It may have been as sloppy as Minnesota
roads in March, but Braham doesn’t care as long as they don’t hit a pothole on their drive for a 3rd
straight Class AA state title.
They got by New London-Spicer 76-52 in a rugged, physical game, to advance to the semifinals on Friday night.
There were more whistles than at a busy intersection, with the refs calling 40 fouls. This led to 51 free throw attempts and a game that seemed to lack life.
“People behind us where yelling “boring”, but what are you going to do,” said Braham coach Bob Vaughan. “It’s just the way some basketball games are. You win ugly.
“There was no flow because of the physical nature of the game,” he added. “A lot of fouls called. I didn’t think anything was cheap. It was a physical game. Everyone on my team plays football, so it’s okay.”
New London Spicer stayed with Braham for the first couple of minutes, as Todd Herman scores 15 for the Wildcats. But eventually the Bombers started to pull ahead, with Isaiah Dahlman leading the charge. He dumped in 22 in the first half, and his younger brother, Noah, added 13 and Braham was up 50-32 at the break.
“That’s the way it has to be,” said Vaughan. “They’re our two players and everyone else chipping in, doing what they can.”
It was more of the Dahlman brothers in the second half, as Braham led by as many as 34. Isaiah finished with a game high 36 points, and Noah 20.
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo was in the house to check out prized recruit Isaiah Dahlman. Izzo had a big hug for Vaughan after the game, and stopped in the locker room to congratulate the Bombers on their win.
“Tom is kinda part of us. And we’re part of him,” said Vaughan. “Isaiah is a member of their family, and in Braham, we’re a member of the Spartans family now too.”
But before he heads off to East Lansing, Dahlman has some unfinished business. Braham is 113-10 over the last 4 years, and they really want to punctuate their dynasty with another state title.
“We’re nearing the end, my seven seniors, and they sense that and they’re very hungry,” Vaughan said. “Their goal, of course, all year has been to get to this game, so we’re right where we want to be.”
Pelican Rapids is the next hurdle in front of Braham. Vaughan expects a tough, hard fought game. And he’s okay if it falls into the ugly category, as long as it ends up in the win column as well.