Derek Ferebee almost dished out the game-winning assist at the end of regulation Tuesday night, but the shot he set up just missed the mark.
However, the 6-foot-2 senior guard took charge in the overtime period, leading the Beulah Miners to their ninth straight victory, 83-77 over the No. 8-ranked Shiloh Christian Skyhawks at the Shiloh Christian gymnasium.
After Shiloh committed a shot clock violation with five seconds remaining in regulation and the score deadlocked at 67-67, Ferebee took an inbounds pass from Jacob Weigel and dribbled the length of the court before passing the ball to teammate Aaron Vallejo, who was open on the left side. Vallejo's shot bounced off the rim, sending the game into overtime, but Ferebee's 3-pointer 13 seconds into the extra session put the Miners ahead to stay.
Ferebee finished with 28 points and six assists after scoring eight points and passing to Trey Brandt for a layup in the overtime. He connected on 11 of 17 floor shots and all five of his free-throw attempts.
"Derek is one of our seniors and his all-around ability and experience showed tonight," said Beulah coach Jeremy Brandt, whose team improved to 12-3 overall. "He's very steady ... never gets too high or too low. He's even-keeled no matter what the situation is. Tonight he made plays throughout the game and he really stepped up in the overtime. He did what you would expect a senior to do."
Shiloh turned the ball over after Ferebee's go-ahead 3-pointer, and with 3:22 left, Brandt netted a short jumper to make it 72-67. The Skyhawks twice trimmed the deficit to three (72-69 and 74-71), but a basket by Brandt and a three-point play by Ferebee put the Miners up 79-71 with 1:11 remaining. Ferebee later answered a Trey Brunelle 3-pointer with a pair of free throws, and after a charity toss by Shiloh's Macauley Young, Ferebee found Brandt for a layup with 41 seconds left to make it 83-75.
Although Vallejo missed the potential game-winning shot at the end of regulation, coach Brandt praised the 6-1 senior for his defense against Young, Shiloh's 6-9 center. Young scored 12 points on 3 of 8 shooting.
"That was huge. We're not a big team and we put a lot on Aaron's shoulders tonight," coach Brandt said. "For us to win this game, we had to limit their big guy and I thought Aaron did a terrific job against him. We knew we weren't going to stop him, but we didn't give him a lot of opportunities."
The Skyhawks struggled as a team, netting only 25 of 63 shots from the floor, including 11 of 30 from 3-point land. The Miners, meanwhile, went 33-for-60 -- 7-for-14 from beyond the arc.
"Give them credit, they hit some tough shots," said Shiloh coach Brad Miller. "I thought our kids defended well. We contested most of their shots, but a lot of them went in. It was just one of those nights for us."
The marquee matchup between two of the top Class B boys basketball programs in North Dakota went as advertised. The Skyhawks led 24-18 at the end of the first quarter and 40-35 at halftime. They held a 43-35 advantage early in the third quarter, but Ferebee and Weigel scored six and five points, respectively, in a 17-5 Beulah run that made it 52-48 Miners.
Later, back-to-back baskets by Ferebee gave the Miners a 61-55 lead with 5:13 left in regulation, but Jaden Mitzel's personal 7-0 run put the Skyhawks up 63-61 with 3:36 remaining. After Weigel and Brunelle traded 3-pointers, Weigel connected again from beyond the arc with 2:22 left, giving the Miners a 67-66 lead.
With 1:41 remaining, Young netted a free throw for what proved to be the final point of regulation.
"It was a grind. Both teams played hard and had chances to win before overtime," coach Brandt said. "It was a good game for both of us. These types of games definitely get you ready for the postseason."
Weigel and Logan Miller added 18 and 16 points, respectively, for the Miners, who are 7-0 in Region 7 play.
The Skyhawks, 12-4, had four other players scoring in double figures -- Brunelle 15, Jaden Mitzel 14, Jonas Mitzel 13 and Matthew Reep 11. Canaan Fagerland scored eight points before leaving the game early in the fourth quarter because of an ankle injury.