The Indians BBB season has not gone as they had hoped, but play has improved and has the coaching staff believing they can make some noise in the postseason.
The Indians were originally going to host GFW on Tuesday, Feb. 18 but a change in the schedule earlier in the year had the teams swap sites. The Indians traveled to Winthrop to face GFW. The Indians then closed out their home schedule with a battle against Mankato Loyola on Friday, Feb. 21. The Indians then closed out the regular season with a road game at Madelia on Monday, Feb. 24.
The Indians were a little shorthanded on Tuesday, Feb. 18 as they faced GFW. Down a few players due to sickness, the Indians needed a few role players to step up their game against the Thunderbirds.
From the beginning, the Indians' effort was lacking. A poor showing after playing with high intensity and overall playing really well against Wabasso in the game previously, it was frustrating for the Indians coaching staff to see a lack of intensity throughout the game.
Kegan Heiderscheidt topped his career-high of 31 that he clinched against Wabasso by scoring 33 points with seven rebounds and five blocks.
The game at the time was looming large for the Indians as they were looking to close out the regular season conference schedule with a road victory to help boost their playoff seeding.
Mankato Loyola 64
Indians 63 F/OT
The Indians closed out their regular-season home schedule with a non-conference game against Mankato Loyola. Since Jan. 20, the Crusaders had won 9 of their past 10. While they were coming in hot, the Indians looked to halt their momentum to come away with a big win to head into their game on Monday against Madelia.
The Indians were in a tight, high-intensity battle all night long as the two teams jockeyed for position all game.
Early on, the Indians trailed 22-10 with around eight minutes to go. An 8-0 run from the Indians forced Mankato Loyola Head Coach Sam Carlson to call a timeout as the Indians now trailed 22-18. Out of the timeout, an Indians lay-up brought the score to 22-20 before Loyola hit a three-pointer to halt a 10-0 Indians run.
After bringing the score within two, the Indians allowed the Crusaders to go on a 10-0 run to take a 32-20 lead. As Loyola made the front end of two free throws, Kegan Heiderscheidt got a block and a steal and proceeded to go coast-to-coast for a slam dunk in between three defenders as they parted like the red sea as he roared into the lane.
A steal and a lay-up forced another Crusaders timeout as with just under three minutes to go in the first half, the Indians trailed 32-24. The Indians went into halftime trailing 35-26.
In the early portion of the second half, the Crusaders extended their lead to 52-39. With nine minutes remaining, the Indians were needing a few breaks and to find some momentum to make it a game again. Although trailing by 13, the game felt much closer than the scoreboard indicated.
A pair of Heiderscheidt free throws brought the Indians within six as with 6:21 remaining, the Indians now trailed 52-46 as they were on a 7-0 run. The Indians continued their run with another bucket. This time from Logan Netzke as Heiderscheidt razzle-dazzled his way through the lane and had a nifty pass to bring the Indians within four as they were now an a 9-0 run as the Indians trailed 52-48 with five and a half minutes left in regulation.
A Loyola bucket made it 54-50. Another Heiderscheidt block had the Indians running in transition, Heiderscheidt went coast-to-coast once again, missed a running floater, got his own rebound and hit a fadeaway turn around jumper to make it 54-52 with four minutes left. The basket also counted for Heiderscheidt’s 1,000th career point.
As the Indians trailed 57-54 with under a minute remaining, they had to play the foul game as time trickled away. Loyola bricked a handful of free throws down the stretch and with 44.5 seconds left, senior Matt Sellner hit a corner three to tie the game at 57-57.
A foul around the perimeter got Loyola to the foul line and they hit both free throws to take a 59-57 lead and the Indians called timeout with 10.9 seconds left to go. Coach Shane Heiderscheidt called timeout and drew up a play. Kegan Heiderscheidt found AJ Ziegenhagen on the inbounds play, Ziegenhagen then got the ball back to Heiderscheidt who tied the game on a lay-up with 3.9 seconds left to go. Loyola went coast-to-coast a missed a floater in the middle of the lane and the two teams went to overtime tied at 59-59.
The Indians eventually fell to the Crusaders in overtime 64-63. In the loss, Heiderscheidt eclipsed 1,000 career points while finishing the game with 31. His third straight game with 30-plus points. Logan Netzke finished with seven points and 10 rebounds.
The Indians closed out their regular season with a victory in Madelia against the Blackhawks on Monday, Feb. 24.
The Indians trailed 47-45 with 2:56 remaining in the second half. The Indians finished the game on an 11-3 run to defeat the Blackhawks in their regular-season finale. Kegan Heiderscheidt led the charge in the game scoring 30 points. Of Heiderscheidt’s 30 points, 25 came in the second half. Heiderscheidt also scored the final 13 points for the Indians. Monday’s game marked the fourth straight game Heiderscheidt has scored 30-plus points.
The Indians playing better of late, now face No. 7 GFW in the first round of Section 2A playoffs on Thursday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. in Winthrop.