Kruse beats buzzer for Southeast Valley
MADRID — Kolson Kruse doesn’t shy away from pressure situations.
In fact he thrives in them.
In Southeast Valley’s season opener on Tuesday, head coach Kyle Johnson called Kruse’s number in a 63-63 ballgame with five seconds left.
Kruse broke past his defender and put up a floater that bounced through, giving the Jaguar boys a 65-63 victory as the bench celebrated.
“With five seconds left, Coach Johnson drew up a play for me with complete confidence,” Kruse said. “I felt comfortable in the situation and just wanted to get a win for the team.”
Before the final play, Johnson set up his offense during a timeout. Both squads hit the floor, and Madrid called a timeout of its own.
“We went with the same play we had set up before,” said Johnson, a Fort Dodge Senior High graudate. “I saw their defense fall back, and it fit perfect into what we had. Tre (Fisher) was digging hard, and we had Kolson set up for the three or to drive the lane if it wasn’t there.”
Kruse kept the Jaguars in the contest with a team-high 18 points. Southeast Valley was dealing with foul trouble throughout the contest.
“I’m going to that guy every time,” Johnson said about Kruse. “He (Kolson) was hot in the first quarter, but he had to put forth so much effort to break the press the rest of the way.
“By the end of the third, four of our five starters had four fouls. We had five total with four.”
The Jaguars held the lead for the majority of the contest, clinging to a 55-52 edge in the fourth quarter. The Tigers (1-1) then went up by five, but the Jaguars fought back.
With Southeast Valley trailing 63-60, Fisher came down the court and hit a three to tie it.
“Tre hit a huge shot,” Johnson said. “We were in a hole, and that was a big play to tie the game.”
University of Iowa football commit Aaron Graves, who led the Jaguars in scoring a year ago at 15.8 points per game, couldn’t into a rhythm as he was dealing with foul trouble alongside seniors Sam Hanson and Hunter Kruse. Hanson had 12 points and hit some key threes for the Jaguars.
Carson Lambert contributed nine points. Graves added eight, while Fisher and Sorenson tallied seven each.
“Sam was in a groove early and hitting some big threes,” Johnson said. “He got into foul trouble and went cold sitting on the bench.
“Our guys weathered the storm and were able to come away with the victory.”
Southeast Valley 65, Madrid 63
Southeast Valley — Tre Fisher 7, Kolson Kruse 18, Hunter Sorenson 7, Carson Lambert 9, Aaron Graves 8, Sam Hanson 12, Rhett Grandfield 4.
Quarter scores: SV led 28-13, 40-29, 55-52.