Boys Basketball: Cold shooting dooms Rangers
CROSBY--A 1-of-18 shooting night from 3-point isn't going to beat anybody, let alone one of the top teams in Section 7-2A. The Crosby-Ironton Rangers tried, though. C-I hit just one 3-pointer, a Dakota Mitchell shot from the corner. Those were th...
CROSBY-A 1-of-18 shooting night from 3-point isn't going to beat anybody, let alone one of the top teams in Section 7-2A.
The Crosby-Ironton Rangers tried, though.
C-I hit just one 3-pointer, a Dakota Mitchell shot from the corner. Those were the junior's only points as the Rangers managed just 36 total in a 49-36 loss to the Esko Eskomos Tuesday, Feb. 26, in Crosby.
The Rangers total field-goal percentage wasn't much better as it hit 13-of-42, but they stayed within a five-point range for much of the second half until back-to-back field goals from Eskos' Payton Wefel and Trevor Spindler handed Esko a 41-34 edge with 3:25 remaining.
C-I's offense couldn't answer as it scored just 17 second-half points.
"I felt we had some fundamental breakdowns guarding the basketball," Rangers head coach Dave Galovich said. "You can't give up the baseline or allow middle penetration. It distorts the defense and one more pass and then it's (an) advantage (for) them. They kicked a few out and knocked down some 3s and opened up a lead early in that second half."
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Esko 49, Crosby-Ironton 36
- Key: C-I was 1-of-18 from 3-point
- Section: CI 10-3, E 7-0
- Overall: CI 20-4, E 16-9
- Next: Crosby-Ironton at Pillager 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 1
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After two Johnathan Jacobson free throws, Esko hit four free throws and a layup to close out the game.
The Eskomos didn't shoot much better, just 39 percent from the field and 27 percent from 3-point, but a 10-2 run to start the second half gave them enough cushion to make C-I work to stay close.
"That run was huge for us," Esko head coach Derek Anderson said. "We talked about that in the locker room about coming out for the first four minutes strong and really getting what we want versus falling into what they want. That's what happened to us a lot in the first half.
"That was a big start for us and I think that momentum carried us through the rest of the game."
Jacobson led C-I with 13 points and 11 rebounds followed by Joseph Stokman's 10 points, three assists, three steals and three blocks, but both seniors were just 4-of-9 from the field.
Wefel led Esko with 17 points. Spindler tallied 11 and Camden Berger 10. Spindler grabbed 13 rebounds as Esko secured 12 offensive boards.
"Berger has been a four-year starter for them and he's a very heady player," Galovich said. "Wefel is a scorer. It's not easy to keep everybody under wraps and, like I said, a lot of it starts with containing dribble penetration.
"They did get a lot of second chances, too. I thought our closeouts weren't the best and sometimes we just got beat to the punch. They're not a big team, but they are pretty athletic."
Pequot Lakes holds the top spot in the Section 7-2A standings according to the Quality Results Formula, or QRF, with a No. 14 ranking. Esko started Tuesday's game at 15 and C-I was sitting at No. 17.
The victory pushes the Eskomos' win streak to four games and snapped C-I's eight-game win streak.
"Senior leadership was huge tonight," Anderson said. "We had three games on tape of them so we've been practicing against all of their defensive alignments for three weeks now and trying to get ready for them. We know that they are so well-coached that we felt we needed to get ready for them.
"I think the kids really bought in and responded well tonight."
C-I trailed 20-19 at the half despite turning the ball over seven times in the first half. The Rangers turned the ball over just twice in the second half, but still couldn't transform the extra possessions into points.
"At halftime, I thought we were sitting at a pretty good position because I felt defensively we were pretty solid," Galovich said. "I told them we had to keep shooting the ball. We had good looks. And so I told them if you're open you have to shoot it and they'll go down. Well, that trend didn't change the second half. All it takes is for them to knock down a few and it creates some separation."
C-I shot 36 percent in the first half and held an 11-9 lead before Esko used a 7-0 run to grab a five-point edge. Jacobson hit consecutive baskets followed by back-to-back buckets from Stokman and Ben Jordan for a 19-18 edge, but Bergen split the Rangers' defense at the end of the half for an easy floater and the one-point halftime lead.
"This was a huge win for us just because us, Pequot and Crosby are all very close in the QRF," Anderson said. "We played Pequot, which is another tough team. Crosby is a tough team so this was a huge win as far as trying to get the one seed."
Esko 20 29-49
Crosby-Ironton 19 17-36
Jon Stodola 7, Payton Wefel 17, Corey Kauma 4, Trevor Spindle 11, Camden Berger 10 FG 18-46 (39 percent), FT 8-10 (80 percent). 3-point 5-18 (27 percent).
Sam Jordan 4, Joseph Stokman 10, Dakota Mitchell 3, Johnathan Jacobson 13, Kyle Skeim 6. FG 13-42 (30 percent), FT 9-13 (69 percent). 3-point 1-18 (5 percent).