HUTCHINSON - With his nine years as head of the Galena basketball teams, Coach Matt Meyr returned with his Bulldogs in Hutchinson for the Kansas Class 3A tournament. Coach Meyr was there in his first two seasons in 2009 and 2010.
In their sixth attempt in Galena’s history to win a game at a state tournament, the Bulldogs lost a heart breaker to the Belle Plaine Dragons 63-62 on Thursday. Galena entered the tournament 20-3 and seeded #2. Belle Plaine entered with a 15-8 record and seeded #7.
The Bulldogs jumped to a 5-0 start on a basket by junior Garrett Hall, and a three pointer by senior P.J. Sarwinski. They went up 7-2 on junior Trevor Little’s field goal. After another Sarwinski basket the Bulldogs went on 8-0 run with Sarwinski, Hall, and senior Hunter Green scoring. Sarwinski finished the quarter with 11 points, and Galena had a 19-12 advantage.
Within 50 seconds of the second period Galena committed three straight turnovers and Belle Plaine had their own run of 10 points to take their first lead 22-19. Sarwinski, sophomore J.C. Shelton, and Little scored to regain the lead 26-22, and start a 12-2 run. In the run, Shelton drained a trey. Caleb Stover of Belle Plaine made the last four points, but Galena still led 31-28 at the half.
In the first half Belle Plaine’s sophomore Bo Gooch, who averages 20 points this season, was held scoreless in the first quarter, but had 8 in the second period. Stover added 10 points. Sarwinski finished the half with 13 points.
Sarwinski put the Bulldogs up 42-35 on three field goals, and the only free throw Galena attempted in the game. Gooch brought the Dragons back, down 42-40. Hall scored on a lay up, and Gooch scored again. With five seconds left in the third Shelton swished a trey from the corner to lead 47-42.
In the final period Hall put Galena up 51-44 before the Dragons Cullen Reynolds brought Belle Plaine back 51-47 with his 3-pointer. Green scored for the Bulldogs. Gooch scored and Stover hit a trey for a Galena temporary of lead 53-52.
The Dragon’s Caleb Sturgeon had made only four 3-pointers all season and hadn’t attempted a shot all game, but he put Belle Plaine up 55-53 on an unexpected three pointer. Galena’s junior Matt Adams tied the game at 55 for his only points of the game on a rebound and a drive to the basket. Galena didn’t box out on a missed Dragon free throw, and Stover scored. Sarwinski tied the game a 57. Sturgeon on his sixth 3-pointer of the season put Belle Plaine up 60-57.
Hall had a good look at a trey, but the ball rimmed out. Sarwinski missed a shot. On two free throws Gooch took the Dragons up 63-57. Off the bench, senior Marcus McDonald made his last shot of his senior year good for Galena 60 points with 4.4 seconds left. Belle Plaine committed a turn over with two seconds left, and Shelton on a 3-pointer finished the Bulldogs with 62.
Sarwinski finished his senior game with 22 points, and went over 1,000 points on the season. He added 6 assists, 1 block shot and 1 steal. Shelton added 12 points, as did Hall with 12, and 7 rebounds. Little pulled in 7 rebounds and scored 8 points. Gooch led the Dragons with 17 points. Peyton Nolan finished with 16 points, and Cole Osgood added 11 points. Stover had 10 rebounds and 10 points.