RED OAK, Iowa — Brady Johnson just wanted a second chance.

The Stanton senior wasn’t especially pleased the last time he and his teammates faced Bedford. The hot-shooting Bulldogs blitzed Stanton for 45 first-half points and made 7 of 13 3-pointers in the game on their way to a 80-54 victory Feb. 12 in Bedford.

Not quite two weeks later, Johnson and the Vikings found themselves with another opportunity against Bedford in Thursday’s Class 1-A, District 15 final. And when asked if he was eager for the chance, the 6-foot-3 Johnson was quick to answer.

“Oh, yes,” he said. “I wanted to avenge our loss from when we got smoked by them last time.”

Johnson got his wish. Stanton used a 9-0 fourth-quarter run to seize control of the game down the stretch on its way to a 64-53 triumph Thursday.

The victory advanced the Vikings (22-2) to Saturday’s 7 p.m. substate final at Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson, where they will face St. Albert (14-9) for a shot at qualifying for their first state tournament since 1997. Bedford ends its season at 16-8.

The Vikings trailed by 10 points with 5:51 to go in the second quarter, but they managed to chip away using an effective 3-2 zone defense that limited the Bulldogs’ ability to penetrate the lane and rebound. The strategy paid off as Bedford made just 7 of 26 3-pointers and was outrebounded 38-27.

“They do things a little differently. They don’t cut quite as well as they do against the man,” Stanton co-coach Kevin Blunt said. “We had to hope that they wouldn’t be hot from 3 like they were the first time. We played the chances a little bit, and it kept us in it.”

Also helping matters was the play of David Sorensen. The 5-foot-10 senior scored a game-high 24 points and added four steals, three rebounds and three assists. He scored 12 of Stanton’s 22 fourth-quarter points to help seal the outcome, and he was happy his team got another chance to play the Bulldogs.

“We weren’t ready to play last time,” Sorensen said. “We wanted to beat them because we lost so bad the first time. They’re a great team. We just wanted to make a statement.”

Drake Johnson joined Sorensen in double figures with 13 points. Alex Becthold finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds, and Brady Johnson narrowly missed a double-double with nine points and a game-high 14 rebounds.

Bedford (16-8) ........................................... 20 11 13  9—53

Stanton (22-2) ........................................... 13 14 15 22—64

B: Colt Scott 5-18 3-3 15, Justin Folkerts 2-8 0-0 4, Wyatt Dillon 3-7 0-2 9, Max McMillin 2-6 3-4 7, Dylan Davis 0-3 2-2 2, Joel King 1-3 0-0 2, Quentin Sefrit 4-9 0-0 11, Kody Coleman 1-1 0-0 3. Totals 18-55 8-11 53.

S: David Sorensen 7-19 5-6 24, Brady Johnson 4-6 1-5 9, Easton Blunt 0-2 0-0 0, Alex Becthold 4-7 4-5 12, Drake Johnson 5-7 2-2 13, Reece Anderson 1-2 0-0 2, Donnie Weis 1-2 2-6 4. Totals 22-45 14-24 64.

3-point goals: B 7-26 (Sefrit 3-7, Scott 2-10, Coleman 1-1, Dillon 1-1, McMillin 0-3, King 0-1, Folkerts 0-3); S 6-17 (Sorensen 5-13, D. Johnson 1-2, Blunt 0-2). Rebounds: B 27 (McMillin 7), S 38 (B. Johnson 14). Assists: B 9 (McMillin 5), S 11 (D. Johnson 4). Steals: B 13 (Folkerts 4), S 11 (B. Johnson 6). Blocks: B 1 (Scott), S 3 (3 with 1). Turnovers: B 18, S 23.

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Please keep it clean, turn off CAPS LOCK and don't threaten anyone. Be truthful, nice and proactive. And share with us - we love to hear eyewitness accounts.

You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.