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Rolla overcomes 22-point deficit to stun Helias in district finals

Helias lost to Rolla 63-60 on Friday night. (KRCG 13 Photo/Rod Smith)

You've seen players have those nights, those nights when he can't miss, like he's been dropped from the sky and falls into that ever-elusive zone.

Athletes swear by it, those nights that make even Michael Jordan shrug with disbelief.

You can't make it happen it just does. And it doesn't happen very often.

Well, the most rarest of sports happenings is when a team gets in the zone. And when it does, oh my, is it fun.

Wow!

Unfortunately for Helias, it didn't last.

The Crusaders got there in the first half Friday night, an incredible display of shooting 3-pointers when Ben Cooper hit no less than five of them --- in the first quarter. The Crusaders were a scintillating 10-of-16 beyond the arc in the first half as they built a 43-24 halftime against the Rolla Bulldogs in the championship game of the Class 4 District 11 Tournament.

And it still wasn't enough, because the zone of Rolla's Josh Pritchett's was even better.

The 6-3 senior exploded for 41 points --- 17 of those coming in the fourth quarter --- and Alec Buhr hit a 3-pointer with 4 seconds left as the Bulldogs overcame a 19-point deficit to pull out a stunning 63-60 win over the Crusaders.

Playing before an overflow crowd at Rolla High School, the Bulldogs (23-4) jumped out to a 6-0 lead, before Cooper banged home a 3-pointer for the Crusaders (18-8).

This would be a theme. The 6-1 junior was 5-of-6 on 3-pointers and scored all of Helias' points as the Crusaders took a 16-13 lead after one quarter.

They say you can't win a game in the first half, but you can certainly lose it. On this night, both were true --- almost. Because in the second quarter, it appeared the game was won.

Read the rest of the story here.

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