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Drakes momentum too much for Tigers

The Blackduck Drakes boys’ basketball team defeated the visiting Pine River-Backus Tigers 65-27 on Friday, Dec. 4.

The Drakes got out to an early lead before the Tigers came roaring back to take the lead back early in the first half. However, poor shooting for PR-B combined with good outside shooting and a solid inside game by the Drakes would prove to be too much for the Tigers.

The Drakes began the game with the first basket of the night to take a 2-0 lead. After a turnover, Blackduck was once again on offense, and after a missed shot the Drakes scored another basket after grabbing the offensive rebound. Blackduck kept the pressure on, scoring a 3-point shot and another basket to take an early 7-0 lead before the Tigers scored their first points.

The Tigers first successful basket came on a long-range shot from behind the arc by Cody Mager to cut the deficit. PR-B would get back into the game in a hurry, scoring the next eight points. Senior guard, Beau Howard went on a roll, with an assist when he found Freshman forward Zach Struss underneath the basket for an easy two points for the Tigers. Howard then found the basket on a 17-foot jump shot and followed up on the defensive end with a steal and a fast break basket.

PR-B wasn’t done yet as Konrad Bueckers scored a long-range two-point shot and Howard made another basket on a fast break to take a lead for the first and what would turn out to be the last time in the game, 11-7, before the Drakes scored another basket on a layup after another offensive rebound.

The Drakes were able to find their stroke and took the lead on a 3-pointer after a series of quick passes. Dylan Weisert opened behind the arc on the wing and scored the next six points for Blackduck when he scored on the next possession; they were able to find him open once again in the same spot for another successful 3-point shot. The Drakes kept the momentum in their favor with an open shot from just behind the free-throw line. After a foul, Weisert would make 1/2 to give the Drakes an impressive 18-11 lead after trailing by four just a few minutes prior.

The impressive play by Blackduck was only part of the story, as the Tigers contributed to the onslaught through a series of missed opportunities. PR-B would end up going a total of 11 for 54, which included an abysmal 3 for 25 from behind the 3-point line. “We had the shots that we wanted, but we couldn’t knock them down,” said PR-B head coach Shaun Howard.

Blackduck continued their hot hand with a long 3-pointer from three feet behind the arc. The Tigers missed on their next three possessions as the Drakes scored on a layup set up by a blocked shot on the defensive end. The Tigers had no answer for Blackducks inside game. After two more hard fought baskets underneath the rim, the Drakes took a commanding 27-11 lead with 4:30 left in the first half.

The Tigers would miss on their next several possessions as well, and the Drakes would take advantage on a layup and a successful free throw after the foul. Bueckers would finally put points on the scoreboard with a successful free throw, which ended a disasterous 11-minute stretch where PR-B was unable to make a basket. However, the Drakes were able to answer right back with a steal and a bucket to go into the locker room with a huge 32-12 point advantage which would prove to be too much for Pine River-Backus.

The second half was nearly identical to the first half as Blackduck put up 33 points to the 15 added to the Tigers score, leading to a convincing win for the home team.

Scoring Summary: PR-B struggled from the field as a team, going eight for 29 from two-point range, making three of 25 from behind the arc, and only 2 of 3 from the free-throw line. The Tigers were unable to get any players into double digits in points as Beau Howard led the way for PR-B with nine points. Howard was 4 of 15 from the field, which included 0 for 6 from three-point range. Konrad Bueckers and Zach Struss each added six points to their teams total. Cody Mager and Hank Raph each contributed three points, on a successful three-pointer for each.

Blackduck scored a variety of ways from an impressive 10 different players. The Drakes were led by the 18 points posted by Dominic Anderson. Anderson made three successful 3-pointers. Scott Fenske added 13 points, and Jacob Krabbenhoft scored eight points, all in the second half.