Veteran high school coaches have always stressed the importance of making free throws. Like Carlton Roels, who coached in Pequot Lakes in the 1950s, who said a team will win close games if they shoot at least 70 percent from the free-throw line.
That statement was true on Friday, Nov. 30, as Pequot Lakes lost to the visiting Deer River Warriors 53-50 in the non-conference season opener after the Patriots made a dismal four of 22 free throws.
Pequot Lakes’ Jordan Redmond led all scorers with 27 points, but he made just three of 16 free throws.
“I thought we played pretty well, but we didn’t shoot well,” said Pequot Lakes coach Garry Grewe. “We don’t have much varsity experience. But I think we will get there.”
Another big difference was Deer River making seven three-point shots out of 20 attempts while the Patriots did not have a successful three-point basket in 13 tries.
Pequot Lakes’ Travis Jacobson scored the first six points of the game for a 6-2 lead. The Warriors rallied for a 25-20 lead at the half. Deer River extended the lead to 32-23 in the opening minutes of the second half. The Patriots did eventually cut the deficit to 38-35, and then assumed a 42-40 lead after a driving layup by Redmond.
Pequot Lakes later led 44-24 before Henry Hellman nailed a three-point basket and had a steal for a layup to give Deer River the lead for good. Aaron Drotts made a three-point shot to make it 52-46 before the Patriots would miss six straight free throws in the final two minutes.
The Patriots enjoyed a 43-34 edge in rebounds, including 12 by Jacobson and 10 by Redmond. The Patriots travel to Wadena-Deer Creek on Friday, Dec. 7.
Deer River 25 28 — 53
Pequot Lakes 20 30 — 50
Aaron Drotts 9, Henry Hellmann 20, Tristan Peck 3, Kole Schultz 4, Seth Fairbanks 2, Jace Swanson 2, Noah Kaczor 13, Devin Bowstring. FT 10-17 (59 percent). FG 18-49 (37 percent)
Brett Peterson 2, Jordan Redmond 27, Tyler Tappe 8, Travis Jacobson 13. FT 4-22 (18 percent). FG 23-71 (32 percent)