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Eagles Fall To Randolph At State

The Bruning-Davenport/Shickley Eagles' 2016-17 basketball season came to a close at Lincoln East on Thursday, March 9, when they lost to Randolph in the first round of the NSAA State Class D-1 Boys State Tournament.
The fourth-seeded 20-5 Eagles fell behind early in the first half and trailed by as many as 17 points late in the third period before cutting the lead to six twice about halfway through the final quarter. The fifth-seeded 18-8 Cardinals led the opening-round contest 14-5 after one period of play.  Eagle Holden Stengel scored all five of the BDS first-quarter point total.
Back-to-back Kale Kleinschmidt baskets had the Eagles trailing 22-11 midway through the second quarter.  The margin was still 11 at the break—27-16.  BDS cut the lead to nine at 31-22 midway through the third stanza before a Randolph 4-0 run pushed the Cardinal lead up to 13. Unfortunately for the Eagles, their outside shooting never heated up at all.
Randolph hit free throws down the stretch and won the game 50-40 to advance to the semifinals on Friday. The Cardinals were downed by GACC the next morning with the Bluejays then falling to Lourdes Central Catholic in the D-1 final on Saturday.
“We really missed too many opportunities early on,”  Eagle head coach Fred Kluck said.  “We missed some free throws and some shots in the lane that teams need to hit this time of year to keep playing, but I was tremendously proud of the effort our kids showed.  Down 17 with five seconds to go in the third quarter, it would have been real easy to pack it in and say 'Oh well, good season,' but that’s not the kind of players or team this has been this year."
The Eagles, who had to defeat the eventual State Champion Lourdes CC to get into this year's state tournament, entered the final period down 14 at 39-25.  A much-needed Caden Norder trey had BDS down just nine a minute into the fourth quarter. A Garrett Schardt conventional three-point play narrowed the margin to six with 3:47 left in the contest.  Schardt paced the BDS offense with 10 points.
"The boys scrapped and clawed and gave themselves a chance to pull it off," Kluck said.  "We had a three (point attempt) in the corner with about two minutes to go that would have cut the lead to four if it had gone and it just rimmed out.  Great effort on the kids part.”
The missed 3-point attempt off the inbound, coupled with a miss of the front end of a one-and-one free throw and a Cardinal triple clutch basket after the player lost control of the basketball after a solid Eagle defensive effort sealed the fate for BDS and the all-to-short time in Lincoln.
Statistically, the scoring was balanced as it was much of the season.  Schardt did an outstanding job defensively holding Randolph's leading scorer seven points under his season average while leading the Eagles in scoring and rebounding with 10 points and eight  boards.  Norder contributed eight points and a team-high three assists.  Stengel and Kleinschmidt had seven each while Kale also grabbed a team leading four steals.  Noel Gines had six points and spelled Schardt defensively off-and-on during the game while Anthony Beavers added two points.
BDS ended the season at 20-5 and for the third year in a row, won both the Crossroads Conference regular season title and the D-1 District title to advance to the state tournament. The Eagles haven't lost a regular season CRC game for three seasons and haven’t lost a home game since the final game of the 2014 regular season when they lost their final home game to High Plains.  This year’s team had two  All-conference selections, as Kleinschmidt and Norder were named to the CRC first and second all-conference teams, respectively.