Boys Basketball: Big 2nd half lifts Warriors over Storm
Smiles were contagious Friday, Jan. 18. And so was the scoring as six different players scored during an eight-minute stretch that saw the Brainerd Warriors erupt for a 24-2 run and turn a two-point halftime lead into a 75-48 Central Lakes Confer...
Smiles were contagious Friday, Jan. 18.
And so was the scoring as six different players scored during an eight-minute stretch that saw the Brainerd Warriors erupt for a 24-2 run and turn a two-point halftime lead into a 75-48 Central Lakes Conference blowout over the Sauk Rapids Storm at Brainerd High School.
Eric Martin hit back-to-back 3s and Joey Sauer added a 3 of his own to push a 31-29 halftime lead to 42-33 early in the second half. After the Storm's Joshua Schloe tallied a bucket, Brainerd produced a 15-0 run. Mason Malone scored four of his nine in the stretch. Connor Powers hit three free throws. Owen Davis hit a 3. Ben Staehling made a layup and Sauer capped it off with another 3-pointer.
"We just brought more energy," Sauer said. "We focused up and valued the basketball. We hit some good shots.
"When we pass the ball around anybody can hit a 3. Anybody can make a big shot. On any given night somebody on this team can hurt you."
Sauer led the Warriors with 21. He's the third different Warrior in as many games to reach 20 points.
--- --- --- --- ---
Warriors 75, Sauk Rapids 48
- Key: A 24-2 run in the second half blew this CLC game wide open
- Conf: Brd 5-3, SR 1-7
- Overall: Brd 7-6, SR 2-13
- Next: Brainerd at New Prague 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19
- For more photos go to https://bit.ly/2HjRHOp
--- --- --- --- ---
"That's huge," coach Charlie Schoeck said. "We have good shooters on the team, but every good shooter has a slump once in a while. It's good that you have guys who are second options and the guys are sharing the ball and they are genuinely looking to get good shots for open teammates, which is fun to see. The fact that we have different options is going to bode well for us down the stretch, especially when teams see us once already."
Davis finished with 10 points, nine rebounds and two dunks, but not the most memorable as that went to Manni Ukategbe. The junior came off the bench in the final two minutes and scored seven points, including a powerful putdown to electrify the crowd and garner a technical foul with some over-excitement.
"That's just great," Sauer said of Brainerd's ability to wake up the crowd. "It's so much fun to hear the crowd get wild. It's amazing."
Martin finished with nine points and Staehling scored eighth. Brainerd shot 44 percent from the field in the second half and forced nine second-half turnovers. It was a noticeable improvement from the first half that saw Brained shoot just 31 percent and trail the Storm until 1:25 remained in the first half.
"There's nothing you can do, but just tell the kids to keep shooting," Schoeck said. "We tell our players that if you have an open look you have our blessing to shoot it."
Sauk Rapids used a 7-0 run to jump to a 10-5 lead. They built it to nine points before the Warriors rallied with an 8-0 run of their own. Davis scored five of those points and Sauer drained a 3. The Storm hit consecutive baskets to build their lead back up to five.
"They were pushing it," Sauer said. "They came out with energy. We didn't match that right away. Then we finally got after them and that's when we turned it around."
Brainerd tied the score on a Malone 3-pointer with 1:50 remaining in the half. A Sauer 3 gave the Warriors their first lead since a 5-3 edge early.
Malone finished with six assists and the Warriors finished with 15 as a team.
For more photos go to https://bit.ly/2HjRHOp .
Sauk Rapids 29 19-48
Brainerd 31 44-75
Ethan Opsahl 11, Kobe Lee 5, Cade Milton-Baumgardner 10, Alexander Harren 3, Joshua Schloe 13, Jacob Schloe 6. FG 18-56 (32 percent), FT 5-10 (50 percent). 3-point 7-18 (36.8 percent).
Ben Staehling 8, Mason Malone 9, Eric Martin 9, Owen Davis 10, Joey Sauer 21, Connor Powers 6, Griffin Rushin 3, Manni Ukutegbe 7, Max Lelwica 2. FG 27-62 (43.5 percent), FT 9-12 (75 percent). 3-point 12-28 (43 percent).