Game 1 in Saturday's session at Fridley was North Branch taking on St. Paul Harding. Kenneth Swanson with a pair of bombs in a 15-1 Harding run to break open a close game midway through the 1st half. That would propel the Knights to a 28-20 halftime lead. That margin would stay between 10 and 5 for the until inside of 4 minutes to play. 42-33 Harding with 3:49 left after a BLOB layup.
Matt Bloomquist for 3 for North Branch countered by both ends of the bonus for Harding's Donovan Adesoro. 44-36 Knights with 2:50 left. North Branch misses and the Vikings should be done at this point. Problem is that free throws are not necessarily free points in today's game. Harding misses a front end and the Vikings counter with both ends on their possession. Another missed front end for Harding and its a North Branch 3. Harding makes 2 freebies but then misses 2 on their next chance. 46-41 Harding with 1:16 left. Bloomquist with a clutch 3 with 1:02 left and the noose tightens. Harding clanks 2 more free throws. Same set for Bloomquist and his good look doesn't go down with 40 ticks left. 1 of 2 for Harding and North Branch still has hope. They get an offensive putback with 15 seconds left to cut the lead to 1. Then Harding misses 2 more once again. North Branch comes back the other way and a tick tack call sends Bloomquist to the line with 5.2 left.
He sinks the front end of the bonus to tie the game and then after Harding ices him, he calmly sinks the back end and that's your game winner. North Branch steals one 48-47. Harding 3-14 from the foul line in the last 2:24. They had an 8 point lead with the ball at that point. Matt Bloomquist with 8 of his 15 in the last 3 minutes to lead the comeback. Brandon Thauwald of North Branch topped all scorers with 19.