Rushford-Peterson and Caledonia have had a rivalry over the years in boys basketball. The Warriors have won more often as of late, but R-P (5-4, 11-10) has given Caledonia (9-1, 10-10) trouble here and there. The Warriors win over R-P in December, 73-50, was their eighth straight in the series. Hello trouble in meeting number two. Brad King’s group led by as many as 10 (36-26) in the first half. The Trojans hung around, trailing 39-34 at the half. Caledonia built a 57-48 second half lead, but the Trojans replied. Senior guard Grady Hengel had nine straight points in a 17-5 run. With 5:01 left, Dawson Bunke hit a three to tie the game 59-59. Riley Tesch then hit a three to put the Trojans up 62-59, their first lead (4:30)! Down the stretch, Hengel scored on back-to-back possessions, the first putting the Trojans up 64-61. Warrior Reid Klug then tied it at 64 with a three. With it 66-64, Cal’s Mason King scored to tie the game at 66-66 (0:50). R-P held for the final shot. Hengel was deep on a game-winning jumper at the buzzer. The contest went to overtime. There, King hit a key three to give Cal a 71-68 lead. After two Hengel free throws, Ethan Stendel’s layup put Cal ahead 73-70. But Bunke responded with a tough bank-in jumper to make it 73-72. After a Warrior miss, R-P again took possession (0:50) and played for the last shot. On a set play, the 6’4” shooter Bunke canned a top of the key three to put R-P up 75-73 (0:07)! After a timeout, Caledonia got the ball up the court. Lewis Doyle’s long attempt was no good. Posting their best win of the year, R-P prevailed 75-73 in OT! Hard-driving Hengel scored a game-high 33 points (13-20 FGs, 3-6 threes, 4-4 FTs, 5 asts). Bunke was next up (24 points, 6-16 threes, 5 rebs). Sampson Wilkemeyer (7 pts, 11 rebs, 4 asts) worked the glass hard. Garrett Konz (21 pts, 8-10 FGs, 3-3 threes) was high-man for the Warriors, scoring 16 in the first half. Doyle (17 pts, 6 rebs, 5 asts), Stendel (12 pts, 8 rebs), and Klug (13 pts, 4 asts) also made double figures. King added 8 points. R-P hit 11 of 26 threes (43%) to the Warriors 7 of 19 (37%). R-P was 28 of 56 (50%) from the field, Caledonia 30 of 59 (51%). Each team entered having recently lost games to ranked schools, R-P to Class A teams #9 Hayfield and #8 Spring Grove, Caledonia to #5 in AA Maple River and #11 in AAA Stewartville.
About Paul Trende