After seeing double digit second half leads slip away twice against Humboldt in the regular season, Algona boys basketball proved that third time’s the charm, flipping the script by using a big fourth quarter push to defeat the Wildcats 70-64 in the second round of the class 3A playoffs on Thursday night.
Senior Caden Weber hit two of the biggest shots of Algona’s season, banking in a fadeaway from the edge of the paint to put Algona up 62-61 with 2:05 left in the game, then hitting a three on the next possession for give the Bulldogs a 65-61 lead at the 1:23 mark of the fourth that they would never relinquish.
Algona entered the fourth quarter trailing 50-45 when sophomore Ben Helmers got the offense rolling with a three pointer to open up the period. After a missed Humboldt three, Algona received a three ball from Weber to give the Bulldogs a 51-50 lead, marking the first lead change of the fourth quarter. In total, the lead would change hands seven times in the final stanza.
After Humboldt trimmed the Bulldog lead down to 65-63 and got the ball back following an Algona turnover, Helmers intercepted a Will Orness pass took it down the court for two to give Algona a 67-63 lead with 54 seconds left.
Although Algona once again shot under their season average on free throw percentage, Tristan Larsen knocked down 8/12 from the charity stripe in the fourth.
With the win, Algona snaps a six game losing streak to the Wildcats, a streak that included a buzzer beating loss in the second round of the 2021 playoffs. Algona will head to Spencer on Monday night to face MOC-Floyd Valley in the class 3A – substate 2 championship, as the winner will head to Wells Fargo Arena. The game tips off at 7, as you can hear all the action on KLGA 92.7 FM and the Algona Radio YouTube channel.