Decorah’s Matthew Franzen gets the block against a Cadet shooter in Tuesday’s narrow loss to Crestwood. (Photo courtesy of Nate Troy/Cresco Times Plain Dealer)
Decorah’s Matthew Franzen gets the block against a Cadet shooter in Tuesday’s narrow loss to Crestwood. (Photo courtesy of Nate Troy/Cresco Times Plain Dealer)

It came down to the final minute of play as to who would come out on top between the Decorah boys’ basketball team (4-5, 3-2 NEIC) and NEIC leader Crestwood (6-3, 3-1 NEIC) Tuesday night. In the end it was the Cadets who secured the win, 57-55.

Both squads got off to a slow start without a point on the board until two minutes into the contest. By halftime the offensive attacks on the basket had heated up with the Vikings trailing, 28-25, at the break. Keeping pace with each other, Decorah still trailed with a period remaining, 45-43. Down to eight minutes of action, the Vikings knotted the score at 50 and both squads went on a scoring drought for three minutes. With time winding down to 50 seconds remaining, the Vikings led 55-53 when Crestwood’s Shane Vokaty connected for a trey to put the Cadets on top. Seconds later a Cadet put down a free throw for a 57-55 advantage. The Vikings had several opportunities to connect on free throws and a half-court shot at the buzzer, but came up short, 57-55. 

Two Vikings were in double figures with Matt Franzen leading the way with 14. Knocking down 10 was Pat Bockman. Andrew Magner contributed nine points, while Sam Robinson dropped in seven and Seth Shindelar six. 

“We had opportunities but we just couldn’t capitalize,” said Viking head coach Jonathan Carlson. “Our guys played hard and executed for the most part, they just didn’t make the plays when they needed to. We will get better from this and be ready for Charles City Friday.”

The Vikes visit Charles City for a 7:30 p.m. contest Friday, Jan. 11. Decorah will step out of the NEIC and the state as it travels to Spring Grove Monday, Jan. 14, for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off.