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Boys Basketball: Warriors rally to down Sartell

Few teams attempt more 3-pointers than the Brainerd Warriors, but that was the case Friday. The Sartell Sabres overplayed Brainerd's perimeter players forcing the Warriors to hit on just 6 of 23 from beyond the arc. To combat that Brainerd attack...

Brainerd’s Mason Malone shoots a layup Friday against Sartell at Brainerd High School. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery and Video
Brainerd’s Mason Malone shoots a layup Friday against Sartell at Brainerd High School. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery and Video

 

Few teams attempt more 3-pointers than the Brainerd Warriors, but that was the case Friday.

The Sartell Sabres overplayed Brainerd's perimeter players forcing the Warriors to hit on just 6 of 23 from beyond the arc. To combat that Brainerd attacked the rim by hitting cutters and passing into the post. The result was a 66-56 Central Lakes Conference victory at Brainerd High School.

"They really locked on to our outside shooters, I thought," Warriors head coach Scott Stanfield said. "They chased Chris (Karels) a lot. They were running over picks and stopping his cutting action. They were glued to him and also Joey (Sauer) so it was hard to free those guys up on the perimeter, but I think we had a lot of nice interior passes and back cuts, especially later in the game, that kind of sealed it for us."

Sartell was 11 of 26 from 3-point for the game. Only one of Sartell's second-half field goals wasn't a 3-pointer, but the Sabres cooled and Brainerd capitalized by turning a 45-45 game midway through the second half into a 57-47 lead.

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Owen Davis hit two field goals in that span with Mason Malone and Nathan Rud also adding baskets. Those eight bench points helped Brainerd reserves outscored Sartell's 17-11.

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Warriors 66, Sartell 56

  • Key: Brainerd outscored Sartell 35-22 in second half
  • Conf: Brd 7-5, Sar 0-11
  • Overall: Brd 8-10, Sar 3-16
  • Next: Brainerd at Wayzata 7 p.m. Tuesday

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"We just had to keep the ball moving and get guys open," Malone said. "Every cutter makes space for a new guy to get open. We just had to keep passing the ball."

Brandon Burggraff scored eight of his 14 points in the second half and Chris Karels added seven second-half points to finish with 13. Junior Joey Sauer led the Warriors with 15 points, including a dunk with time expiring to put the exclamation point on the win.

"That was pretty sweet," Malone said. "That's his first dunk, too. That was pretty cool."

Brainerd defeated Sartell 64-50 Dec. 21 and looked well on its way to another easy win with seven minutes remaining in the first half. Karels and Burgraff both hit two 3s in that half and Brainerd built a 27-19 advantage. That's when Sartell started to heat up from 3-point.

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After a Jay Bertelson put back, Dominic Hagy drained a 3 followed by back-to-back 3s from Matt Sieben to hand Sartell a 30-27 edge. The Sabres went into the half leading 34-31.

"Our mentality changed a little bit going into that second half," Malone said. "We lost our lead there in the first half and we just needed to get our energy up in that second half. Chris, Brandon and Joey all had amazing games."

Brainerd held Sartell to 7-for-25 shooting in the second half and outscored the Sabres 35-22 to keep the Sabres winless in conference play.

Brainerd, which struggled to get to the foul line earlier this season, was 14 of 20 from the line Friday. The Warriors were a scary 9 of 14 from the line in the second half as they were trying to seal their third win in four games.

"We battled a lot of things tonight," Stanfield said. "Like shooting free throws late in the game. It's hard to describe it, but we fought a lot of things I thought. We weren't as smooth as I would like us to be, but at some point you have to give Sartell credit. They pressed us a little bit, which slows you down in transition. They pressured us out past the 3-point line because they were quick enough a lot of times to guard us.

"When they shoot those 3s like they did in the first half, you begin to wonder if it's your night or not. We figured they would cool off in the second half so we went man and put Joey on (Luke) Tillotson and I think that really helped us."

Tillotson led Sartell with 17 and was 5 of 7 from 3-point. Thomas Gieske added 12 points for Sartell.

 

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For photo gallery go to https://goo.gl/Kz6m8t .

 

Sartell 34 22-56

Brainerd 31 35-66

 

SARTELL

Matt Sieben 8, Preston Simpson 2, Ryan Fernholz 5, Jay Bertelson 9, Luke Tillotson 17, Thomas Gieske 12, Dominic Hagy 3. FG 19-50 (38 percent), FT 7-11 (64 percent). 3-point 11-26 (42 percent).

 

BRAINERD

Ben Staehling 2, Mason Malone 6, Chris Karels 13, Owen Davis 7, Joey Sauer 15, Brandon Burggraff 14, Taylor Shelito 7. FG 23-51 (45 percent), FT 14-20 (70 percent). 3-point 6-23 (26 percent).

Covering the Brainerd lakes area sports scene for the past 23 years.
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