BHS loses odd one
Bob Brink called it the weirdest game he’s ever seen.
The Rocori Spartans’ head coach has seen a few and it would be hard to argue Friday’s Central Lakes Conference clash wasn’t unusual.
A technical foul for six players on the court after a made basket, 33 total turnovers and three players fouling out were just a few of the interesting things that happened at Brainerd High School.
When the buzzer finally sounded, the Spartans escaped with a 58-47 victory over the Brainerd Warriors.
“I just told the kids that this is over 1,400 games I’ve coached and I’ve never been in a game where so many different things happened during the game,” said Brink. “I’ve never experienced anything like that between the scorers’ table, the action on the court and from a coaching standpoint.”
The Spartans held Brainerd to 26-percent shooting (15-of-57) from the field and used an 11-2 run to secure the largest lead of the game, 50-40, before Brainerd was forced to foul. The Spartans made their free throws to improve to 10-4 in the conference and dropping Brainerd to 8-6.
Brainerd, which was 9-1 at home before Friday, battled back from a 37-30 deficit to take the lead at 9:03 remaining. Blake Peterson drained a long 3-pointer and was fouled on the shot. He made the free throw for a 38-37 Brainerd lead.
“We created some turnovers, but that didn’t translate into points and that was a problem,” said Warriors head coach Scott Stanfield. “I thought our defense played pretty well at times, but they were physically stronger than we were at every spot. They got loose balls and bodied us around when we went up for shots. That was enough to throw us off a little bit.
“Our 3-point shooting, which is usually pretty good, just wasn’t there tonight.”
Rocori, led by senior guard Nathan Meyer’s 20 points, then went on its 11-2 run that featured eight free throws. Meyer scored 15 of his 20 in the second half and Sam Moriarty tallied 10 of his 14 in the second half.
“I thought the difference for us was we had some kids really step up,” said Brink. “Sam Moriarty for example, did a great job for us. I think we outrebounded them. We really did a good job on the boards early in the game and all the way through in the second half. Both teams missed some shots, but it was a very intense game.”
The Warriors shot 32 percent in the first half, but struggled in the second, making just 7-of-32 (22 percent) and were 3 of 15 from 3-point.
Jack Sauer led the Warriors with 10 points before fouling out. Riley Kline added eight points for Brainerd, which forced 20 Rocori turnovers, but couldn’t capitalize. When the Spartans weren’t turning the ball over, they were hitting 45 percent of their shots.
A Brainerd victory would have catapulted the Warriors into possible conference title talk with two conference games remaining.
“If you hit two of every 10 shots you’re not going to win very many games you play,” said Stanfield. “It was fun to play in a game that mattered as far as the conference was concerned.
“I feel bad for our kids because they worked really hard on the court. Things just didn’t go in. That’s a credit to Rocori.”
Rocori 29 28 — 57
Brainerd 24 23 — 47
Mac Mueller 6, Sean Terres 5, Sam Moriarty 10, Nathan Meyer 15, Zach Templin 6, Jonah Eisenschenk 6. FG 19-42 (45 percent), FT 14-20 (70 percent), 3-point baskets: 2-4 (50 percent).
Blake Peterson 7, Jack Sauer 10, Tommy Olson 5, Riley Kline 8, Ian Haug 5, Marcus Comstock 6, Jacob Blong 4, Jagar Hanson 2. FG 15-57 (26 percent), FT 9-10 (90 percent), 3-point baskets: 7-28 (25 percent).
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 855-5856.