Boys Basketball: Albany knocks off Patriots in state quarters
Pequot Lakes vs Albany in the Class 2A State Quarterfinals Tuesday, March 21
MINNEAPOLIS — Hot second-half shooting propelled the No. 2 seed Albany Huskies to a 69-53 victory over unseeded Pequot Lakes in the Class 2A State Quarterfinals Tuesday, March 21, at Williams Arena.
The Huskies shot 8-of-17 from 3-point for the game and 5-of-8 in the second half to reach the semifinals.
“We got the ball in the middle of the zone with good spacing and we started to get some kick-outs,” Albany head coach Cory Schlagel said. “It becomes contagious and once the other guys see the ball go in it becomes natural.”
Albany’s Sam Hondl scored a team-high 20 points for the Huskies while Tysen Gerads put in 19 points.
Grant Loge led the Patriots with a game-high 23 points while Gavin Kennen and Eli Laposky each added 10 points.
The Patriots shot 37.9% for the game to Albany’s 52%. Pequot Lakes head coach Rich Spiczka liked the shots his team was getting, but the ball just wasn’t going in the basket.
“I thought we were doing all the things that we were supposed to do,” he said. “Basketball is just hard when the ball doesn’t go in the basket. I think we were fine schematically on both ends of the floor. The ball just didn’t go in.”
Hondl added 12 rebounds and five assists to go with his 20 points on 10-of-14 shooting. Offensively, he played in the middle of Pequot’s zone.
“In practice yesterday, we put (Hondl) in the middle and just had guys fire the basketball at him,” Schlagel said. “He’s really good. He’s able to shoot that shot and attack. His versatility and length pretty much countered what they were trying to do.”
The Huskies led 53-34 with seven minutes left before Pequot Lakes went on an 11-0 run to make it an eight-point game with 5:30 left. Kennan, Laposky and Brayden Spiczka all hit 3s during the run for Pequot.
“It was a little bit of a flurry,” Spiczka said of the run. “We had some good energy and were taking advantage of some of their mistakes. You have to get all the way over the mountain to make that run. I mean, the ball just didn’t go in.”
Albany responded with a 9-0 run of their own to take a 62-45 lead with under three minutes left.
“In the timeout, we just talked about not hurting ourselves,” Schlagel said. “We went out and scored six in a row. That kind of sealed the game for us.”
The Huskies owned a 36-16 rebound advantage.
“They have a weapon at every position on the court,” Loge said. “They were just a little bigger, faster and stronger.”
A cold shooting start by Pequot helped the Huskies jump to an 8-2 lead eight minutes into the game.
Hondl scored 10 of his 20 points in the first half on the interior of Pequot’s zone. Loge led the way for the Patriots with eight points in the first half.
“Right away I started off slow,” Loge said. “I had a little quicker defender on me, so I knew I had to try and bring him inside.”
Albany nailed three 3-pointers toward the end of the first half and went into halftime with a 27-18 lead.
The Patriots shot 29.6% in the first half, while the Huskies made 44% of their field goals.
“They ran that 1-2-2 looking for traps,” Schlagel said. “We haven’t really seen that since we played them in January. We weren’t as crisp as we should be, but when we did we were able to get some looks and put some runs on them.”
Pequot Lakes will play in the State Consolations Semifinals 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 22, at Concordia University in St. Paul.
“It’s not the result anyone is looking for,” Spiczka said. “It’s rare to be here and it’s rare to play 33 games, so that’s our goal. Hopefully, we will take care of tomorrow. Last year, we had a really good performance in our second game.”
Albany 27 42 — 69
Pequot Lakes 18 35 — 53
Ezekia Austin 13, Carter Voss 6, Tanner Reis 4, Tysen Gerads 19, Samuel Hondl 20, Ethan Borgerding 7. FG 26-50 (52%), FT (75%). 3-point 8-17 (47.1%).
Eli Laposky 10, Gavin Kennen 10, Grant Loge 23, Conner Quale 4, Brayden Spiczka 6. FG 22-58 (37.9%), FT 2-3 (66.7%). 3-point 7-24 (29.2%).
No. 2 Albany 69, Pequot Lakes 53
Key: Albany catches fire in the second half to put away the Patriots.
Overall: PL 25-6, A 30-1.
Next: Pequot Lakes vs. DGF/PEM 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 22.
CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/the_rad34.