Boys Basketball: Brainerd strikes down Spartans
It would have sent the jersey-clad, student section into pandemonium. But about the only thing that didn't work in the Brainerd Warriors' favor was an attempted alley-oop dunk between point guard Mason Malone and 6-foot-6 wing Owen Davis. It didn...
It would have sent the jersey-clad, student section into pandemonium.
But about the only thing that didn't work in the Brainerd Warriors' favor was an attempted alley-oop dunk between point guard Mason Malone and 6-foot-6 wing Owen Davis.
It didn't matter as the Warriors rolled to an 81-44 Central Lakes Conference victory over the winless Rocori Spartans Tuesday, Dec. 11 at Brainerd High School.
"Oh, that would have been great," Davis said. "It was a little back of me, but it would have been great. We work on it in practice sometimes."
Brainerd has been working on a zone press and that worked to the tune of 28 turnovers forced. Brainerd capitalized by scoring 24 points off of those.
The Warriors saw 11 different players find the scoring column as they rushed out to a 42-20 halftime lead.
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Warriors 81, Rocori 44
- Key: Brainerd forced 28 turnovers
- Conf: Brd 2-1, R 0-3
- Overall: Brd 2-3, R 0-4
- Next: Brainerd at Cambridge 7:15 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14
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"We're putting on a new press this year a little bit," Davis said. "It's a bit of a zone press and it's good. It's been working for us in practice. We've been putting it into the games and we've been getting easy buckets off of that. There's a lot of good communication and it helps us get into a good defense."
Brainerd's defense forced 19 first-half turnovers and scored 20 points off those. The Warriors held Rocori to just 25-percent shooting in the first half.
Joey Sauer, who was coming off a school-record tying 41-point performance, scored 16 first-half points and finished with 19 points, three assists and three steals in limited action. Eric Martin was 4 of 7 from the field to finish with 11 points and added six assists and three steals.
"We did the press a little bit last Friday against Sauk Rapids and today we wanted to be the aggressor from the start," Brainerd head coach Charlie Schoeck said. "We wanted to be the ones bringing the tempo to them. We did that full-court press and they turned it over a few times and it got us some easy looks, which really got the scoring going."
Brainerd rushed out to a 21-3 lead before Rocori's Andrew Anderson scored nine straight points. Anderson scored all 13 of his points in the first half and was the only Spartan to reach double figures.
After Anderson's spurt, the Warriors outscored Rocori 21-7 for their comfortable halftime cushion.
"The message all game long was we were going to get a lead and we were going to keep that lead," Schoeck said. "We were going to get that 100-percent best effort from everyone that was on the court. The guys did that tonight. That was good to see.
"That effort is contagious and that attitude is contagious. I feel like a broken record because I've said this so many times, but attitude and effort are the only two things I'm asking to bring every day."
Like the first half, Brainerd used a 21-7 run to sprint out to a 63-27 lead. Malone scored all eight of his points in the run. A few minutes later a Griffin Rushin 3 induced running time. Rushin finished with 10 points.
"We get amped up on the bench and we get into that groove and we just go crazy," Davis said. "We just needed to keep it up. Had the home fans. It was fun. The dunks were for the crowd."
Davis finished with nine points, including two dunks. Ben Staehling added eight and the Warriors' bench finished with 26 points. Gabe Smith added five rebounds and four steals
It's the second straight win for Brainerd, which struggled to a 0-3 start.
"We knew there would be kind of a learning curve because some of the stuff that we're doing offensively is different than what they were doing in the past," Schoeck said. "They had to get used to playing in some different lineups with some different guys, but you're really starting to see that jell now."
Rocori 20 24-44
Brainerd 42 39-81
Blake Miller 3, Corbyn Alexander 6, Brett Sowada 2, Andrew Anderson 13, Gage Piehl 3, Dylan Rausch 6, Mason Roos 2, Tucker Haakonson 3, Luke Humbert 4, Jayden Philippi 2. FG 31-58 (36.8 percent), FT 11-14 (78.6 percent). 3-point 5-15 (33.3 percent).
Ben Staehling 8, Mason Malone 8, Eric Martin 11, Tanner Mackereth 3, Owen Davis 9, Gabe Smith 3, Joey Sauer 19, Connor Powers 6, Jonah Macejkovic 2, Griffin Rushin 10, Nathaniel Staehling 2. FG 14-41 (57.4 percent), FT 7-12 (58.3 percent). 3-point 12-25 (48.0 percent).