May 29, 2024

Bucs headed to state in their first season as a co-op 

Photo by Jennifer Pederson Photography (From left) Caden Spilde (54), Grant Dawson (24), Dylan Bainbridge (0), Clint Determan (side), Cole Gilsdorf (2) and the rest of the Border West Bucs boys basketball team celebrate a Section 6A championship Friday, March 17, in Fergus Falls.

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Brooke Kern

Grant County Herald

The Border West Buccaneer boys basketball team is headed to the Class A State Boys Basketball Tournament in its inaugural season as a sponsored cooperative.

The Bucs beat KMS last Monday, March 13 in the subsection semifinals then upset top-seeded Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa Wednesday, March 15 to win the Section 6A-South title before cruising to a win over Henning to claim the section title and state tournament berth.

“We definitely knew we had a chance to have a special season,” Bucs coach Jordon Roos said. “WHN had a very nice season last year and returned all but one player, and got another one back from injury. Then we added the co-op and Cole (Gilsdorf) has been a major part of the success this year.”

Border West (26-2) will open play in the state tournament as the No. 5 seed playing No. 4 Cherry at 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 23, at the Barn (Williams Arena) on the campus of the University of Minnesota.

“These last couple games were huge games and the atmosphere was incredible so even though the stage may be bigger at the barn, they felt what playoff basketball can be like and handled it great, and I think that will continue going forward,” Roos said.

This state tournament berth comes after Wheaton / Herman-Norcross football went to state last fall and finished in the top four teams in the state.

“The football game at the bank and Fargodomes are certainly not going to hurt them at all,” Roos added of the “big game” atmosphere.

The winner will play the winner of No. 1 Russel-Tyler-Ruthsan and Nevis at noon Friday, March 23, at the Target Center while the losing teams play each other in the consolation semifinals Thursday, March 23, at Concordia University in St. Paul.

(2) Border West 70

(3) KMS 62

Border West held off a big second half push by Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg to earn a 70-62 victory Monday, March 13, at Minnewaska Area High School in Glenwood.

“This was a great game in a fun playoff atmosphere,” Bucs coach Jordon Roos said. “The game was a battle and had its challenges like all playoff games do.”

Both teams shot the ball well. Border West was 23-of-51 for 45.1 percent while KMS was 21-of-44 for 47.7 percent. The big difference in the game was the Bucs forcing 20 KMS turnovers and turning them into 21 points on the opposite end.

“We shot the ball well and forced turnovers, which was the big key for the night. We played pretty good defense for most of the night as well,” Roos said. 

The Bucs led 49-31 with under 14 minutes remaining when the Saints went on a 14-0 run to get within four. Back-to-back threes from Cole Gilsdorf restored order for the Bucs and they held on over a chaotic final seven minutes to get the win.

“We gave up a 14-0 run in the second half and were able to bounce back after that and finish the ball game,” Roos concluded. “Proud of the mental toughness of the boys to withstand the run they made.”

Clint Determan had 25 points on 9-of-18 from the floor, including 4-of-8 from three-point range. Determan added eight rebounds, two steals and six assists for the Bucs.

Andy Walker had 17 points on 4-of-6 from beyond the arc while Dylan Brainbridge and Cole Gilsdorf both chipped in 12 each. Bainbridge grabbed seven boards with a team-high eight assists and four steals while Gilsdorf added four assists, three steals and a block.

DeAndre Holloway had 29 points with 12 rebounds and two blocks to lead KMS, which ended the year 21-6.

Section 6A-South Finals

(2) Border West 51

(1) BBE 47

The Border West Bucs dethroned defending section champion Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 51-47 to win the Section 6A-South title Wednesday, March 15, at the Minnewaska Area High School in Glenwood.

“This game was decided by defense,” Bucs coach Jordon Roos said. “Our defense was outstanding all night and our boys executed our game plan about as well as they could have. We said we were going to be the team to find a way to limit Pieper, who is a special player, and we were able to do just that, holding him to 13 compared to his average of almost 30.”

Border West shot just 36.5 percent compared to the 43.5 percent that the Jaguars connected from.

“I actually thought our offense was better than the stats and score would say, but BBE did a great job blocking shots and contesting drives we had at the rim,” Roos said. 

The Bucs took a 10-point lead into halftime while holding the Jaguars to a season-low 17 first half points. They pushed the lead to as much as 14 in the second half before BBE began to chip away, eventually getting within two with under a minute to play. The Bucs kept the Jaguars around by hitting only 2-of-6 free throws down the stretch, but those free throws coupled with some big defensive stops were enough to earn the win.

“The game came down to the end, and we didn’t make it easy on ourselves by missing some free throws at the end, but we got the stops and rebounds on the other end to seal the deal.”

Dylan Bainbridge had a game-high 20 points with three assists and two steals. Clint Determan added 16 with six rebounds. Cole Gilsdorf and Andrew Walker both grabbed eight rebounds each as the Bucs won their 22nd straight game, improving to 25-2 on the season.

Luke Illies had 15 points with eight rebounds for the Jaguars, who ended the season 24-5.

Section 6A Finals

Border West 65

Henning 51

Border West was red hot from the floor, especially in the second-half, to win the Section 6A title with a 65-51 victory over Henning Friday, March 17, at the Otter Fieldhouse in Fergus Falls.

“This was a great game and just fun to be a part of that atmosphere,” said Bucs coach Jordon Roos. “We have a special group of kids and went out and have played so well this whole playoff run so far.”

Border West was led by the one-two punch of seniors Dylan Bainbridge (22 points) and Clint Determan (20 points) as they combined for 42 points. Determan completed a double-double by pulling down 12 rebounds in the contest.

“We knew they had a lot of shooters and we were going to need to be able to have great contests on them all game which we did,” Roos said. “Then we thought we could really attack the paint and score at the rim, which we also did a phenomenal job of.”

Border West recorded 40 points in the paint and also went 19-of-25 from the foul line, led by Gilsdorf who hit 7-of-8, including all six of his second half attempts.  The Buccaneers shot 53.7 percent (22-of-41) from the field and held a 29-22 edge on the boards. Henning was 17-of-51 for 33.3 percent from the floor.

“Always tough to end a season,” Henning head coach Randy Misegades told “I certainly don’t question our effort. Border West was just flat out better than Henning (Friday night). They are athletic, physical, skilled, and deep. They were just too much for us.”

Henning was led by 23 points from Mason Hammer as the Hornets ended their season with a record of 28-2. They saw their 17 game winning streak come to an end with the loss.

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