and he said, yeah," Block said. "I got my feet set and I was ready to shoot."
The senior reserve said he knew it was going in the second it left his hand.
"It was perfect rotation," Block said. "It rattled a little bit, but I knew it was going in."
Langford still had to defend the Beavers, who had their own look at a three-pointer, but that attempt was off the mark.
"They drew up a nice play at the end," Raasch noted. "I’m kicking myself, because I saw that play on five different films and we didn’t even talk about it. We got a hand up, so it wasn’t a wide open three. It was a good look, but we contested it."
So after 31 minutes of even basketball, it came down to one team making a shot and the other missing one.
"That’s exactly what I told my kids," said Hanson coach Josh Oltmanns. "Their shot went in and ours didn’t. We had a look at it and that’s the way it goes."
Hanson bolted out to an 8-2 lead before Langford scored 11 unanswered points and played with a lead nearly the entire way.
The Lions, who led by nine in the second quarter, were clinging to a three-point edge late in the third before scoring five points in the final 15 seconds of the period to take 37-29 lead into the fourth quarter.
"The end of the quarter was a gut-buster for us," Oltmanns noted.
The Beavers hung tough, but those points would eventually prove costly.
"That was big run for us," Raasch said. "I thought it was going to carry us, but it got us a lead where we could withstand a run by them."
Hanson eventually caught Langford and tied the score at 39-39 and 41-41, both times on free throws by Jordan Marquardt, who led all scorers with 22 points despite a box-and-one defense by the Lions.
"I just kept attacking the hoop, getting fouled and knocked down free throws," Marquardt said.