Wednesday night, Windsor seventh graders took on Neoga in a fight-to-the-finish for the Stew-Stras Sectional Championship.

Neoga won the struggle but not without a price, Bryn Price to be exact. In the 32-23 Warrior win, Price scored 24 points of Neoga’s total output of 32, with 17 of those points coming in the fourth period crunch.

Scrappy Windsor rose like a Phoenix from the ashes of their early season to take the Section 7A Regional Championship this year, bumping off Cerro Gordo 31-23. The Trojans came into the game pumped and played Neoga point for point for the better part of the game. Windsor led in the second period and went into the fourth tied at 13-13, until big number 40 went into hyperdrive.

The first period was a low-scoring defensive duel, ending with Neoga holding a 4-3 lead. No points were scored in the first half of the first period, until Torey Leasher hit a free throw for Windsor with 3:20 left. Zach Weber blocked a Neoga shot and Sidney Edwards hit a two-pointer to give Windsor a 3-0 lead. Dalton McFarland hit a turn-around jumper to get Neoga in the game and Price went up for another two to put Neoga in the lead 4-3.

Windsor got a second wind in the second period. Edwards hit a hook shot and Price got called for a foul on the reach-in. but McFarland came through for the Warriors later with a swisher for two. Kyle Floyd hit a long two for Windsor and Price picked up a foul and shot one of two from the line, which tied the score at 7-7. Leasher unleashed a hook for another Windsor bucket and the Trojans held onto the 9-7 lead into half time.

Windsor and Neoga played toe-to-toe again in the third. Price hit a short jumper to tie at 9-9 and Tyler Pikowski dished inside to the big man again for another layup, but Ryne Floyd found the range for another Windsor goal to tie again at 11-11. McFarland hit again and Ryne Floyd answered again to take a 13-13 tie into the fourth period.

The fourth was when the ‘normal game’ went ballistic. Price led off with a three-point conversion and was on target again from outside. Suddenly, Neoga had a 19-13 lead with 4:45 remaining. Kyle Floyd came through again for the Trojans, taking a fast break all the way to the bank for a deposit of two points. Price was good for the money again on another drive to the hoop. Kyle Floyd went to the line for Windsor hitting one of two and the Warriors led 20-16.

Ryne Floyd was good under pressure and nailed a long sinker to pull the Trojans up to 20-18. That is when Price scored what Neoga head coach Erik VanHoveln called “the back breaker.” Price took a pass and drove in for the layup, then grabbed the steal and slammed again. Two goals and eight seconds later, the Warriors were on top 24-18.

But Windsor had come too far in their season to give up. Ryne Floyd struck again to pull the Trojans within four at 24-20, and the score stalled until only 52 seconds were left in the game. Price went to the line for one and Pikowski was sent to the stripe also. His first shot was a swisher and the second bounced like a third-party check before going in. Windsor rallied with a longball from Kyle Floyd, the only three pointer scored in the game. Neoga still led 27-23 with 26 seconds. Price hit another two at the line and Ryne Floyd blocked a Price jump shot. But Price got the ball again and scored, picking up a foul. He made good on the extra point and the Warriors escaped the Trojans in the final period to take the Championship, 32-23.

Van Hoveln commented on the win by saying, “Windsor did a heck of a job defensively, one of the best we have played against all season. I was proud of the first half, but asked the boys to put that behind them and play another good 12 minutes. I think the turning point was when Price hit the two in a row. I think that was the back breaker. Price has a good nose for basketball and and played a great second half.”

“What can I say, the Price kid is good, really good,” said Windsor head coach, Bruce Austin. “But my kids have worked very hard this season. The last time we faced Neoga we lost to them by 19 points. We worked four-five days a week on our defense and it showed tonight. We took the Regional this year, something we didn’t think would happen. Ryan Floyd came in with a great game tonight. He has been shooting really well lately and when he is open, he is practically automatic from the corner. Now that he has learned he can score, he will be a special perk for us next year.”

Neoga – 4 3 6 19—32

Windsor-3 6 4 10—23

Scoring: For Neoga- Pikowski (2 FT); McFarland 6 pts, (3 FG); Price 24 pts, (9 FG, 6 FT).

Scoring: For Windsor- R. Floyd 8 pts, (4 FG); Leasher (FG, FT); K. Floyd 8 pts, (trey, 2 FG, FT); Edwards (2 FG).

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