Area Girls Basketball: Patriots force Broncos out of playoffs
DULUTH--Jon Dale wasn't happy with it, but the Pequot Lakes Patriots moved one game closer to their fourth state tournament in the last six years. The No. 2 seeded Patriots eliminated the North Subsection's No. 1 seeded International Falls Bronco...
DULUTH-Jon Dale wasn't happy with it, but the Pequot Lakes Patriots moved one game closer to their fourth state tournament in the last six years.
The No. 2 seeded Patriots eliminated the North Subsection's No. 1 seeded International Falls Broncos 68-51 Thursday on the campus of the University of Minnesota Duluth.
Pequot's height advantage resulted in 18 second-chance points and its length translated into 24 I-Falls turnovers. The Patriots turned those into 20 points.
Pequot Lakes 68, International Falls 51
- Key: Pequot forced the Broncos into 24 turnovers
- Overall: PL 26-3, IF 17-12
- Next: Pequot Lakes vs. Mesabi East/Esko winner in Section 7-2A final at the University of Minnesota, Duluth 7 p.m. Saturday
--- "We wanted to emphasis our press this game because we knew we were a lot taller and stronger on defense," said Pequot senior guard Haley Wiebolt. "We thought we could probably have them cough up a few turnovers.
"Getting those points off of transition was huge. We practice it every day. It really helps when it comes during the game and we can score a lot of points off fastbreaks."
Pequot shot 43 points in the first half with Wiebolt scoring 15 of her game-high 20 in the opening frame. Olivia Lane, who finished with 14, scored 10 and Karli Skog came off the bench to score six.
After trailing 5-1, the Patriots rattled off an 11-0 run to build a 21-10 edge. They closed out the first half with a 14-3 run to head into the break ahead 45-28.
"It's not like we took them lightly, we just didn't play very well," said Dale. "We did Ok, but I don't think we put 36 minutes together. We wanted to press and we wanted to run. We wanted to have more of an inside-out game and I just don't think that we clicked on everything all at once. We had aspects that were good at times. I don't know. I'm not saying that I'm disappointed, but I think we'll have to play a lot better in the next round."
Pequot's defense held the Broncos to just 10-of-29 shooting from the field.
"We just needed to calm ourselves because I knew a lot of us were really nervous before the game," Wiebolt said. "We just needed to calm down and play our game.
"Our defensive game plan was to pressure their guards and box out strong because we knew they were going to hit the glass hard. We also wanted to press a lot."
The Patriots came out of the halftime break with a 15-6 spurt with six different players scoring points. Skog finished with 12 points as she added another six points in the second half.
Pequot built its lead to 68-41 before subbing. The Broncos scored the game's last 10 points.
"This win was good," said Dale. "If we do get past the next round it will be our fourth state tournament in six years. It's not like we don't have the experience. Some of these kids have already experienced a state tournament so I by no means think we'll be the underdog next round."
Pequot started the season 16-0 and was ranked sixth in Class 2A as recently as the Feb. 10 Minnesota Basketball News poll and as high as third before being tagged with its three losses. Those losses came to Class 3A's Detroit Lakes, which Pequot beat earlier in the year, to Class 2A's 10th-ranked Esko and Mid-State Conference rival Crosby-Ironton, who Pequot eliminated Saturday.
Since the Patriots' loss to Esko Feb. 13, they have rattled off seven straight wins and are ranked No. 7 in the Quality Results Formula.
International Falls 28 23 - 51
Pequot Lakes 45 23 - 68
Madeline Olson 2, Deelylah St. Peter 4, Teah Goulet 6, Janet Humbert 5, Grace Gilbert 16, Jena Sullivan 13, Emma Gilbert 5. FG 20-57 (35 percent), FT 4-11 (36 percent). 3-point 7-19 (37 percent).
Haley Wiebolt 20, Karli Skog 12, Olivia Lane 14, Morgan Lohmiller 4, Corina Ruud 9, Laura Squires 4, Sam Littman 5. FG 24-62 (39 percent), FT 17-30 (57 percent). 3-point 2-11 (18 percent).