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Boys Basketball: Pequot Lakes ends season with loss in state Consolation Finals

Pequot Lakes vs Minnehaha in the Class 2A State Consolation Finals

Pequot Lakes in the state boys basketball tournament
The Pequot Lakes bench cheers on their team in the Class 2A State Tournament Wednesday, March 23, 2022, at Concordia University in St. Paul.
Bill Johnson / Picture Day Pro!
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ST. PAUL — It wasn’t the ending Pequot Lakes wanted, but it capped off a 25-win season for the Patriots Thursday, March 24.

Pequot fell to the Minnehaha Redhawks 79-56 in the Class 2A State Consolation Finals to earn a sixth-place finish at the state tournament.

The Redhawks were led by Boston College commit Prince Aligbe who scored 32 points on 12-of-20 shooting.

“He literally kept this team afloat,” Minnehaha head coach Lance Johnson said. “Without Prince this year we would’ve had a really bad year. Not just his basketball ability but his whole leadership, too.”

Pequot had three players in double figures, including seniors Ryan Harmala and Nic Kotaska.

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“They were probably the tightest group of seniors I’ve ever had in 20 years of doing this,” Pequot Lakes head coach Rich Spiczka said. “They trust each other and they say they love each other and I believe that. They play their butts off for each other and they’ve been connected and united which is a good thing to show our guys.”

Minnehaha scorched the nets all afternoon shooting 55% from the field and 60% from 3-point.

“We’ve been looking for that all year,” Johnson said. “It’s been an Achilles Heel for us, we aren’t a very good shooting team. When we hit 3s, it opens up everything for Prince.”

Pequot Lakes struggled in the first half with 12 turnovers.

“I think the tired legs affected us more than it did them,” Spiczka said. “We had to athletically overcome so much. You have to take care of the ball. You can’t turn it over playing a team that good and we had too many of those in the first half.”

Harmala scored 15 points to lead the Patriots. Laposky scored 11 points and Kotaska had 10 for Pequot.

Sam Rysavy chipped in eight points and 10 rebounds for the Patriots. Pequot Lakes shot 36% from the field and 29% from 3-point.

Pequot Lakes in the state tournament
Pequot Lakes' Sam Rysavy goes up for a shot against Perham in the Class 2A State Tournament Wednesday, March 23, 2022, at Concordia University in St. Paul
Bill Johnson / Picture Day Pro!

Minnehaha led wire to wire with its largest lead coming at 58-31 with 10 minutes left. The Redhawks enjoyed a 42-25 halftime advantage holding Pequot to 10-of-30 shooting.

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The Patriots finish the season 25-8.

“I think the way our kids played this year down the stretch,” Spiczka said, “I don’t think many people had us on their radar that we were going to make our way down here. Our guys went on a run and did a lot of good things to get here. The accomplishments this year have to be celebrated. It’s been a fun group to coach and they never backed down from anything and the experience they provided for our younger guys to get down here to see what it likes will hopefully set us up to get back here again.”

Minnehaha 42 37 —79

Pequot Lakes 25 31 — 56

MINNEHAHA

Prince Aligbe 32, Leroy Barnes 11, Marcus Horton 9, Rolyns Aligbe 8, Fitta Jafar 6, Savion Caine 4, Mateo Cortes Weiss 3, Harrison Aligbe 3, Anderson Stark 2, Noah Hamburge 1. FG 28-51 (55%), FT 14-19 (74%). 3-point 9-15 (60%).

PEQUOT LAKES

Ryan Harmala 15, Nic Kotaska 10, Brayden Spiczka 4, Grant Loge 3, River Sommerness 2, Leo Marc Bolz-Andolshek 1, Conner Quale 2, Eli Laposky 11, Sam Rysavy 8. FG 20-56 (36%), FT 10-17 (59%). 3-point 6-21 (29%).

Minnehaha 79, Pequot Lakes 56

Key: Minnehaha shoots 55% from the field

Overall: PL 25-8, Min 19-11.

CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or conrad.engstrom@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/the_rad34.

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Started at the Dispatch in June of 2019.
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