Turner loses in double overtime
Beloit Turner's boys basketball team got a double dose of heartache Thursday night.
The Trojans were two wins away from the school's first state tournament berth.
Instead, Turner saw its season come to an end in a gut-wrenching double overtime loss to Lake Mills.
Alex Ranney and Brady Wagner scored 21 points each to lead the L-Cats to a 62-58 win in a WIAA Division 3 sectional semifinal game.
Lake Mills (23-2) plays Adams-Friendship (21-3) in the Waunakee Sectional title game Saturday. Turner finished 22-4.
In losing to Lake Mills for the second time this season, Turner came up short thanks to 10 3-pointers by the L-Cats.
“I thought we were left for dead a couple of times and on life support,” Turner coach Ken Watkins said. “But to our guys' credit, they battled and battled.
“But just like in life, basketball isn't always fair. We found that out tonight.”
Turner trailed by seven points with four minutes to play in regulation but rallied behind Nacio Villarreal. The junior hit back-to-back 3s that got the Trojans within three, and freshman Dai'Vontrelle Strong eventually tied the game at 52-52 on a basket underneath with 1:35 to play.
Lake Mills held onto the ball the final 1:35 of regulation, but an off-balance shot at the buzzer was no good.
Turner fell behind early in the overtime on Wagner's basket, but senior Alec Fruin tied the game at both 54-54 and 56-56 with short jumpers.
Again the L-Cats were content to play for the last shot with 1:45 left in the first overtime, but a 3-pointer from the corner was deep and bounced off the rim as time expired.
Lake Mills scored the first four points of the second overtime to go up four at 60-56 with 1:56 to play, but Strong scored underneath to cut the margin to two with 1:30 to play.
The Trojans got a steal on the ensuing possession and had two good looks from Villarreal, but his 3-point shot and short jumper in the lane were no good. Turner had one last chance to tie or take the lead, but Wagner stole the inbounds pass under the Trojans' basket with 13 seconds left. Ben Dunkleberger than made two free throws with eight seconds left for the final margin.
Fruin and Villarreal, who came into the game averaging better than 50 points per game combined, finished with 42 of the team's 58 points. Villarreal had 22 points and Fruin 20.
Watkins said the key to the game might've been Turner not holding onto an eight-point lead in the first half. Lake Mills ended the opening half on an 8-2 run to only trail 21-20.
“It's disappointing in the sense that I thought, defensively, we played very well the entire game,” Watkins said. “They only had seven field goals the first half, but we hurt ourselves by turning the ball over a couple of times when we had that lead and could've pushed it to double figures.
“But that's basketball. I couldn't be more proud of these guys and what they've accomplished this season. It's just too bad it had to end like this.”
LAKE MILLS 62, TURNER 58 (2OT)
Lake Mills (62)—Ranney 7-5-21; Wagner 8-1-21; Dunkelberger 2-4-10; Toepfer 1-2-4; Iverson 2-0-6. Totals: 20-12-62.
Turner (58)—Fruin 9-2-20; Villarreal 9-1-22; Malkow 1-0-2; Ferone 2-0-4; Strong 3-0-6; Majeed 2-0-4. Totals: 26-3-58.
Lake Mills 20 32 4 6—62
Beloit Turner 21 31 4 2—58
Three-point goals—Lake Mills 10 (Wagner 4, Ranney 2, Dunkelberger 2, Iverson 2), Turner 3 (Villarreal 3). Free throws missed—Lake Mills 2, Turner 4. Total fouls—Lake Mills 10, Turner 13.
Last updated: 10:48 pm Thursday, March 9, 2017