Border West wanted to prevent Gophers recruit Isaac Asuma from getting to the basket. The Buccaneers set out to step in and take a charge whenever Asuma drove the lane.
It worked. But the plan didn't account for Cherry's Noah Sundquist.
The sophomore guard made up for Asuma's foul trouble, pouring in 30 points as Cherry got past Border West 68-55 Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the Class 1A boys basketball state tournament.
"Everybody knows their role on our team," said Sundquist, who was 14-for-15 from the floor and 2-for-3 from three-point range. "When Isaac went out, I knew I had to step up."
Border West is a cooperative program of three schools — Wheaton, Herman-Norcross and Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley — that are near the Minnesota-South Dakota border.
"Our focus was to slow down Isaac," Buccaneers senior guard Dylan Bainbridge said. "They have other guys who can really ball. They're a phenomenal team."
The Tigers led 18-14 when Asuma picked up his third foul with 7:37 to play in the first half. Sundquist and two younger Asumas, cousins freshman Noah and eighth-grader Isaiah, made sure the Tigers didn't relinquish their slim lead.
The second half was much of the same as Isaac Asuma picked up his fourth foul with 12:26 remaining and the Tigers leading 43-39.
"It didn't seem like anything was going our way," Cherry coach Jordan Christianson said. "Our guys stayed composed."
Border West closed within a basket, 52-50, when Isaac Asuma returned with 5:10 remaining. Sixteen seconds later, he penetrated and kicked to Carson Brown for a three-pointer, then hit a driving layup.
The Tigers controlled the game after that.
"Everybody was able to calm the storm," Christianson said. Junior guard Landon Ruotsalainen buried two three-pointers before Isaac Asuma returned to the floor. "They are one of the toughest teams we have played this year."
Isaac Asuma finished with 11 points 11, rebounds and seven assists in only 21 minutes.
The Buccaneers (26-3) were led by senior forward Clint Determan with 19 points.