Area Boys Basketball: Huskies shoot down Rangers
CROSBY--One team is streaking into the playoffs, while the other is limping. The trend continued Friday as the Pillager Huskies, winners of 10 of their last 12 games, knocked off the Crosby-Ironton Rangers, losers of four straight and nine of the...
CROSBY-One team is streaking into the playoffs, while the other is limping.
The trend continued Friday as the Pillager Huskies, winners of 10 of their last 12 games, knocked off the Crosby-Ironton Rangers, losers of four straight and nine of their last 10, 64-49 in a Section 7-2A matchup.
Both teams will take to the road to start the Section 7-2A playoffs. Pillager will likely head to Moose Lake-Willow River as the No. 5 seed. C-I, the likely six seed, will travel to Barnum.
If the Huskies shoot like they did Friday, an upset could be in the cards. Pillager hit 7 of 9 from 3-point in the first half and finished 10-for-14 from deep. Pillager was 24 of 55 from the field for the game.
"It's about time," said Pillager coach Jim Bentson. "We needed that to get rid of the 0-12 we had against Henning. I just think our guys knowing what we want to do was a big reason. It showed tonight. Josh (Doss) knows, hey you're a senior if you have a smaller guard on you take him to the box and post him up. Even if he misses a couple, we'll take that all night."
The senior point guard caught fire early as he was 4-for-4 from 3-point in the first half to score 12 first-half points. Spencer Schaefer, a 6-foot-4 sophomore post, added 10 as the Huskies jumped to a 33-23 halftime edge.
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Pillager 64, Crosby-Ironton 49
- Key: Pillager hit 10 of 14 from 3-point
- Section: C-I 3-10, Pill 3-2
- Overall: C-I 9-17, Pill 17-9
- Next: Crosby-Ironton, Pillager in Section 7-2A playoffs Tuesday
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The inside-outside game continued in the second half as both players led all scorers with 17 points.
Tanner and Ty Swenson combined for 17 points and Levi Nagel contributed six points for Pillager.
"Spencer was hitting from inside and Levi wasn't afraid to take it in the paint," Bentson said. "C-I has some good shot blockers, but Carson Vanvickle took it to the rim a couple of times. We have guards who can jump and be physical and I think that was the difference tonight."
While Pillager's offense was hitting, C-I's was not. The Rangers shot just 31 percent from the field and were 4-8 from the line. C-I was 7-for-26 from 3-point for the game.
With 2:54 remaining, however, Will Silgen and Cayden Turk each hit 3s to cut Pillager's lead to 10 at 57-47. The Huskies answered with seven straight points to rebuild a comfortable advantage.
"There weren't too many times where we could string back-to-back shots," C-I head coach Dave Galovich said. "Our shooting percentage isn't what it needs to be, especially when we've kind of had a history this year of giving up a lot easy baskets. Then when we can't answer with some offensive surges on our own it makes it difficult to hang in there."
Earlier in the second, Pillager used an 11-0 run, highlighted by two Tanner Swenson 3s and a Schaefer 3, to secure a 52-34 edge.
"We just had to stay focused," Bentson said. "This is Crosby. This is what they do. They win. We told the guys that they weren't going to quit or give up so we had to get back to what we were doing and take those shots we wanted to take. We slowed things down and looked for the open cut and finished at the rim.
"If we would have lost this game, I think, we would have dropped down to the sixth seed. To us this was our first playoff game. We're getting back into that 2A mindset after playing in a 1A conference."
Jonathan Jacobson led C-I with 14 points and Dakota Mitchell came off the bench to add 13.
"The thing that's kind of hurt us all year is our athleticism," Galovich said. "The fact is that we are somewhat young, but we need to get more athletic. That would help us in all facets of the game, whether it would be defensively, offensively, you name it. That's area No. 1 where we need to make major improvements."
Pillager 33 31-64
Crosby-Ironton 23 26-49
Luke Woidyla 2, Carson Vanvickle 2, Ty Swenson 8, Tanner Swenson 9, Jack Bentson 3, Levi Nagel 6, Spencer Schaefer 17, Joshua Doss 17. FG 24-55 (44 percent), FT 6-13 (46 percent). 3-point 10-14 (71 percent).
Cayden Turk 6, Isaac Burley 4, Will Silgen 5, Jonathan Jacobson 14, Dakota Mitchell 13, Kyle Skeim 7. FG 19-51 (31 percent), FT 4-8 (50 percent). 3-point 7-26 (27 percent).