RANDOLPH — Randolph head coach Mark Anderson is not sure if he will return to the sideline as he mulls leaving coaching after a long and bountiful career.
It was not the worst way to go, if this was indeed his swan song.
The Cardinals (17-8) made it to the D2 state tourney after an 0-4 start to the season that wrapped with a quarterfinal, 59-47, defeat to top-seeded Humphrey St. Francis.
“Honestly, I don’t know what I expected, but I had six seniors back from last year’s (8-14 season) and they started to get better,” Anderson said. “For not being a very big team, we got better at rebounding. I am really proud of them and how we won a lot of games in the last two or three minutes of games.
“We had solid leadership this year.”
Randolph gave St. Francis its most competitive game in its run to the title game.
“We played them real tough and came out fired up early and were up, 14-5,” Anderson said. “They eventually got back into it and in the third quarter they got up and in the fourth quarter we didn’t make shots and they made free throws. “Turnovers were a problem at times.
“Turnovers were a problem at times. We have to find the gaps and pass the ball well and we didn’t always do that.”
The game was tied 25-all at halftime and slowly St. Francis pulled away in the second half.
Randolph was led by senior Keaton Backhaus who scored 18 points and the basket that gave the Cardinals that early, nine-point lead. Junior Justin Haselhorst scored 13 points and have only two fill it up for most of Randolph’s scoring was a key contributor to the loss.
Jamison Svehla was held to eight points and Carter Schnoor was held to an uncharacteristically low seven points. “They just made it tough for our guards
“They just made it tough for our guards to penetrate and get shots up,” Anderson said. “The kids made a great effort; they just couldn’t keep up.”
Randolph loses Schnoor, Backhaus, Svehla and Sam Lemmons to graduation, so juniors Haselhorst, Tyson Junck, Tristan Mosel, Cadein Villwok and Sam Korth are all going to have to step up their games to keep the momentum going after Anderson played a six to seven-man rotation.
Anderson, 63, has been the head coach for 14 seasons and guided the program to a D1 state crown in 2014 – adding to the 2002 title trophy – and now it’s about making decisions about going forward.
“I will have been coaching 41 years if I coach next year,” Anderson said. “I can’t predict what I am doing. It was a great run this year and a great group to work with. It was a fun year. We just had to get better and start getting Ws.”
Randolph 14 6 16 10 — 46
Humphrey St. Fran 9 16 18 14 — 57
FG 11-20 15-21
3PT 6-17 6-19
FT 6-11 9-18
Reb 27 18
TOs 26 17
Randolph - Keaton Backhaus, 19; Justin Haselhorst, 13; Jamison Svehla, 8; Carter Schnoor, 6.
Randolph - Justin Haselhorst, 10; Keaton Backhaus, 8; Jamison Svehla, 3; Tristan Mosel, 3; Carter Schnoor, 1; Tyson Junck, 1; Sam Lemmons, 1.
ASSISTS Randolph - Carter Schoor, 4; Jamison Svehla, 3;
Randolph - Carter Schoor, 4; Jamison Svehla, 3; Justin Haselhorst, 2; Tyson Junck, 1.
STEALS Randolph-Carter Schnoor, 4; Keaton Backhaus,
Randolph- Carter Schnoor, 4; Keaton Backhaus, 3; Justin Haselhorst, 2; Jamison Svehla, 1; Tristan Mosel, 1; Sam Lemmons, 1.