4A Playoffs: Reno, Manogue oust regular-season champs
It was a night of drama and upsets at the NIAA 4A boys regionals playoffs, as both regular-season champs were ousted.
High Desert champion and undefeated Spanish Springs lost for the first time in 17 games, falling 54-51 to Bishop Manogue on Aidan Cantwell’s 3-pointer with 4 seconds remaining in the contest.
In the first game of the night, Drew Rippingham’s basket with 3.2 left propelled Reno to a 47-46 win over Sierra League champion Galena.
So, it will be two second-place teams meeting for the title Saturday at 6 p.m. at Morse Burley Gym with a state berth riding on the outcome.
Cantwell’s score came 18 seconds after Marcus Loadholt (24 points) tied the contest with a 3-pointer with 22 seconds left in the game. Loadholt scored eight points down the stretch to rally the Cougars, who looked all but done early in the final period.
“I knew they were going to kick it out to me,” Cantwell said. “I got a good pass.
“We stopped playing; stopped executing in the fourth quarter. He (Loadholt) is a fantastic player. It was to be expected (that he would get hot).”
Bishop Manogue led 47-35 with 1:54 left on a driving lay-up by Gabe Bansuelo, but the Miners started to get sloppy, and they paid the price. A bucket by Jalen Townsell and two free throws by Loadholt cut the lead to 49-39 with 1:22 left. After a Manogue turnover, Townsell converted a three-point play to make it 49-42. Kolton Frugoli’s free toss made it 50-42 with 1:08 remaining, but a bucket by Joey Prizina and four free throws by Loadholt cut the lead to 50-48. Josh Rolling sank a free throw to make it 51-48, but Loadholt dropped in a 3, tying it at 51. That set the stage for Cantwell’s game-winning shot.
Manogue trailed for the first nine-plus minutes of the game, but the Miners went on a 10-0 run to start the second quarter to grab a 19-13 lead. Gabe Bansuelo had a three-point play and Brevin Bansuelo knocked down a trey to lead the surge. A basket by Frugoli sent the Miners into the dressing room with a 23-20 halftime advantage.
Spanish Springs got a basket from Loadholt and a free throw by Korbin Marcum to take a 29-26 lead late in the third quarter before Brevon Bansuelo and Brandon Concepcion scored for a 30-29 lead after three.
Spanish Springs faced double-digit deficits most of the fourth quarter.
Cantwell finished with 19 and Frugoli added 18. Townsell complemented Loadholt with 15 points.
Reno, meanwhile, led just once in its game against Galena until the final buzzer. That was in the second quarter when Tommy Challis converted a three-point play to give the Huskies a 21-20 lead with 4:31 remaining in the first half.
Until the game-winner by Rippingham, the Grizzlies led by between four and 11 points until the final two minutes of the contest.
Moses Wood had a key block and a free throw to make it 46-44 with 20.5 remaining. That set the stage for Rippingham, who led all scorers with 18 points, including eight in the final period.
“We were running a play called Cavalier, but we weren’t running it well,” Rippingham said. “I knew I had to get a shot up. I’m just happy it went in. I practiced that shot all the time in my backyard when I was little.
“We were down 12, and we kept thinking that we had to get a stop and then score (every time down).”
Galena turned the ball over twice with a 45-39 lead, and the Huskies converted both errors into baskets to trim the lead to 45-44 with 1:36 left. Rippingham buried a 3-pointer after the first Galena mistake, and Christian Chamberlain converted the second miscue into a lay-up.
Reno had a chance to take the lead after a third Galena turnover, but Challis (12 points) missed the front end of a 1-and-1 situation. Kyle Rose grabbed the rebound, however, and was tied up. The possession arrow favored the Huskies. Reno was unable to convert as Wood (13 points) smothered a Challis shot with 26.2 left. Dillon Voyles (12 points) missed the front end of a bonus situation, and Wood was fouled while grabbing an offensive rebound. Wood made the first and missed the second with 20.8, setting up Rippingham’s heroics.
“We talked about being confident when we play the best teams in Northern Nevada,” Reno coach Matt Ochs said. “We lost an opportunity when we missed the free throw, but we got a big rebound and Drew hit a big shot. Galena is a good team.” Galena had a 12-1 run in the last 5 1/2 minutes of the third quarter to lead 41-29 entering the fourth.