The Pequot Lakes girls’ basketball team was edged 72-71 by the visiting Mountain Iron-Buhl Rangers, unbeaten and the No. 2 ranked team in Class A, in a non-conference game Thursday, Dec. 20.
The Patriots, 6-2 overall, are scheduled to face Sebeka in the first game of the Walker-Hackensack-Akeley Wolfpack tournament at 4:15 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 27.
“It was a great game, and we have nothing to hang our heads about,” said Pequot Lakes coach Jon Dale. “I’m proud the way the girls rose to the occasion after we were down 24-11, and then we went on a 14-0 run to eventually lead 36-28 at the half.”
The Patriots were playing without one of their top scorers in Katie White, who suffered an ankle fracture in a victory over Pine River-Backus on Tuesday, Dec. 18.
“We played our hearts out with Katie (White) on the bench,” Dale said. “And we had a chance to win it.”
Dale added that Hailey Wiebolt and Brittny Bzdok each had increased playing time because of the injury.
“I didn’t like it,” White said about watching from the bench. “Sitting on the bench is way too intense, but our girls did a great job.”
Because of White’s injury, the Patriots joined MI-B with young lineups. Pequot Lakes started two freshmen while the Rangers started two eighth graders.
“We’re both young teams, and should have some great battles in the years to come,” said MI-B head coach Jeff Buffeta.
The second half was close almost the entire way. The Rangers did take a 72-70 lead with 10 seconds remaining. Jessica Kreitz was then fouled with 4/10ths of a second remaining. She missed the first free throw, but made the second attempt to make it a one-point final score.
Vanessa Lane led scoring with 23 points while Kayla Miller had 22 and Bzdok 12.
MI-Buhl 28 44 — 72
Pequot Lakes 36 35 — 71
Allie Knuti 20, Kathy Ostman 10, Laura Ostman 11, Chelsea Mason 9, Sarah Overbye 7, Mya Buffetta 15. FG 24-64 (37 percent), FT 19-23 (82 percent).
Hayley Wiebolt 7, Brittny Bzdok 12, Vanessa Lane 23, Kayla Miller 22, Jessica Kreitz 7. FG 29-57 (51 percent), FT 13-23 (56 percent).
Patriots 59, PR-Backus 38
Miller topped all scorers with 17 points to lead Pequot Lakes to a non-conference win over rival Pine River-Backus on Tuesday, Dec. 18.
It’s the ninth-straight victory over the Patriots over the Tigers. The last time the Tigers defeated Pequot Lakes was Feb. 3, 2007.
The Patriots broke the game open with an 11-0 run late in the first half to assume a 25-18 advantage.
“(PR-B) played us tough at the start,” Dale said, “but we had a nice run to end the first half, and we pulled away with a strong second half. We really played well defensively, and our girls picked it up off the bench.”
The Tigers, who entered the game with just one loss, jumped to an 8-2 lead. The Patriots eventually tied it 12-12 on Katie White’s 3-point basket. PR-B regained an 18-14 lead on layups by Megan Felthous and Journee Howard, but the Tigers would then go scoreless for the final five minutes of the half. Meanwhile, Pequot Lakes built a lead highlighted by a layup by Vanessa Lane, a 3-point shot by White and a basket by Jessica Kreitz.
The Patriots led 29-23 four minutes into the second half. But that’s when the hosts went on a 25-1 run to open a 54-24 advantage with 6:24 remaining. Kayla Miller had eight points during that run, including scoring on an impressive assist by Wiebolt.
Pequot Lakes maintained the lead through the final minutes as reserves from both teams took the court. One of the late highlights was Kelsey Hart scoring her first points as she swished a long jumper. One other key development in the second half was a severe sprained ankle suffered by White.
Speaking of injuries, PR-B’s all-time scoring leader Tatum Sheeley didn’t play against the Patriots. She has been out all season with a knee injury, and is expected back soon.
“We hope to have Tatum back right after Christmas when we host Barnum (Dec. 29),” said PR-B coach Randy Schwegel.
White added 11 points and Kreitz 10 for the Patriots. Brittany Kelley led the Tigers, 4-2 overall, with 11 points.
The Pequot Lakes junior varsity girls improved to 7-0 overall with a 40-23 victory over PR-B. Kelsey Hart and Catie Ryan each had 13 points while Haley Wiebolt had six, Morgan Lohmiller four and Emilee Buell and Laura Squires each with two. Ashley Anderson led the Tigers with eight. The Patriots led 26-7 at the half.
The Pequot Lakes seventh- and eighth-grade teams also triumphed against PR-B to improve to 4-0 overall. The seventh-grade led 25-4 at intermission and won 45-17 behind Karli Skog’s 19 points, 11 by Maggie Miska and eight by Brianna Sewall.
The eighth graders led 30-7 at the break on way to a 52-17 win behind 16 points from Sam Littman 12 by Corina Rudd and eight by Elsa Headlee.
Pine River-Backus 18 20 — 38
Pequot Lakes 25 34 — 59
Kendra Brasel 2, Brooke Richards 2, Megan Porta 1, Brittany Kelley 11, Megan Felthous 8, Journee Howard 6, Autumn Ackerman 8. FG 15-35 (43 percent), FT 8-12 (67 percent).
Hayley Wiebolt 2, Brittny Bzdok 4, Kelsey Hart 2, Vanessa Lane 9, Emilee Buell 4,Katie White 11, Kayla Miller 17, Jessica Kreitz 10. FG 26-49 (53 percent), FT 4-10 (40 percent).