LINDSAY — It couldn’t have ended any other way.
With one double-overtime game already under its belt and the district title on the line, it was only fitting that the second meeting between rivals Lindsay and Muenster would be another photo finish.
This time - like the last - the Knights prevailed in overtime 56-55 to sweep the rival Hornets and claim the District 13-1A title at Lindsay High School on Tuesday.
“It’s always a battle between these two teams,” Lindsay coach Lynn Cook said. “The kids know each other and there’s a lot on the line so you expect the best out of both teams. It didn’t surprise me one bit that it went to overtime. A regulation game isn’t enough time to get all the basketball in for these two teams.”
Lindsay (14-14, 7-1) will get a bye in the Region II-1A (1) bi-district playoffs and will begin its playoff run on Friday, Feb. 22. Muenster will play the third place team out of District 14-1A early next week though time and location have yet to be determined.
Lyndon Cook had yet another double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Knights. Andy Dieter had 15 points, John Haverkamp had 11 points and Kedrick Boaz chipped in seven points.
The win for Lindsay was a culmination of hard work after the Knights stumbled to a 7-13 record out of the gate with a tougher non-district schedule than the Knights have had in the past.
“(The district championship) is a bit surprising,” Lynn Cook said. “We have a young team. They are a year ahead of where I thought they’d be at this point. It’s a tribute to the hard work this team has put in.
“When I came up with the schedule, I wanted something that would challenge our kids. They rose to the challenge and it allowed us to play in games like tonight.”
Lindsay took a 42-32 lead on a Haverkamp jumper a minute into the fourth quarter before Muenster began chipping away.
The Hornets would used a 7-0 run with senior forward Andy Flusche’s put back to make it 42-39 with four minutes remaining. He’d later hit a pair of free throws with two minutes remaining to cut the lead to 46-44 with two minutes remaining.
Hunter Klement would finish what would turn out to be a 14-4 run with a midrange jumper with a minute left to tie the game at 46-46 and ultimately send the game to overtime.
Junior forward Cole Walterscheid led the Hornets with 16 points. Flusche had 13 points.
“You have to give credit to Muenster,” Lynn Cook said. “They did a much better job of getting the ball inside (in the fourth quarter). Maybe early on they weren’t able to see some cracks in our defense. In the fourth quarter, Andy and Cole were able to get some space and they did a good job at getting the ball to them.”
Lindsay owned the game for the first three quarters - outscoring the Hornets in each period. The Knights shot 42 percent from the field in the first half as they took a 24-15 lead with a Haverkamp trey 30 seconds left before intermission.
Walterscheid, the Hornets leading scorer, was forced to sit with foul trouble early in the first quarter due to foul trouble. He returned late in the second quarter before playing the rest of the game.
Lindsay will likely play a warm-up game on Saturday though the details are still being ironed out. In the meantime, the Knights will enjoy the victory.
“I’m proud of the guys,” Lynn Cook said. “They’ve come a long way this year. They earned the district title.”