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Dodge Gamecocks vs. Howells Hoosiers

Feb. 13, 2022, at Dodge • Playoffs championship game

score by halves
1
2
OT
F
Howells (6-2)
31
36
11
78
Dodge (8-1)
34
33
13
80

Summary: Dodge nips Howells in overtime thriller
Sunday’s Farmland Basketball League title game featured two game-changing buzzer beaters and became the first FBL championship game to be decided in overtime.


The 2022 champs: (front) Ben Kuehn, Tommy Ruzek, Casey Wisnieski, Cody Wisnieski; (back) Kyle Franzluebbers, Bryan Ruzek, Ben Franzluebbers and Matt Ulrich.

For the second straight year, Dodge beat Howells by 2 points on a Casey Wisnieski layup in the final seconds, this time by the score of 80-78.

Watch the game on video here.

After a slow start by both teams, the Dodge Gamecocks gained some separation with a 16-2 run late in the first half. Tommy Ruzek sparked the run with three 3-pointers in just over 2 minutes. A 3 by Ben Kuehn completed the run and gave Dodge a 32-16 lead with 5:50 to go in the first half.

The Howells town team answered with a run of its own, outscoring the Gamecocks 15-2 for the rest of the half. Tyler Polacek scored the final 6 points for Howells to cut the Hoosiers’ deficit to 34-31 at the half.

Dodge regained the momentum after halftime and again pushed its lead to double digits. Bryan Ruzek scored 2 of his game-high 24 points with 11:58 left to give Dodge a 48-37 lead.

Howells rushed right back into it with 10 straight points, including a 3-point play by Connor Blum. The Hooisers couldn’t overtake the lead, though.

With 6 minutes left, Dodge led by 8, but again Howells clawed their way back. As the clock dipped under 2 minutes, Luke Hegemann hit a 3, then added a basket in the post to shrink Dodge’s lead to a single point.

Brady Brester then made two free throws with 36 seconds left to give the Hooisers their first lead of the second half.
Dodge couldn’t answer as it turned the ball over and missed an open 3 in its next two possessions. Meanwhile, Howells added 2 free throws for a 67-64 lead with 7 seconds remaining.

Bryan Ruzek pushed the ball up the floor, then pitched it back to a trailing Ben Keuhn, who had to pump fake to evade a rushing defender, dribbled to his right then released a 3-pointer from the right wing just ahead of the buzzer.
It was good, tying the game at 67 at the end of regulation.

It looked like one overtime might not be enough when Brady Brester nailed a 3-pointer with 18 seconds left to tie it up again at 78.

Dodge pushed the ball up the court in transition and had a player find himself behind the Howells defense, alone under the basket, but the pass went off his hands out of bounds, giving Howells the ball back with 11.2 seconds left.

Howells was looking for a shot when Wisnieski jumped the passing lane of a skip pass, tipping the ball into the backcourt. He tracked it down and sprinted for the basket. The ball left his hand right before the buzzer for the game winning layup, giving Dodge its fourth straight Golden Tractor Trophy by a final score of 80-78.

Tommy Ruzek scored 19 points for the victors, with Wisnieski contributing 10. Dodge did not help itself much at the free throw line, where it connected on 13-of-30 attempts.

Kevin Janata led four Howells players in double digits with 16 points. Hegemann added 15 points and Blum 14 for the Hooisers.

Dodge

No.
Name
gp
pts.
0 Brett Ortmeier 0 -
4 Casey Wisneiski 1 10
6 Bryan Ruzek 1 24
11 Matt Ulrich 1 3
16 Cody Wisneiski 1 2
23 Tommy Ruzek 1 19
24 Ben Kuehn 1 11
30 Russ Meyer 0 -
40 Kyle Franzluebbers 1 2
50 Ben Franzluebbers 1 7

Technical- none

Howells

No.
Name
gp
pts.
0 Brady Brester 1 8
3 Tyler Polacek 1 12
10 Kevin Janata 1 16
11 Luke Hageman 1 15
12 Andrew Faltys 0 -
14 Justin Sindelar 1 5
23 Connor Blum 1 14
30 Tyler Schwartz 1 2
42 Josh Brester 1 6

Technicals- none