Boys basketball: Down to the wire
Twice last week Alex Michels found himself with the outcome of a game squarely on his shoulders as the final seconds ticked away.
Once he came through, once he didn't, and the Tigers had to settle for a split of a pair of Missota Conference contests.
Michels found himself open under the basket and turned a Kyle Winkelman pass into a game-winning lay-up with 1.6 seconds left in Tuesday night's 61-59 road victory at Prior Lake. Three nights later, Michels missed two free throws with three seconds left and Northfield escaped Tiger Gym with a 48-47 win.
The close games were nothing new for the Tigers, who are now 4-7 this year in 11 games that have been decided by an average of 3.1 points.
Head coach Shane Wyandt's team led 29-26 at the break against Northfield and still held a one-point advantage with 30 seconds left when the Raiders turned a steal into a go-ahead lay-up.
Michels finished with a team-high 13 points. Winkelman, Lavey and Connor Duffy each added nine points.
"We played a pretty good game defensively, but the combination of turnovers, missed shots and lack of defensive rebounding in the last five minutes killed us," Wyandt said.
The Tigers nearly lost after building an 11-point lead in the final five minutes Tuesday against Prior Lake.
The Lakers tied the game at 59-59 with a three-pointer with 16 seconds to go, but Winkelman drove the lane and found Michels for the game-winner.
Winkelman had several key baskets of his own down the stretch and finished with a game-high 22 points. Duffy added 12 and Michels scored nine points.
The Tigers were back on the court Tuesday night at home against Holy Angels. They hit the road tomorrow night to take on New Prague, then wrap up the regular season the following week with games against Red Wing and Hutchinson.