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Redhawks nip GMG

February 27, 2015
Tyler Strand - Times-Republican , Traer Star-Clipper

Doing his part at both ends, Paul Kaufmann put the Redhawks in front - and made sure they stayed there.

Knocking down the go-ahead 3-pointer with 3:15 to play, the North Tama senior swatted a potential game-tying trey in the closing seconds and left GMG with just three-tenths of a second to get one last shot off.

Bryce Newcomb quickly fired a 3-pointer that swished through the net, but the officials ruled time had already expired as the North Tama boys basketball team held on for a 68-65 victory in Thursday's Class 1A District 5 quarterfinal.

Article Photos

The Redhawks celebrate after a last-second shot by GMG was waved off in the team’s 68-65 win over GMG in the Class 1A District 5 quarterfinal. (Photo by Tyler Strand / Times-Republican)

Paul Kaufmann poured in a game-high 28 points and surpassed the 1,000-point career mark when he sank a 3-pointer near the top of the key to give the Redhawks a 60-59 edge they wouldn't relinquish.

"That's a set play we've been running for him all year and I just thought it was time to run it," North Tama coach Brandon Clubb said. "We hadn't run it all game and that was the one that put him over (1,000). He's executed that play very well and it's a good play for him. It was very indicative of the way he plays, for him to make that shot for us to go up."

The Redhawks (12-10) advance to face top-ranked Gladbrook-Reinbeck (22-0) in a regional semifinal Tuesday at 8 p.m. in Reinbeck. The Rebels defeated BCLUW 85-31 in Reinbeck.

Ben Panfil added 20 points as North Tama trailed by 13 in the first half and nine early in the first quarter before mounting a 13-4 flurry to tie at 57 with 4:29 left.

Kaufmann and Logan Zobel connected on consecutive 3s, Caden Stuart hit a jumper in the paint and Kaufmann stepped back for more triple before feeding Panfil for a layup to knot the game.

Bridger Claassen powered GMG (11-10) with 20 points and gave them their last lead with two free throws before Kaufmann drilled his third 3 of the quarter. Panfil scored inside once more to push the lead to 62-59 and the Wolverines made just 2-of-4 on their next two trips at the line before Kaufmann drove through the lane for a bucket with 1:16 left.

GMG pulled within one twice with two free throws from Jacob Burt cutting the deficit to 66-65, but Zobel split a pair from the stripe and Stuart stole the ball on the perimeter with 10 seconds left and hit 1-of-2 on his trip to force the Wolverines to look for a tying shot from beyond the arc. That's when Kaufmann and the Redhawk defense stepped up once again.

"We hit the big shots but I was more impressed that we got stops when we needed to," Clubb said. "We got our hands on passes, we got some blocks down there and we really did it on the defensive end and that's what helped us pull out that game."

GMG sliced through the Redhawks' transition defense early and often in the first half as Claassen sparked the attack with 17 points. The Wolverines twice led by 13 before the Redhawks cut it to 36-27 at the break.

Kaufmann dialed up a quick 3 to bring North Tama within six early in the third and Stuart followed with another to trim to five as the Redhawks started to find their stroke.

"Kaufmann just makes shots," GMG coach Michael Plett said. "I don't want to say he's their only player but he's a large part of their offense and I think he made 4 or 5 3s in that second half. We gave up 41 points in the second half, that's just an enormous amount."

Stuart added 10 points and Zobel tacked on nine points for North Tama, which will get a second crack at the Rebels after suffering a 94-56 loss in Reinbeck on Jan. 31.



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