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Jaguars basketball season ends in overtime

By by Jason Olson,

2023-03-14

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Freitag finished with 28 points on Tuesday and 30 points against Eagan

Jefferson opened play in the Section 3AAAA boys basketball tournament with a 58-55 win over Burnsville on March 7.

The third-seeded Jaguars led by two points at the half and Burnsville kept it close throughout the second half as junior Daniel Freitag led Jefferson with a game-high 28 points.

Senior Marcus Horton was the only other Jaguar to finish in double-digits with 10 points. Senior 6-foot-7 post Anthony Thorman and classmate Blake Mamalakis each had six points. Gavin Luick added five points and senior Reece Washington added three points.

Burnsville countered with 19 points from JT Thornton, 13 points from Collin Heckman and Khalif Bettis with 12 points.

Jefferson players moved the ball around on offense, allowing players to find an open look at the rim or push the pace in transition for quick points.

Burnsville led 46-43 with about 10 minutes to go in the second half and again at 49-47 moving under the six-minute mark.

Jefferson pulled ahead with a well-timed alley-oop which began with an in-bounds pass from Luick to Mamalakis who was behind the 3-point arc. Mamalakis heaved a pass wide of the rim where Freitag managed to collect the ball and slam it through the hoop in front of the Jaguars student section.

Freitag was fouled on the dunk and made the free throw.

Jefferson tied the game at 49-49 with 5:18 to go and led 53-49 with four minutes to play as the Jaguar fans came to life with a “d-fense” chant from the student section.

Heckman put-back his own rebound for Burnsville to narrow the lead to 55-53 with 2:35 to play.

Heckman came through with another inside basket for the visitors to make it 56-55 with 1:05 left.

Thornson comes through on a basket in the paint to take a 58-55 with 30 seconds on the clock.

After a Burnsville player threw a pass out of bounds with 18.4 seconds to go, Jefferson called a quick timeout.

Freitag was fouled with just over nine seconds but missed the free throw to keep it close.

OT loss at Eagan

Jefferson’s season came to an end with a 64-61 overtime loss at No. 2 seed Eagan on Friday in the section semifinals.

Eagan led 26-25 at halftime as Jefferson managed to outscore the Wildcats by one point 32-31 during the second half. Eagan regrouped to outscore the Jags 7-4 in overtime to advance to Tuesday’s section final.

Eagan faced host No. 1 Eastivew for the section title on Tuesday. Eastview survived a 42-41 win over Rosemount in the other section semifinal on March 10.

Horton had 14 points and Mamalakis had nine points to help keep Jefferson close. Washington and Thorman each had four points.

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