There was drama to spare in Friday night’s Class 2A, Section 4 final between seventh-ranked Woodbury and ninth-ranked Cretin-Derham Hall, so maybe the biggest factor in the Raiders’ victory was lost.
After trailing all night, Woodbury finally tied the score, 55-55, with 8.9 seconds left on Devin Padelford’s free throw, but Tre Holloman launched a long 3-pointer with a second remaining and …
.@CDHRaiderBall junior @Tretrehoops hit a buzzer-beating three to win Section 4AAAA. It is the second straight year the Raiders have won the Section with a last-second three.
Full highlights: https://t.co/lSuppXU9vG pic.twitter.com/nSAXNPPtR3
— KSTPSports (@KSTPSports) March 27, 2021
Cretin-Derham Hall is headed to the boys state tournament after missing out last year when the tournament was canceled by the coronavirus pandemic that was just getting a grip on the United States.
It’s such a bitter memory that after his team cut the net down, he asked the players’ parents to take everyone straight home. Their own home.
“We want to play,” he told them.
Holloman scored a game-high 25 points, and fellow senior Jack Tauer add three timely 3-pointers as the Raiders (16-5-0) finally solved their Suburban East rival on the third try.
All three games were close, but the Royals (17-4-0) had eked out victories, the last time with a pair of late backdoor baskets that the Raiders didn’t forget.
“They got us bad last time,” Holloman said. “That actually cost us the game, so the whole game plan was to stop the backdoor and stop No. 4 from doing his little spin layup with the left.”
Padelford still scored 16 points, but it wasn’t easy. Woodbury patiently worked to get a player open on the backdoor early, but Cretin-Derham Hall shut it down nearly every time.
It disrupted everything on the offensive end for the Royals, who fell behind 9-0 nothing before coach Kent Getzlaf called a timeout to settle his team. While Holloman won the game, the Raiders’ defense dictated the action all night.
“The second time we played them we probably got up six (points) with five minutes left and they hit two 3’s and got two huge backdoors,” Tauer explained. “So, we put a huge effort into reading the backdoors, taking it away and making it harder for them to score.”
They did. The Royals got a team-high 21 points from junior forward Bradley Cimperman, but he scored most of his points late as Woodbury clawed back from an 11-point second-half deficit.
Woodbury would get within two to four points, and the Raiders would answer. Tauer’s last 3-pointer put Cretin-Derham Hall up 50-41 with 5:19 remaining.
That’s when it got interesting. Woodbury pulled within 50-45 on consecutive steals and baskets by Padelford and Donald West, and Cimperman’s second 3-pointer made it 52-49 with 1:29 left.
The Raiders had a chance to ice the game with free throws but missed the front end of two one-and-ones. On the other end, Cimperman hit three after being fouled on a 3-point attempt, and Padelford hit 1 of 2 to tie it 55-55.
That’s when Holloman took things into his own hands. He had scored 11 of of the Raiders’ first 15 second-half points then went silent. Until he didn’t, winning the game with his third 3-pointer of the night.
Holloman, a junior, and senior Tauer are the only remaining players from last year’s team. The rest is composed of players who graduated from junior varsity.
“He’s something,” Tauer said of Holloman. “I don’t really know how to describe him but you know if you give him the ball, he’s going to make a play.”