Published On: Wed, Feb 27th, 2013

Howells tops Randolph in Districts

NORFOLK—The Howells-Dodge Jaguars were able to hold off a furious rally by the Randolph Cardinals en route to the 2013 Class D-1 Boy’s State Basketball Tournament.

Entering the contest between two of the best teams in Class D-1 with a record of 27-0, Howells-Dodge defeated Randolph (21-5) 49-46 in front of a raucous crowd at Norfork Catholic High School.

Both teams played to a slow start offensively, the near-capacity crowd did not see the game’s first field goal until the 4:48 mark of the first quarter.

Along with crowd noise, the Cardinals had trouble in the early going both offensively and defensively with 6’5” senior Matt Gooch who scored 10 of his 12 points in the first half including a fast-break layup as the second quarter expired, giving the Jaguars a 27-16 advantage heading into the locker room.

In the third quarter’s early going, the Cardinals had trouble with their dribble penetration and were forced to settle for jump shots. Howells-Dodge was able to stretch its lead to as much as 14 before an 8-0 run, including six points by 6’6” senior Grant Anderson, cut away at the deficit.

A possible contribution to the progression of the game was the fact that both student sections were located at the north end of the gymnasium. Both Howells-Dodge and Randolph were outscored in the half that they were forced to run their offense on that end of the court.

Jaguar Head Coach Cole Fischer was forced to take a timeout in the wake of a Nolan Nordhues three-point basket that cut his team’s lead to 42-39. Howells-Dodge answered with a three-pointer of their own to push its lead back out to six in the final minutes of the game.

Ultimately, Randolph was unable to capitalize on poor free-throw shooting down the stretch by the Jaguars and came up three points short of a birth in the state tournament.

Anderson led all Randolph scorers with 19 points, including 11 in the second half, while Levi Lackas was the only other Cardinal in double figures with 12.