Annandale's Kyler Fobbe gets out on the break (Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Star Tribune)
Annandale senior guard Brett Fobbe took an elbow to the face during the second half of Wednesday’s Class 2A basketball state tournament quarterfinal against Byron, a hit more jarring than any he could recall on the court or football field.
Trainers packed his nose with gauze and Fobbe, blood on his shorts and all, returned. Following his example, the Cardinals showed grit by battling throughout a 56-42 victory at the Target Center.
“I thought I might have gotten a concussion,” said Fobbe, who wobbled toward the bench on legs resembling cooked pasta noodles. “But there was no way I was missing much of the game. As a senior, I have to step up and show my teammates I’ll do anything to win.”
No. 5 seed Annandale (21-9) built a 33-23 halftime lead that tournament first-timer and No. 4 seed Byron (25-5) reduced to as few as four points twice in the second half. Harried by Annandale’s pressure defense in the first half, the Bears settled down in the second half but failed to convert some key shots.
“We were more patient but we missed some bunnies,” Bears coach Kerry Linbo said.
The victorious Cardinals were led in scoring by Matt Miller’s 16 points. Fobbe and Brett Ahsenmacher added 12 points each. Byron’s Jack Nelson had 17 points.