You wouldn’t know by the quality and intensity of Saturday’s matchup between Inman and Pittsburg-Colgan that the Teutons and Panthers were playing for third place.
In one of the best games of the 2A boys tournament, Colgan fought back from a double-digit second-half deficit to force overtime, but Inman recovered in the extra session to pull out a 60-56 win at Gross Memorial Coliseum.
Inman, which bounced back from a five-point loss to Ness City in the semifinal, finished its season 22-3.
“I’m just so proud of my guys and how hard they played,” Inman coach Brett Froese said. “It showed how tough they were today to come back today in the third-place game, even though they would have really rather played (in the title) game.”
Colgan’s Aaron Higginbotham tied the game at 49 with nine seconds left with a bucket inside and Inman couldn’t get off a clean look at the end of the regulation.
Inman scored the first bucket of overtime and then the game was deadlocked twice more before a bucket from Emporia State signee Mason Thiessen with 1:09 left put the Teutons in front. Inman then got a stop before Thiessen helped seal it with two free throws with 15 seconds left.
“In overtime, I told them it’s got to be just like against Sacred Heart (in the sub-state final),” Inman coach Brett Froese said. “We’ve got to come out and score first, make the first initial contact. We did that. And then Payton (Froese) made a big 3, which I thought gave us a little bit of momentum.”
Thiessen scored 26 points and grabbed eight rebounds while Payton Froese added eight.
Colgan (20-5) was led by Higginbotham’s 18 points while Matthew Lomshek added 16 and Andrew Lomshek 10.
“I think our kids really fought hard,” Colgan coach Wayne Cichon said. “Real proud of the way we hung in there, got it to overtime. We fought against some really questionable situations on the floor and the kids didn’t let that bother them, that’s what I was most proud of. I told the kids, all we got to do is make some shots and play some defense, and that’s what we did to get back in it. The kids really came through for us.”