Nelson’s three in overtime earns Russets season sweep of Panthers
THOMAS — Another game for the ages.
That phrase accurately describes each meeting between the Shelley and Snake River boys basketball teams in recent years, Saturday night's second meeting of the season was no different.
A huge block on a potential game-winning shot by Tyler Fredrickson in the final seconds of regulation sent the game into overtime.
In the overtime Bracken Nelson nailed the go ahead three-pointer with 24.8 seconds left as the Russets earned the season sweep of the defending 3A state champion Panthers 62-59 Saturday night at Snake River High School.
"When we got down in the fourth quarter I told the kids we have a lot of things in our bag, we had a couple of defenses that we had not run in awhile and I thought Tyler Fredrickson did a fantastic job in the fourth quarter getting his hands on a couple of balls just because of pure hustle," Shelley head coach Dave Hadley said. "Offensively even though we looked disorganized we were actually pretty composed."
The Russets actually trailed by as many as six in the fourth quarter, but as they had done the rest of the game got big shots at critical situations.
Two of those big shots came in the final 1:21 of regulation.
Fredrickson hit a three to cut the Panthers lead down to three with one minute to go.
After an ill-advised foul sent Snake River's Tyler Coombs to the foul line, the Russets got the ball back and ran down the clock until Carter Cannon got an open look at the basket and knocked down the game-tying three pointer sending the Russet faithful into a frenzy.
After each team traded a pair of free throws, the Panthers had the ball and 13 seconds to try to get a game-winning shot.
The Panthers put the ball into the hand of senior Brad Coombs.
"We got the look we wanted," Snake River head coach Bob Coombs said of the Panthers last shot of regulation. "I told them to attack the basket, that's what Brad did, but the kid just made a great play."
As Coombs was driving to the basket for what looked like the game-winning layup, Fredrickson slid across the lane jumped and blocked the shot as time expired.
In the overtime period the Russets got another big shot this one the game winner from Nelson.
"The kids did a great job of moving the ball and looking for open shots without us having to draw something up," Hadley said. "We made three of four passes before Bracken made his way back to the corner and got himself open for that shot."
"There ball movement was really good tonight," Coombs said. "Those guys made the extra pass and got an open look at the basket."
Fredrickson sealed the win with a pair of free throws.
While the end of the game was exciting, the opening three minutes of the game were not exactly what Hadley and his coaches had drawn up.
The Panthers raced out to an 8-0 lead behind four points each from Brad Coombs and Curtis Keller.
Keller was a big part of the Panthers offense Saturday night after getting held in check a week ago in Shelley.
"Curtis was much more aggressive driving to the basket tonight and it paid dividends for us," Coombs said. "But we did not shoot the ball real well again and we need to do that with league games coming up."
While the season sweep by the Russets is nice, Hadley and the team are focused on the beginning of district play next week.
"This is nice and it shows the kids they can compete with one of the best teams in the state," Hadley said. "But the kids and I will talk about moving forward because we swept Snake River last year too and look how the season ended up for us."
"We are focused on Bear Lake," Coombs said. "Bear Lake is going to be our biggest competition going forward in district games."
Fredrickson led all scorers with 25 points. Cannon added 11 and Nelson 10 points.
Kade Keller led Snake River with 17 points, Curtis Keller finished with 15.
Snake River (11-3) travel to Aberdeen on Wednesday, while Shelley (8-6) travel to Sugar-Salem on Thursday.
Shelley 62, Snake River 59, OT
Shelley 10 11 15 18 8 — 62
Snake River 13 10 14 17 5 — 59
Shelley — Tyler Fredrickson 6 7-7 25, Taylor Lund 1 0-0 2, Carter Cannon 4 1-3 11, Keifer Higham 2 2-2 6, Blaine Rumsey 1 1-2 4, Dalton Nelson 2 2-4 6, Bracken Nelson 3 2-2 10. Snake River — Curtis Keller 5 5-6 15, Brad Coombs 3 2-2 90, Kade Keller 4 9-10 17, Tyler Coombs 0 3-4 3, Trey Albertson 2 0-0 5, Jaden Poulter 0 1-2 1, Klay Keller 1 0-0 2, Kade Harral 1 4-4 7.