The Linton Miners are going to the semistate in boys high school basketball for the first time in 67 years.
No. 10-ranked Linton defeated Perry Central 68-60 to win the Class 2A Southridge Regional championship Saturday night.
Next up for Linton (23-3) will be Speedway in next Saturday’s semistate at a site to be determined.
The Miners led most of the way but fell behind by one point in the fourth period. Jackson Bohnert hit a shot to give the lead back to Linton at 57-56, but Colten Hedinger came back with a bucket and Dillon Hubert hit his fifth field goal to put PC up 60-57.
That was all she wrote for the Commodores as the Miners scored the last 11 points of the game to win by eight.
Bryant Jackson had three steals in the last two minutes and hit three free throws to help push Linton to victory.
“The key to this game and to our season has been the resiliency of the team and the play of all the players as they played their roles,” Linton coach Joey Hart said.
He again referred to the work of the players who came off the bench when standout Austin Karazsia picked up his second foul in the first quarter.
“We played them even for 11 minutes with Austin on the bench,” Hart said. “All the players worked so hard and mean so much to our success.”
Dess Fougerousse led the Miners with 26 points and 13 rebounds while making 5 of 6 attempts from the free-throw line. Afterward, he was named the regional’s Most Valuable Player.
Karazsia finished with 22 points and four rebounds. He hit all four free throws he attempted.
Bohnert was the third Linton player to score in double figures with 11 points, hitting 7 of 8 free throws. Jackson finished with eight points and three steals and hit a big, big 3-pointer to start the fourth quarter, putting Linton up 51-44 before PC began its run.
Hubert had 10 points for the Commodores, all in the second half. Tanner Cassidy led Perry Central (22-4) with 15 points and six rebounds, while Derek Thomas had 12 points.
An expanded story and boxscore will appear in Monday’s Tribune-Star.