Tigers knock off undefeated Comets (updated)

MAPLE -- The Northwestern High School boys basketball team returned to the win column in dramatic fashion Tuesday night with a 55-53 victory over Cameron.

Alex Tecker
Northwestern's Alex Tecker gets fouled during Tuesday night's home game with the Cameron Comets. (Jed Carlson /

MAPLE - The Northwestern High School boys basketball team returned to the win column in dramatic fashion Tuesday night with a 55-53 victory over Cameron.

The Tigers rallied from an eight-point deficit to tie the game with 46 seconds left and scored the winning basket with 4.2 seconds on the clock.

“After a tough loss in Esko, I was kind of seeing how we would rebound off of that,” said David Gustafson, NHS head coach. “I’m proud of how the guys came out and made adjustments as the game went on to win against a good team.”

Cameron (6-1) played in the WIAA Division 4 state finals last season and is expected to make another deep run in the playoffs this year.

The Comets have not lost a regular season game to a Division 4 team in two years.


“This type of game is going to help us in the tournament,” said Troy LaVallie, Cameron head coach. “These are really the games we need to play.

“I thought we showed a lot of effort to night. We came in and had a good game plan and we were right there toe-to-toe against a bigger school. It’s a game where we can learn from it.”

Northwestern led for most of the first half Tuesday and opened up a 27-22 lead a minute into the second half on Kade Bartelt’s deep lob to Tanner Klobucher. Gunner Wilder hit a 3-pointer for Cameron on the other end, and the Comets traded baskets with Northwestern over the next three minutes.

With 12:40 to play, Anthony Putnam gave Cameron its first lead since the opening minutes of the game with a 3-pointer from the left corner. The senior then proceeded to knock down three more shots from beyond the arc to put the Comets up 47-43 at 8:37.

Layups by Ryley Hanson and Jakob Bailey pushed Cameron’s lead to 51-43 before the Tigers launched a comeback.

Klobucher’s shot in the lane at 4:21 began Northwestern’s run, and Riley Stowers knocked down a 3-pointer a minute later to make it 51-48. Cameron regained a two-possession lead on a pair of free throws, but Bartelt followed with a 3-pointer, then stole the ball and called a timeout at 1:19.

Northwestern went inside to Alex Tecker to tie the game at 53-53 with 46 seconds to play, and the Tigers got the ball back with 14 second left after a 3-point attempt by Cameron rattled out.

Tecker then scored the game-winning basket when Mike Lindsay drove inside and found him on the left block with 4.2 seconds remaining.


Comets put up a half-court shot as time expired, but bounced out to give Northwestern the 55-53 victory.

“I really like our effort,” LaVallie said. “We were right there at the end.”

Putnam led the Comets for the night with five 3-pointers for 15 points. Victor Martinez added 13 points, and Wilder finished with 10.

As a team, Cameron was 14-of-18 at the free-throw line. Martinez led the effort, making 8 of his 10 attempts.

The Tigers finished the night 3-of-7 at the line, with all of their attempts coming in the first half.

Klobucher led Northwestern and continued his recent hot streak on offense. The senior scored 13 points in each half to finish with a game-high 26 points.

In the past four games he has led the Tigers in scoring three times and has averaged nearly 19 points per game.

“He’s a great scorer. In practice we see it all the time,” Gustafson said. “He can shoot it from the outside, the mid-range and at the basket. So when other things are taken away it’s just kind of opened up that option for us.”


Tecker also finished in double figures Tuesday with 11 points. Stowers added six, Bartelt had five, Lindsay had four and Anthony Lupa had three.

The Tigers played at Bloomer Thursday and host Cumberland at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday.


Cameron......................... 22    31    -    53

Northwestern................ 25    30    -    55

Cameron - Anthony Putnam 15, Victor Martinez 13, Gunner Wilder 10, Jakob Bailey 8, Ryley Hanson 6, Josh Koenecke 1.

3-point goals - Putnam 5, Wilder, Martinez.

Northwestern - Tanner Klobucher 26, Alex Tecker 11, Riley Stowers 6, Kade Bartelt 5, Mike Lindsay 4, Anthony Lupa 3.


3-point goals - Stowers 2, Klobucher 2, Lupa, Bartelt.

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