ESCANABA - The Iron Mountain Mountaineers could be dwelling on their missed opportunities for quite some time, at least long after the Negaunee Miners have finished celebrating their second consecutive regional title.
Josh Beauchamp and Taylor Huotari each missed shots in the final seconds and Negaunee escaped with a 47-46 victory in a Class C boys regional title game Wednesday night.
"We definitely feel fortunate," said Negaunee coach Mike O'Donnell. "This was typical March Madness, a crazy finish. That's what it's all about, but we feel fortunate to win and be going on."
Negaunee held a 45-43 lead with 1:39 to go. In the next minute Tyler Jandron got to the free-throw line twice but went just 2-4, setting the stage for Beauchamp to hit another triple, his sixth of the game to cut the Miner lead to 47-46. Negaunee then turned the ball over on the next possession, giving the Mountaineers one last shot with 16 seconds remaining.
With Alex Herman and Tyler Thomann lost to fouls by that point, Beauchamp took the shot from the wing and missed. Huotari got the rebound and put up an off-balance one-armed desperation shot that missed the mark. The Miners could exhale.
"We had the ball only needing one shot to win," said Iron Mountain coach Harvey 'Bucky' Johnson. "The ball just didn't go in."
The ending wasn't the only missed opportunity for the Mountaineers.
Negaunee (22-2) held a 26-23 halftime lead, but Iron Mountain (17-7) was surging before the buzzer.
Thomann and Nate Secinaro each hit baskets under the two minute mark before the Mountaineers missed a flurry of shots before the end of the half.
In the third quarter, Iron Mountain kicked their defense up a notch and held Negaunee without a field goal. Beauchamp hit three of his triples and gave his team a 34-27 lead.
Pacing the Miners again was Jandron who compiled 17 points with six rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Brock Weaver scored eight points with five blocks.
Beauchamp finished with a season-high 25 points while Secinaro scored nine points to go with 22 rebounds. Iron Mountain had 47 total boards.
Negaunee will play Traverse City St. Francis in the state quarterfinals 7 p.m. Tuesday at Petoskey.
Class D Regional Final
Carney-Nadeau 57, Munising 51
NEGAUNEE - It wasn't supposed to end this way for the Munising High School boys basketball team.
Seeking their first regional title since 1954, the Mustangs instead saw their special season come to a sudden end Wednesday at Lakeview Memorial Gymnasium in Negaunee.
Though Kenya Oas scored 23 points, Munising couldn't contain Carney-Nadeau's Wade Schetter and wound up losing the Class D regional title game, 57-51, to the Wolves.
Schetter poured in 31 points - 13 in the decisive fourth quarter - to send the Wolves (21-2) to quarterfinal play Tuesday in Sault Ste. Marie vs. state No. 2-Pellston (23-1).
C-N led just 39-38 heading into the fourth quarter after rallying from a 38-33 deficit late behind two 3-point buckets by Schetter.
Schetter led an 11-5 C-N run in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter with 10 points to make it 50-43 for the Wolves.
The Mustangs - who won their first district crown since 1957 - got to within 53-48 with 43.4 seconds left on a Boucher steal and driving bucket.
But Schetter then canned two free throws and teammate Lucas Moreau - who finished with 14 points - sank one to put the game away.
Class B Regional Final
Sault Ste. Marie 37
SAULT STE. MARIE - Sault High was held scoreless in the third quarter and hit just two field goals in the second half as Cadillac came from behind to win its second straight regional title, 52-37.
The Blue Devils (21-3) were playing in their first regional final since 1959. Cadillac advances to play Muskegon Heights in a rematch of last year's Class B quarterfinal.
Mr. Basketball finalist John Simons led the Vikings with 26 points, and Nick Paquet added 10.
Riley Angeli led the Blue Devils, who led 25-20 at halftime, with 11 points. The Vikings went on a 19-0 run to start the second half, coming back from a nine-point deficit late in the second quarter.
Steven Angeli hit the Blue Devils' first field goal of the second half with 2:51 to play.
EDITOR'S?NOTE:?Keith Shelton of the Daily Press (Escanaba), Craig Remsburg of the Mining Journal (Marquette)?and Peter Pietrangelo of the (Sault?Ste. Marie)?Evening News contribued to this report.