The Zimmerman Thunder almost pulled off a big upset but fell to St. Cloud Cathedral 42-41 at home on Tuesday evening.
Cathedral, ranked No. 2 in Class 2A, took the lead on John Peschel’s layup with two minutes left, and that was the last basket of the game.
Zimmerman missed a 10-foot jump shot and a put-back attempt in the final seconds.
Cathedral (18-5) ravaged the Thunder 74-35 on Jan. 21 but the rematch was a completely different game.
“I thought we defended the ball really well which kept us from having to help on penetration,” said Thunder coach Ben Kvidt. “They killed us last time penetrating and then kicking the ball out to shooters when we helped. We also rebounded very well.”
The Thunder, who normally like to run, were able to slow the pace and force Cathedral to do the same.
“They love to get out and run the floor and we did a nice job of having long possessions on offense to force them to play defense,” said Kvidt. “We did not want to take quick shots and give up easy baskets in transition on the miss.”
In the defensive tussle, Brindley Theisen sank 11 points, Brady Schmit 10 and Peschl nine for the Crusaders (10-1 conference, 18-5 overall), while Kristian Bright with 10 and David Molinari with eight led the Thunder (7-5 conference, 10-14 overall).
Zimmerman led 31-28 at the half. Cathedral outscored them 14-10 in the final 18 minutes.
Zimmeman had a 32-27 rebound edge led by Kody Dwyer and David Molinari with eight each.
The Thunder will host Albany on Thursday.
Zimmerman scoring— Max McNulty 7, David Molinari 8, Kristian Bright 10, Noah Lunning 3, Kody Dwyer 4, Mac Riley 2, Tyler Theisen 7.