Boys Basketball: Warriors stymie Apollo for first win
Warriors 53, Apollo 37 Key: Warriors held Apollo to 26-percent shooting Conf: Brd 1-0 SCA 0-1 Overall: Brd 1-2, SCA 1-2 Next: Brainerd at Rocori 7:30 p.m. Friday Offensive efficiency and stifling defense is a good recipe for success. The Brainerd...
Warriors 53, Apollo 37
Key: Warriors held Apollo to 26-percent shooting
Conf: Brd 1-0 SCA 0-1
Overall: Brd 1-2, SCA 1-2
Next: Brainerd at Rocori 7:30 p.m. Friday
Offensive efficiency and stifling defense is a good recipe for success.
The Brainerd Warriors used both to dominate the St. Cloud Apollo Eagles 53-37 Tuesday night at Brainerd High School and pick up their first win of the season.
Brainerd held Apollo to 26-percent shooting from the field (10-of-39) and forced the Eagles into 13 turnovers.
"I was really happy with those numbers," said Warriors head coach Scott Stanfield. "We spent a lot of hours scouting them so we had a good read on what they wanted to do and I thought we took away a lot of their initial stuff. I don't recall too many uncontested shots for them, which is really good.
"Our kids were really focused in on the pregame and that's a credit to them."
Offensively, the Warriors got scoring from eight different players and turned the ball over just nine times. Brainerd shot 35 percent from the field for the game, but shot 41 percent in the first half to build a 35-18 halftime edge.
"We came in and we knew that we really had to pass the ball because they were going to come in and pressure us," said Brainerd point guard Logan Madsen. "They bring their press right away so we knew that we had to get the ball moving and be strong with it."
Michael Russell came off the bench to score a team-high 14 points. The sophomore drained three 3-pointers, two coming in the first half.
"I thought Michael came out of his shell a little bit tonight," said Stanfield. "As we go through this season, I hope that we'll see more of him progressing. He works hard at his game and it shows."
Madsen also made two 3s and finished with eight points. Madsen's second 3 started a 12-2 run in the first half, which turned a 15-9 Warrior lead into a 27-11 advantage.
"Those 3s gave us big confidence with our scoring," Madsen said. "We were able to get the momentum and we tried to carry that into the second half."
Brainerd's offense disappeared in the second half as Apollo cut into the lead at 38-26, but that was as close as the Eagles could get. Apollo's Ethan Novacinski, who led the Eagles with 14 points, picked up his fifth foul with more than four minutes remaining ending any Eagles' threat.
"We could have had a lot more possessions and scored 10 more points, but I thought our kids were really patient," said Stanfield. "For whatever reason we didn't finish tonight. Kobe (Ahonen) didn't finish underneath tonight and he usually does that. When those things start clicking we're going to be pretty good.
"Every year the offense is always a little behind the defense. I think we'll smooth it out in the next couple of weeks and really open the floor up and our shooting will get better. If we play defense like this we'll be in a lot of games regardless."
Chris Pederson posted nine points and Ahonen finished with eight for the Warriors, who were just happy to get a win after two tough losses to start the season.
"This win will build our confidence for Friday that's for sure," Madsen said. "Hopefully good things will happen."
Apollo 18 19 - 37
Brainerd 35 18 - 53
Cole Johnson 6, Dauryce Taylor 3, Ethan Novacinski 14, Logan Louangsyharaj 3, Jack Atkinson 2, Ben Giese 2, Clayton Hoeper 1, Luke Dunsmoor 5, Khalid Mohamed 1. FG 10-39 (26 percent), FT 15-28 (54 percent). 3-point 2-14 (14 percent).
Jacob Russell 4, Kobe Ahonen 8, Jack Geraets 6, Logan Madsen 8, Chris Pederson 9, Michael Russell 14. Hunter Brown 2, Jaden Miller 2. FG 20-57 (35 percent), FT 7-12 (58 percent). 3-point 6-15 (40 percent).
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 855-5856 or email@example.com . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop .