Basketball: Connelly hits at buzzer as Thunder boys tip Cathedral 60-59

Kyle Connelly’s 3-point shot rattled around and in at the buzzer as the Zimmerman Thunder pulled out a 60-59 win over St. Cloud Cathedral on Tuesday evening in St. Cloud.

The Thunder had the all for the last minute but couldn’t get the shot they wanted. As the clock ran down, Connelly, a senior guard, got the ball at the top of the key and fired up his first field goal attempt of the night.

“I was shaking when I took that shot,” Connelly told the St. Cloud Times. “I pump-faked and it worked perfectly. It hit the rim and I got a good bounce.”

The ball took a bounce off the rim and eventually rolled around and in.

Junior forward Jake Wilson led the victory otherwise with 22 points and 10 rebounds.

Cathedral’s Bjorn Borklund gave  his team a 59-57 lead with a three-pointer with 2:38 left, and the score didn’t change until the last-second shot. Bjorklund had six 3-pointers and 22 points, and Scottie Rucks had 13 points.

The Thunder (3-2) outrebounded the taller Crusaders 35-19 and led by as much as seven in the second. Cathedral (2-2) surged in the last five minutes and took the lead with 1:25 left.

The Thunder shot 26-for-61 on field goals, including 5-for-13 on 3-pointers, and were 3-for-6 on free sh ots. Cathedral struggled at the line (7-for-15) but made eight of 18 on 3-pointers.

It was the first Granite Ridge Conference win for the Thunder, now 1-1 in conference.

They will host Andover on Thursday evening.

Zimmerman scoring — Jake Wilson 22 (10 reb), Nate Christensen 6 (6 reb), Caleb Lunning 9 (5 reb, 6  ast), Gavin Doppler 8 (6 reb), Ethan Lunning 6 (2  reb), Adam Fordahl 4 (2 stl), Kyle Connelly 4 (4 ast), Corey Foyt 4 (3 reb).