Boys Basketball: Warriors snap six-game losing streak
It wasn't easy, but it was much needed. Despite 18 turnovers and 63-percent shooting from the foul line and watching a 14-point first half lead evaporate into just a five-point halftime edge, and seeing the St. Cloud Tech Tigers claw back to grab...
It wasn't easy, but it was much needed.
Despite 18 turnovers and 63-percent shooting from the foul line and watching a 14-point first half lead evaporate into just a five-point halftime edge, and seeing the St. Cloud Tech Tigers claw back to grab a 53-51 lead late, despite all that the Brainerd Warriors won 67-61 Friday at Brainerd High School.
The victory snapped a six-game losing streak and brought some life back into the beleaguered Warriors.
"This was huge," said Brainerd junior Jack Geraets. "We had lost six straight and we finally got one now. We have a lot of home games now. I think we only have one more road game and a lot of home games. This was a huge win for us."
Warriors 67, Tech 61
- Key: Chris Pederson grabbed a steal and turned it into three points late
- Conf: Brd 7-6, SCT 8-6
- Overall: Brd 9-13, SCT 8-13
- Next: Brainerd hosts Alexandria 7:30 p.m. Thursday
--- Chris Pederson saved the day with a steal he turned into a three-point play for a 64-61 edge with less than a minute remaining. The junior post added another free throw and point guard Logan Madsen hit two more free throws to score the game's final six points.
Pederson finished with nine points and seven rebounds. Madsen tallied seven points and six boards.
Jacob Russell revived the Warriors late in the second half. After Tech secured its first lead since making the game's first basket at 4:59, Russell knocked in four straight points and corralled key rebounds to create a 59-54 Warrior edge. Russell finished with 12 points and seven boards.
Tech's Jack Mussman then scored seven points around a Geraets basket to tie the score with 1:09 remaining. That's when Pederson picked off a desperation pass and took it to the rim.
It was Brainerd, which had trouble hanging on to the ball for most of the second half. The Warriors committed eight second-half turnovers, but Geraets helped keep Brainerd going with his 12 second-half points. He finished with 13.
"I just saw the guy was playing up on me close so I just took it to the hole," said Geraets. "Either I would shoot or give it up to my teammates when I could."
Geraets added a team-high five assists.
Michael Russell scored all 10 of his points in the first half. Kobe Ahonen, back from injury, recorded 12 points and eight rebounds for the Warriors.
"We had good balance and I thought Kobe, for missing almost two weeks, played pretty well," said Warriors head coach Scott Stanfield. "He was a little out of sync, but all-in-all, we don't win without him. He's a big bodied kid who grabbed a lot of rebounds. He's just somebody you want on the court. All-in-all it was a good win."
The Warriors used a 14-1 run early to build a 29-15 first-half lead. Tech answered with a 12-3 run to close to a 32-27 halftime deficit. Massmann, who finished with a game-high 29 points, scored 13 in the first half.
"We had to work harder in the second half," said Geraets. "We had to keep working hard and continue to communicate. We didn't communicate well on defense in the first half. That was our halftime talk and then we let them get second-chance points. They had a lot of offensive boards."
Tech finished with 11 offensive rebounds.
Brainerd beat Tech 69-61 Jan. 2. That was the last time the Warriors were above .500. Since that victory, the Warriors had lost eight of their last 10 games. Friday's victory, however ugly, was needed.
"We make things very difficult for no reason," said Stanfield. "The first half, instead of a 20-point lead, which I felt would have been in reason, it's only a five-point lead. We missed a lot of layups. We missed a lot of free throws in that first half. That's a recipe for disaster against a team that will always hang around. We got lucky in a lot of areas tonight."
St. Cloud Tech 27 34 - 61
Brainerd 32 35 - 67
ST. CLOUD TECH
Jack Mussman 2, James Kaczor 3, Jake Mussman 29, Rauch Chuol 6, Darian Washington 10, Jake Martig 11. FG 20-56 (35 percent), FT 14-21 (52 percent). 3-point 7-21 (33 percent).
Michael Russell 10, Logan Madsen 7, Jack Geraets 13, Steven Severson 2, Jacob Russell 12, Hunter Casper 2, Chris Pederson 9, Kobe Ahonen 12. FG 21-44 (48 percent), FT 20-33 (61 percent). 3-point 5-12 (42 percent).
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 855-5856 or email@example.com . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop .