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Buzzer-beater sinks Wildcats’ chances for Baldwin title

Andy Brown / Louisburg Sports Zone

Louisburg senior Ben Guetterman pulls up for a shot in the lane Saturday in the championship game of the Baldwin Invitational against Augusta.

BALDWIN CITY – Louisburg left the Baldwin Invitational on Saturday with its highest regular-season tournament finish in recent memory.

No. 5 Louisburg squared off with No. 4 Augusta in the championship game of what was a battle of two of the top five teams in Class 4A. 

The Wildcats were in no mood for celebrating thanks to Augusta’s Brendan Parker.

With the game tied and time running out in the fourth quarter, Parker pulled up from behind the arch and nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to hand the Wildcats a 43-40 loss in the championship game of the Baldwin Invitational.

It was a sour ending to what had been positive tournament experience for Louisburg, up to that point.

“Yeah, our guys were hurting,” Pfannenstiel said. “A buzzer beater always makes it a little bit tougher to swallow, but I think that ending was just a sign of how hard fought the game was on both sides. I think there is always something to learn or gain from a loss. 

“We always stress the value of each possession in a game, be it on offense or defense, first quarter or last quarter. Each possession has equal value and it’s easier to understand that lesson when you lose a game on the last possession like we did. The last few possessions get magnified, but in reality, we had many opportunities to win that game within the full 32 minutes.”

In what was a low-scoring affair, the Wildcats took a 20-15 lead at halftime in what was a defensive battle.

Augusta hit a 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter to take a three points advantage, and the Orioles then built that lead to 10, before the Wildcats rallied back.

Weston Guetterman flies through the air for a layup opportunity Saturday against Augusta.

Julian Margrave knocked down a basket and then Weston Guetterman had a steal and a score to knock it down to six. Ben Guetterman scored seven straight points to bring Louisburg within one with under a minute to go

Weston Guetterman drew a foul with 35 seconds left and made 1 of 2 free throws to tie it. Augusta then held the ball for one final shot, which set up Parker’s heroics.

Defense also played a big factor in the contest as both teams were forced to be patient on offense and had limited second chance opportunities. 

“Augusta plays a pack line defense so they do a good job of closing down lanes and make you be patient on offense,” Pfannenstiel said. “We were a bit out of rhythm offensively, but our defense was great again. If you hold a team to 43, you’d always say that’s a pretty good performance. Unfortunately, Augusta made one more play than us”

When it was all over, it was announced that three Wildcats made the all-tournament team. Ben Guetterman, Julian Margrave and Michael Seuferling received the honors after a strong 3-game performance.

Senior Konnor Vohs pulls down a rebound Saturday during the title game of the Baldwin Invitational.

On Saturday, Ben Guetterman led Louisburg in scoring with 10 points and Margrave finished with nine points and six rebounds. Weston Guetterman had seven points to go along with eight rebounds and four steals.

“I think this game was a measuring stick for us,” Pfannenstiel said. “Augusta is one of the top teams in the state. For us to go toe to toe with one of the state’s best should give us confidence moving forward. Obviously we aren’t into moral victories, but I think this game will give us the motivation and focus we need to improve and grow as a team.”

Louisburg will try and bounce back tonight when it hosts Piper. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

LOU 10 10 8 12 – 40

AUG 8 7 16 12 – 43 

LOUISBURG (8-3): Ben Guetterman 4-10 0-0 10; Julian Margrave 4-8 0-0 9; Weston Guetterman 2-10 3-4 7; Michael Seuferling 3-9 0-0 6; Andy Hupp 2-2 0-0 5; Konnor Vohs 1-3 0-0 3. Totals: 16-43 3-4 40. 3-point field goals: 5, (B. Guetterman 2, Vohs, Hupp, Margrave)

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