Ryan wins on Senior Night

It didn’t take long for the Bishop Ryan boys basketball team to put an ugly loss behind it.

The Lions downed Bottineau 56-35 on Saturday’s Senior Night, just two days after suffering a 21-point defeat at the hands of Des Lacs-Burlington.

“Blue-collar effort,” Ryan coach Scott Medalen said. “Workman’s effort. … Just a win that we needed and we got.”

Bottineau (4-11) scored the first three points of the contest on a Jake Carroll three-point play. Trevor Wettlaufer closed out the opening frame with a foul shot. In between, Ryan (8-7) scored 16 unanswered points and never trailed by less than nine the rest of the way.

Against DL-B, the Lions allowed Lakers point guard Cole Edwards to slice up the defense and find teammates Chris Duke and Tanner Holte, who combined for 54 points.

The offensive opportunities available to the Braves were far more limited. Garret Pollman’s 10 points represented the only Bottineau player in double figures.

“They’re one of the most fundamentally sound defensive teams that we face every single year,” Bottineau coach Nate Simpson said. “Defensively, they’re the team we strive to be.”

Brody Bosch led Ryan’s offensive charge with 14 points and Mitch Medalen finished with 13, but the team’s focus was winning one last home contest for Matt Niess.

Niess, the team’s lone senior, started and scored Ryan’s first two points to delight the crowd. He finished with five points and five rebounds, with most of his playing time coming in the first half.

“You wish you had eight or 10 kids like that on your team every year,” Scott Medalen said. “He’s very coachable, he does whatever’s asked of him. .. His minutes are limited, his minutes are small but when he gets in there he always gives us his best effort.”

The Lions weren’t an offensive goliath Saturday by any stretch, but they scored enough in the first (16) and fourth (19) quarters to overcome tallying a combined 21 points in the second and third.

Bottineau scored 15 points in the second quarter, its only frame in double figures.

The Lions are at Glenburn on Tuesday, the same night Bottineau hosts Rugby.