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Fairmont boys cagers fend off Pipestone in OT

CHALLENGE — Fairmont’s Caden Baarts (right) drives to the basket and challenges Pipestone defender Dawson Kellen (23) during Big South Conference basketball action Tuesday night at Cardinal Gym in Fairmont. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — Wyatt Frank hit two free throws with 15 seconds left to tie the game, then scored six of the Cardinals’ 10 points in overtime.

Frank’s final five minutes led Fairmont to a 58-52 overtime Big South Conference win over the Pipestone Arrows on Tuesday at Cardinal Gym in Fairmont.

The Arrows’ Aaron Lingen put Pipestone ahead 48-45 on a left-corner 3 off a Connor Zephier assist with 29 seconds to go.

Zach Jorgensen then hit the first end of a one-and-one. Frank grabbed the rebound of the second and was fouled by Pipestone’s Dawson Kellen, sending the 6-foot-6 Arrows’ center to the bench with his fifth foul. Frank hit both free throws to tie the game with 13.2 left, then a Pipestone traveling call gave the Cardinals the ball back with six seconds left. Fairmont missed the final shot, forcing overtime.

Fairmont head coach Jared Thompson said the Arrows’ absence in the paint during the overtime period made a big difference.

“We knew Kellen fouling out in the last few seconds was big,” Thompson said. “We knew we’d have some advantages inside. … We executed, we were trying to get the ball inside to Wyatt because Kellen was out.”

The overtime tippoff was sent out of bounds, giving possession to the Arrows, then Lingen cut through the lane and collected a JT Tinklenberg pass for a reverse layup, putting the Arrows ahead with 3:38 left.

Frank made a post-spin move and transitioned to a fadeaway for two, then was sent to the line, again hitting both free throws to put the Cardinals up 52-50 with 2:32 remaining.

Frank used a Caden Baarts assist for two more before Jorgensen passed to Carter Bell for a right-corner 3 to give Fairmont a 57-50 advantage with 1:04 left.

“The guys showed a lot of heart,” Thompson said. “We didn’t play our best game, it wasn’t pretty, but in the second half, that last 10 minutes, both teams really competed hard. I thought we rebounded the ball really well tonight and that kept us in the game. … It’s tough to play against them, they’re very disciplined.”

Frank led the Cardinals with a double-double of 27 points and 10 rebounds, while Jack Hested hit five 3s for 15 of his 16 points.

Two of Hested’s 3s came in the final eight minutes of regulation. He used a Baarts assist for one at the 7:39 mark to bring the Cardinals within 40-37, then assisted Frank for a 3 from the top of the key to tie at 7:05. Hested then hit a trifect from the left wing with 42 seconds left to put the Cardinals up 45-43.

Jorgensen added solid all-around numbers of seven points, nine rebounds, four assists and four blocks to the Cardinals’ effort, while Baarts dished out six assists and grabbed six boards, while combining with Carson Toomer to defend Pipestone’s Tinklenberg and hold him to eight points.

“I thought Baarts and Toomer played great defense tonight to keep their top scorer (Tinklenberg) working hard,” Thompson said. “They both deserve a lot of credit tonight.”

Kellen led the Arrows with 19 points to complement four rebounds, while Lingen scored 17 and pocketed six steals.

The win marks Fairmont’s sixth consecutive.

Fairmont (13-6) goes to St. Peter for a 7:15 p.m. Big South Conference game Friday, while Pipestone (9-11) goes to Marshall.

Pipestone 20-28- 4–52

Fairmont 25-23-10–58

Fairmont (58)

Frank 11-17 4-4 27, Hested 5-12 1-2 16, Jorgensen 2-5 3-4 7, Bell 1-6 0-0 3, Flohrs 1-6 0-0 3, Baarts 1-2 0-2 2, Toomer 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 21-49 8-12 58.

Pipestone (52)

Kellen 9-17 0-1 19, Lingen 6-13 0-0 17, Tinklenberg 2-15 3-4 8, Zephier 1-5 0-0 3, Fey 1-3 1-4 3, Pottratz 1-1 0-0 2, McKinney 0-0 0-1 0. Totals: 20-54 4-10 52.

3-pointers: Fairmont 8-26 (Hested 5, Bell, Flohrs and Frank 1 each); Pipestone 8-25 (Lingen 5, Kellen, Tinklenberg and Zephier 1 each). Fouled out: Kellen (P). Rebounds: Fairmont 37 (Frank 10, Jorgensen 9); Pipestone 24 (Tinklenberg 6). Assists: Fairmont 17 (Baarts 6, Jorgensen 4); Pipestone 14 (Zephier 4). Steals: Fairmont 3; Pipestone 10 (Lingen 6). Blocks: Fairmont 7 (Jorgensen 4); Pipestone 3.

Pipestone rallied to beat Fairmont 59-52 during B-squad action Tuesday.

Tanner Rosch led the Cardinals with 11 points, Jacob Crissinger had nine and David Maakestad scored eight.

Pipestone ran through Fairmont 56-36 during C-squad action Tuesday.

Sawyer Tordsen scored 13 points for the Cardinals, while Jaime Mueller had eight.

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