Boys Basketball: Warrior share the wealth to silence Sartell
It's a kindergarten concept, but when the Brainerd Warriors share, good things happen. That was the case Friday, Feb. 1, as the Warriors distributed the ball among everyone, leading to a 74-64 Central Lakes Conference victory over the Sartell Sab...
It's a kindergarten concept, but when the Brainerd Warriors share, good things happen.
That was the case Friday, Feb. 1, as the Warriors distributed the ball among everyone, leading to a 74-64 Central Lakes Conference victory over the Sartell Sabres at Brainerd High School.
The Sabres entered the game tied for the conference lead, but the Warriors used an 11-2 run to start the second half to break a 34-34 halftime tie. Joey Sauer scored 17 of his 23 points in the second as Brainerd shot 15-of-24 from the field, including 5-of-8 from 3-point in the second frame.
"It starts with everybody being able to be a threat on the floor," Brainerd point guard Mason Malone said. "That helps us a lot because then we're not just relying on one or two guys, but the whole team."
Malone finished with five assists and Brainerd collected 14 as a team.
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Warriors 74, Sartell 64
- Key: A 11-2 run to start the second half led the Warriors to victory
- Conf: Brd 7-3, Sar 7-3
- Overall: Brd 10-7, Sar 13-3
- Next: Brainerd hosts Wayzata 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2
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The Warriors' defense was equally effective as it forced nine Sabre turnovers and held Sartell to 12-of-28 shooting and just 1-8 from the 3 in the second half. Sartell point guard Matt Sieben scored 12 points, but all in the first half as he was held to 0-4 from the field. His teammate Thomas Gieske scored 13 points in the second half to finish with a team-high 17, but the second belonged to Brainerd.
"Defensively in the second half we concentrated on not trailing our guy," Warriors head coach Charlie Schoeck said. "They run a lot of scissors action off the high post and we just had to do a better job of recognizing when that was coming and not trail that. And then back-side help had to be in better position, too, just in case the guy got caught behind it.
"Then the second thing was on-ball defense and just making sure we were tough on those guys, so if there was a passing lane it shrunk a little bit."
Owen Davis, who scored a game-high 24, opened the second half with a 3. That was followed by a Sauer basket, consecutive Ben Staehling scores and another Davis bucket for a 45-36 edge.
Then Sauer got hot, hitting 7-of-8 from the field. Back-to-back 3s from Sauer and Davis pushed Brainerd's lead to 65-48. That was after Davis picked up his fourth foul and sat for six minutes of the second half.
"Our offensive game plan started with our defense," Malone said. "We needed to lock down in the second half and that helped our offense a lot. Our offense starts on the defensive side so definitely locking down in the second half helped us."
Staehling finished with 14 points and Malone scored eight. Connor Powers finished with three off the bench.
The first half featured four lead changes and six ties. Sartell owned the biggest lead of the half at five. Davis scored 16 of his points in the opening frame, while Staehling scored eight.
The Sabres shot 58 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point, but were 0-5 from the line. Plus, the Warriors attempted eight more shots thanks to aggressive rebounding that helped them own a 27-22 edge.
"Anytime you can get some second chances and just more opportunities the better off you're going to be," Schoeck said.
Sauer finished with seven rebounds and five steals. Staehling grabbed six boards.
"Those are money," Malone said. "Getting the ball back after a shot and getting more opportunities to make another basket and pushing the score up a little bit more. It definitely helps to get those rebounds, especially offensive rebounds."
Malone said the Warriors are confident right now and they'll have to be for tomorrow's game against Wayzata, which is ranked No. 7 in the Class 4A polls.
"Our confidence will be very key (Saturday)," Schoeck said. "It's going to be another big challenge. That's why we play the game is to play these tough teams. I'd like to think that they're thinking we're pretty tough, too. I'm really looking forward to it. It's two days of some tough challenges and that's why you play."
For more photos, go to https://bit.ly/2S93x3a .
Sartell 34 30-64
Brainerd 34 40-74
Matt Sieben 12, Jake Schelonka 3, Alex Virnig 13, Luke Tillotson 6, Jacob Bjelland 2, Thomas Gieske 17, Dominic Hagy 11. FG 26-52 (50 percent), FT 5-12 (42 percent). 3-point 7-20 (35 percent).
Ben Staehling 14, Mason Malone 8, Owen Davis 24, Joey Sauer 23, Connor Powers 3. FG 29-56 (52 percent), FT 7-11 (64 percent). 3-point 9-21 (35 percent).