Boys’ hoops fall in thriller to Park

It wasn’t the ending to the regular season the Herders had hoped for, but it did come to a thrilling conclusion Feb. 9, in a 53-50 overtime loss against visiting Class A Park High. 

In expected fashion, senior Hayden Mosness co-led the Herders (11-7) with 12 points — alongside teammate Ethan Bullock — as the Herders hung with a lethal and explosive Ranger offense through the end of regulation.

Head coach Dan Smart said despite deterring from the normal rotation, he believed starting his seniors actually helped the Herders off to a quick start and set a tone that lasted all five periods. 

“To be honest, starting the game with the three seniors…they set the intensity,” Smart said. “We had a decent lead with those guys in there; maybe our biggest lead of the night. That rotation, which included the three seniors, they’re good. We didn’t expect them to drop off. That’s five guys who haven’t played together and they set the intensity. That made all the difference in the world.”

The Herders held an 11-point lead early in the fourth quarter (40-29) after hanging 20 points on the Rangers (13-5) in the third quarter. 

PHOTO: Take a look at some of the most eccentric and exciting photos from Senior Night.

Most of the first half saw just a three or four-point lead either way until after third quarter. 

Park came roaring back in the fourth stanza by going on a 13-0 run that led to a 17-8 deficit and overtime. With 68 seconds remaining, Jakim Ricketts hit the go-ahead bucket, leaving the ball in the Herders’ hands. But a fast bucket by Mosness tied the game back up. And swapping defensive stops in the waning seconds of the game led to an extra quarter. 

For Mosness, Senior Night was bigger than the honors and wooly jumpers they got to don for warmups; a grander stage to play on. 

“I love it. I love how everybody comes out and watches the games,” Mosness said. “I love how the whole town backs up the high school and the high school is just a big part of the community.”

For more of this story, pick up a copy of this week’s Big Timber Pioneer on newsstands now, or subscribe online at bigtimberpioneer.net.

PHOTO CAPTION: Hayden Mosness (33) pulls up from near the top of the key over a Park defender during the first half of the game Feb. 9 in Big Timber. Mosness helped lead the charge on Senior Night with a co-team-high 12 points and double-doubled with 10 rebounds. (STEPHEN KALB-KOENIGSFELD / Big Timber Pioneer)

By STEPHEN KALB-KOENIGSFELD / Pioneer editor

 

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