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Tigers edged by Sebeka with last second basket

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Beau Howard tallied 20 points, seven assists, and four steals to lead Pine River-Backus as the Tigers fell to Northome-Kelliher 63-50 in Saturday’s Northland Conference game.

Zach Struss scored 11 for the Tigers as their losing skid was extended to 19 games.

PR-B, which dropped to 1-10 in the conference and 1-21 overall, was scheduled to play Crosby-Ironton on Tuesday, Feb. 12.

Northome-Kelliher 32 31 — 63

Pine River-Backus 18 32 — 50

Northome-Kelliher: Keith Shaugnessy 6, Jake Shaugnessy 3, Tristan Williams 13, Adrian Pink 2, Travis Olafson 5, Isaiah Raiher 8, Caleb Schneider 4, Justin Lindley 6, Mark Gerdes 7, Brenin Head 6. FT 6-10 (60 percent).

Pine River-Backus: Hank Raph 2, TJ Lukanen 3, Beau Howard 20, Konrad Bueckers 5, Henry Krecklau 6, Cody Mager 1, Zach Struss 11. FG 15-36 (42 percent), FT 14-27 (52 percent). 3-point 2-11 (18 percent).

Blackduck 72, Tigers 53

On Friday, Feb. 8, PR-B trailed just 29-26 before losing by 19 points against Blackduck in a Northland Conference game.

Howard had 19 points and TJ Lukanen collected 11 for PR-B. Howard finished with 10 rebounds and six assists while Struss had nine rebounds.

Blackduck 29 43 — 72

Pine River-Backus 26 27 — 53

Blackduck: Trey Volk 15, Dominic Anderson 21, Brad Kusper 19, Tristan Hendrickson 2, Tyler Jablonski 2, Shane Fenske 12. FT 9-19 (47 percent).

Pine River-Backus: TJ Lukanen 11, Beau Howard 19, Konrad Bueckers 4, Henry Krecklau 10, Solomon Sasse 3, Cody Mager 3, Zach Struss 3. FG 10-38 (26 percent), FT 15-21 (71 percent). 3-point 6-19 (32 percent).

Sebeka 53, Tigers 51

The visiting Tigers lost on a last-second shot by Sebeka to fall to the Trojans on Thursday, Feb. 7.

The game was an exciting contest that saw multiple lead changes by both teams and a score that was typically within four points throughout. Unfortunately for PR-B, Sebeka was able to mount a comeback after the Tigers halftime lead of four points, scoring the winning basket with 1.2 seconds remaining.

The Trojans opened the game with a 3-pointer from the corner to take an initial 3-0 lead. PR-B tied up the game quickly with three points from Howard, who turned a midcourt steal into a fastbreak basket to tie it. The Trojans scored the next two baskets using their strong inside game on a layup and an offensive rebound and put back.

Bueckers tightened to score on a successful 3-point attempt, although Sebeka answered back with three points on free throws during their next two possessions. The Tigers got a basket on a nice inbounds pass from sophomore Henry Krecklau who found freshman Zach Struss open at the free throw line and used a hook shot to find the basket. PR-B found themselves down 11-8, but went on a 10-2 run, finding scoring from a variety of sources.

Struss made a nice pass to Saul Sasse who was waiting under the rim for a basket, then on a missed shot by Bueckers, Struss grabbed the offensive rebound and made the shot from inside. Sophomore T.J. Lukanen hit a 3-pointer and Struss added a 3-pointer as well on a bank shot with a defender in his face. After the run had ended, the Tigers were up 18-13.

But in this game, neither team would be able to extend their lead when they got it, and Sebeka answered back with two baskets before PR-B got a free throw and a basket from Bueckers on an eight-foot jump shot. After some back-and-forth, Krecklau ended the half on a positive note for the Tigers, scoring the final three baskets for his team to go into the locker room up by a small margin, 29-25.

PR-B started the second half hot, with a steal by Krecklau and baskets from inside the paint from Struss on an offensive rebound and put-back and a drive from Sasse. With five minutes gone by in the second half, the Trojans had yet to score a basket in front of the home crowd, before making two free throws, which kicked off a 7-2 run which tightened the game to 35-32 in favor of the Tigers.

Both teams traded baskets for the next five minutes, with Lukanen making a free throw, a 3-pointer from Sebeka, and then a drive by Howard ended in a basket. After a turnover led to a fast break basket for the Trojans, Struss was able to back into his defender and make a basket inside the paint. Tigers made two more baskets, which were answered by two by the Trojans to keep the game to within one point, with PR-B clinging to a 45-44 lead with five minutes remaining.

The Tigers extended the lead on a nice base line drive by Howard. As the defenders collapsed on him, he was able to dish the ball to Struss for an assist. Sebeka was able to take a lead for the first time in the second half with two free throws and an offensive rebound, which led to a basket. PR-B got the lead back immediately with a base line drive to the hoop from Krecklau to take a 49-48 lead with 2:34 remaining. For a young team that has struggled to win games this year, a lead late in the game is a step in the right direction.

However, the lead was short lived as Sebeka answered back with a 3-pointer. The Tigers tied up the game on another assist, this time from Howard to Krecklau as he cut towards the basket. The Trojans strategy was to get the final shot of the game, with a player holding onto the ball at his side at mid court for most of the final 1:42 seconds. This strategy paid off, as he passed off the ball and a Sebeka player took a wild, well defended shot, but found the bottom of the basket with 1.2 seconds remaining. PR-B was unable to connect on the inbounds pass for a final shot attempt, coming up two points short on the road.

Scoring summary: The Tigers were 20/48 from the field and seven for 10 from the free throw line on the evening. PR-B was led by Zach Struss with 16 points, who also led the way with 11 rebounds for Pine River-Backus. Henry Krecklau added 10 points on a 5 for 7 effort from the field. Konrad Bueckers had 8 points and T.J. Lukanen had six points. Beau Howard had five points and a team high 5 assists, showing leadership by finding open players all over the court. Cody Mager added four points and Saul Sasse had two points.