Sophomore Hunter Larson made a 3-point a basket with 5.6 second remaining to give the Pequot Lakes Patriots a thrilling 53-50 non-conference win over the visiting Pillager Huskies on Friday, Dec. 20. Pequot Lakes was forced to overcome a nine-point deficit that it had with 4:16 remaining.
Larson finished with 18 points on six 3-point baskets, including making all five from beyond the arc in the second-half.
“I only made one of six in the first half,” Larson said of his 3-point accuracy, “but when (the shots) started falling, I kept shooting when I got the chance, and they went in.”
Pequot Lakes coach Ben Starns added that “Hunter has no fear. Even when he misses 10 or 11 shots in a row, he still has the courage to try again, and that’s great for a sophomore.”
The Patriots quickly jumped to an 11-2 lead as Jack Kreitz had two baskets. Pequot Lakes’ lead was cut to 18-16 when the Huskies’ Aaron Jacobson scored on a rebound. The Patriots later led 23-19 at the half.
Tristan Litke rallied the Huskies with a pair of 3-pointers and a layup for a 39-32 lead before Larson ended the run with his first triple of the second half. A layup by Tyler Tappe and two more 3-point baskets by Larson kept Pequot Lakes close, but the Huskies pulled ahead 47-38.
The Patriots cut into the lead as Larson and Brett Peterson drilled 3-pointers. Pequot Lakes’ CJ Borleis drove for a layup and later added a free throw to cut the deficit to 49-47.
The Patriots then forced a turnover with 1:22 left, and then Larson gave the Patriots their first lead since early in the second half at 50-49. Pillager tied it with 19 seconds left.
The Patriots worked the ball around at the top of the lane, and Larson got open on the side for his fifth 3-point basket for the winning points. With the Patriots applying pressure Litke got off a 3-point shot which was off the front of the rim, and the Patriots had a heart-stopping win.
Kreitz and Peterson each added 12 points for the Patriots, who had lost three straight.
The Patriots, 1-2 in the Mid-State Conference and 4-3 overall, are scheduled to play Bagley in the first round of the “Wheaties” Wallin tournament at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 27, at the Pequot Lakes Athletic Center. Hermantown will face Barnesville in the first game of the four-team tournament at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 27.
Pillager 19 31 — 50
Pequot Lakes 23 30 — 53
Tristan Litke 10, Ryder Hunstad 2, Connor Uselman 12, Aaron Jacobson 8, Mason Quick 2, Lee Quick 12, Adam Bandemer 4. FT 11-19 (58 percent).
Jack Kreitz 12, Brett Peterson 12, Tyler Tappe 3, Travis Jacobson 5, Hunter Larson 18, CJ Borleis 3. FT 3-6 (50 percent).
Pierz 54, Patriots 52
On Thursday, Dec. 19, Pequot Lakes led 34-27 at intermission over the Pioneers before Pierz rallied by outscoring the visiting Patriots 27-18 in the second half.
Pierz, which was led by Ethan Lochner with 14 points, earned its first win of the season The Pioneers’ Nick Herold made the game-winning 3-point basket with 21 seconds left. Travis Jacobson led the Patriots with 16 followed by Borleis with 11.
Pierz 27 27 — 54
Pequot Lakes 34 18 — 52
Noah Boser 3, Nick Herold 12, Jonny Kasper 6, Aaron Weber 8, Noah Thomsen 1, Ethan Lochner 14, Robbie Skiba 6, David Skiba 4. FG 9-25 (36 percent), FT 9-13 (69 percent). 3-point 9-20 (45 percent). Overall: 1-5. Next: vs. Concordia Academy-Roseville at St. Cloud Cathedral tournament 2 p.m. Thursday.
Connor Davich 2, Jack Kreitz 2, Brett Peterson 9, John Craig 3, Tyler Tappe 2, Travis Jacobson 16, Hunter Larson 7, CJ Borleis 11. FG 11-26 (42 percent), FT 9-15 (60 percent). 3-point 7-21 (33 percent). Overall: 3-3. Next: hosts Pillager 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Park Rapids 69, Patriots 60
On Tuesday, Dec. 17, the Panthers’ sophomore sharp shooter Wyatt Derman made six 3-point long bombs in a Mid-State Conference win in Pequot Lakes.
“(Derman) was their best shooter, and I don’t think he missed more than one or two times,” Starns said. “We certainly didn’t come up with our best effort in losing our second conference game.”
The Patriots led 8-5 early behind a pair of 3-pointers by Peterson, but the Panthers rallied for a 18-15 lead. Park Rapids later led 21-20 with 7:24 left in the first half before the visitors went on a 10-2 run to break the game open. Derman sparked the run with a pair of 3-point shots. The Panthers eventually led 38-28 at the half.
Early in the second half, John Craig and Borleis hit 3-pointers to cut the deficit to 40-36, but Derman answered with a pair of 3-point shots to extend the lead. Park Rapids maintained close to a 10-point advantage for the remainder of the game.
Peterson finished with 12 points while Kreitz, Larson, and Borleis each added 11.
Park Rapids 38 31 — 69
Pequot Lakes 28 32 — 60
Riley Massie 3, Wyatt Derman 22, Rilee Johnson 12, Jordan McCollum 16, Derek Porozinski 2, Zach Jewison 14. FT 4-11 (36 percent).
Connor Davich 4, Jack Kreitz 11, Brett Peterson 12, John Craig 9, Hunter Larson 11, CJ Borleis 11, Keegan Johnson 2. FT 7-8 (88 percent).