Warrior Boys Basketball: Relentless Warriors outlast Eagles
Ian Haug wants to play more.
Marcus Comstock could use a breather.
Each might get what they want after leading the Brainerd Warriors to a 45-43 overtime victory over the St. Cloud Apollo Eagles Friday at Brainerd High School.
Haug came off the bench to key a second-half comeback that resulted in a 36-36 tie after regulation.
Comstock did his best work in the overtime frame as he scored six of his team-high 12 points, helping Brainerd win its third straight and improve to 3-2 in the Central Lakes Conference.
“This was a battle and we knew it was going to be coming into the game,” said Comstock. “Overtime, we just kept pushing. We kept running what we did in the second half and that’s ultimately what won us the game.
“We knew we had to run our offense and try and get a good shot. We did that and when we got up we knew we would have to take care of the ball because they were going to come after us.”
Brainerd committed just two turnovers in the second half and overtime combined.
Comstock, who rarely saw the bench, scored all but three of the Warriors’ overtime points. His final basket gave Brainerd a 43-39 edge. Jack Sauer, who also scored 12 points, and Tommy Olson both hit free throws, handing Brainerd its final two points.
“This was a huge team effort,” said Comstock. “We had some foul trouble so the bench players did really great. We wouldn’t have had a chance without them.”
With Brainerd trailing 31-27, Haug walked on the court and immediately drained a 3-pointer. After an Apollo free throw, he then hit another to make it 32-30. A steal here, a rebound there, and Haug’s final basket pulled Brainerd to 33-32.
“I haven’t been playing a lot this year so I was just glad that first one went in,” said Haug. “I don’t know. It was just really exciting. I was just hoping to bring the team back in the game. Coach gave me a chance.”
Brainerd’s Tony Sauer was out of the lineup with an illness, which gave Haug his opportunity.
Brainerd took its first lead of the second half at 3:38 before relinquishing it again. Jagar Hanson, who scored nine points, hit what would be the game-tying basket at 1:41.
Apollo secured the biggest lead of 27-19 to start the second half. The first half featured five lead changes and six ties. Brainerd committed 13 turnovers and Apollo had 10. The half time score was 20-18.
“We’re trying to win the conference every game,” said Haug. “Every win is huge.”
Apollo 20 16 7 — 43
Brainerd 18 18 9 — 45
ST. CLOUD APOLLO
Isaac Rakke 3, Reid Evans 2, Brett Maslonkowski 18, John Peter, 3 Roma Pugachenko 15, Josh Olson 2. FG 15-55 (27 percent), FT 9-16 (56 percent), 3-point baskets: 4-24 (17 percent).
Jack Sauer 12, Tommy Olson 2, Riley Kline 2, Ian Haug 8, Marcus Comstock 12, Jagar Hanson 9. FG 15-45 (35 percent), FT 11-20 (55 percent), 3-point baskets: 4-14 (29 percent).
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at email@example.com or at 855-5856.