Boys Basketball: Patriots fall in section finals
The Patriots finish the season with an 18-3 record.
Moose Lake-Willow River Rebels junior Sam Dewey exploded for 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting from 3-point range Thursday, March 25, at Pequot Lakes High School as the third-seeded Rebels put the dagger into the top-seeded Patriots with a 57-51 upset victory in the Section 7-2A championship.
Dewey’s 15 points was only topped by teammate Mason Olson’s 19 points. Philip Sheetz added 11 points as the Rebels shot 6-of-12 from 3-point in the second half. They finished 11-of-32 from 3-point and 19-of-47 from the field.
“They had role guys that scored more points than some of our key guys,” Pequot Lakes coach Rich Spiczka said. “Considering some of the things that happened tonight, the fact that it’s only six, I think it shows the guts that our kids have. But the toughest part, it’s one thing to get beat, but it’s another thing to not play your best. We didn’t play our best tonight.”
Dewey’s first 3 of the second half broke a 33-33 tie. This after Pequot Lakes erased a seven-point halftime deficit and grabbed a 26-25 lead. The Patriots’ Simon Wufflestad hit two 3s to sandwich an Alex Morgan basket as Pequot jumped out to an 8-0 run to start the half.
Wufflestad’s final 3 made it 33-33 before Dewey handed MLWR the lead for good.
“We did a little bit of a different wrinkle on offense to try and make their guys have to move,” Spiczka said. “The ball was stopping a little too much. When the ball doesn’t go in, the ball doesn’t move as well. We were forcing movement with some weave stuff. It only took us about two minutes to get it to even after as poorly as we played in the first half.”
Leading 48-44 with just under eight minutes remaining, Dewey then hit back-to-back 3s to build the Rebels lead to 54-44 at the 3:33 mark.
MLWR didn’t score again until 19.8 seconds remained, but in that time the Patriots managed just five straight Morgan points to climb to 54-49. Olson hit two free throws and Carter Johnson made his only point on a free throw to close out MLWR’s scoring.
A 16-2 run between 11:40 to 1:51 of the first half by the Rebels led to a 25-11 MLWR advantage. Wafflested’s 3-pointer, just the second 3 for the Patriots of the half, stopped the run and a Bode Magnuson lay-in produced a 25-18 halftime score in favor of the Rebels.
Pequot shot just 26% from the field, including 2-15 from 3-point. The Rebels hit 5-of-17 from the 3-point, including two big 3s from Dewey off the bench. Olson led the Rebels with 10 first-half points, but it was Dewey’s consecutive 3s that led to a 23-13 edge.
MLWR was 9-of-26 from the field, but suffered eight turnovers. Pequot couldn’t capitalize, however. Magnuson’s 7 points led the Patriots in the opening frame.
Wufflestad finished the game with 15 points. Morgan followed with 14.
“Our kids have done everything we’ve asked them to do,” Spiczka said. “We had to play different ways and different games. Obviously losing Ryan (Monahan) the other night changes our rotation and changes what we do. That’s a tough adjustment for one day of practice, but nobody was feeling sorry for themselves. It was the next-man-up type of deal.
“We did a lot of good things. It was a good year. It doesn’t feel very good now, but there’s nothing to be ashamed about. 18-3 is a pretty solid year.”
Moose Lake-Willow River 25 32 -- 57
Pequot Lakes 18 33 -- 51
MOOSE LAKE-WILLOW RIVER
Logan Orvedahl 4, Philip Sheetz 11, Sam Dewey 15, Brady Watrin 4, Landin Kurhajetz 2, Mason Olson 19, Carter Johnson 1. FG 19-47 (40%), FT 8-15 (53%). 3-point 11-32 (34%).
Bode Magnuson 7, Nic Kotaska 2, Alex Morgan 14, Simon Wufflestad 15, Eli Laposky 6, Sam Rysavy 7. FG 19-50 (38%), FT 6-11 (55%). 3-point 7-25 (28%).
Patriots 74, Esko 54
The top-seeded Patriots shot 65% from the field and 64% from 3-point range to come away with an easy 74-54 win over No. 4 seeded Esko in the section semifinals Tuesday, March 23.
Patriot center Sam Rysavy finished with a game-high 22 points while shooting a perfect 9-for-9 from the field.
Pequot Lakes also nailed five first-half 3-pointers leading to a 35-19 advantage.
Wufflestad nailed five 3-pointers of his own, going 5-for-8 to finish with 15 points. Eli Laposky added three 3s of his own and finished with 11.
Morgan chipped in 12 for Pequot as the Patriots saw eight different players find the score column.
Esko 19 35 — 54
Pequot Lakes 35 39 — 74
Eli Blue 9, Cale Haugen 3, Cade Berger 3, Cuinn Berger 13, Riley Fischer 16, Braedyn Male 3, Nick Swanson 1, Chad Hurt 6. FG 20-53 (38%), FT 5-9 (56%). 3-point 6-20 (30%).
Bode Magnuson 6, Nic Kotaska 4, Alex Morgan 12, Ryan Monahan 2, Evin Ruud 2, Simon Wufflestad 15, Eli Laposky 11, Sam Rysavy 22. FG 28-43 (65%), FT 9-11 (81%). 3-point 9-14 (64%).