The visiting Brainerd Warriors remained unbeaten with an 82-38 pounding of the Pequot Lakes Patriots in a non-conference boys’ basketball game on Monday, Jan.14.
The Warriors, who improved to 9-0 overall, and are off to their best start since the 1965-66 season when Brainerd started 10-0. Brainerd took advantage of 39 turnovers to score 40 of their points.
The Patriots, 5-7 overall, are scheduled to host Mid-State Conference opponents in their next two games – facing Wadena-Deer Creek on Friday, Jan. 18, and Detroit Lakes on Tuesday, Jan. 22.
Jack Sauer led the Warriors with 19 points and Marcus Comstock finished with 13. They sparked Brainerd to a 50-percent shooting night (31 of 62).
Brainerd’s ball pressure resulted in numerous turnovers. It helped the Warriors rattle off 22 unanswered points to open the second half and build a 73-27 edge. The Warriors’ pressure caused Pequot to make just 4 of 20 baskets in the second half, and just 31 percent (14 of 45) for the game.
The Patriots didn’t score in the second half until Jack Kreitz buried a three with 8:33 remaining. The Warriors built a 51-27 halftime cushion. Brainerd forced 21 turnovers in the first, scoring 24 points off of those miscues.
Pequot Lakes started out with a hot hand, seizing an early 12-8 lead. The Warriors scored 14 of the next 16 points, and 20 of the next 26, for a 42-19 edge and the contest was all but over.
Jordan Redmond scored all of his team-high 10 points in the first half for the Patriots.
Brainerd 51 31 — 82
Pequot Lakes 27 11 — 38
Jack Sauer 19, Jacob Blong 8, Marcus Comstock 13, Ian Haug 5, Chris Bowman 4, Tony Sauer 10, Taylor Huber 8, Jagar Hanson 6, Nick Schwen 2, Isaiah Smith 2, Logan Davis 3, Geoff Sheflo 2. FG 31-62 (50 percent). FT 13-21 (62 percent). 3-point baskets 7-23. Turnovers: 10.
Brett Peterson 6, John Craig 3, Jordan Redmond 10, Travis Jacobson 6, Keegan Johnson 1, Brandon Hehir 3, Conner Davich 2, Kevin Beltz 2, Jack Kreitz 3, Sean Murray 2. FG 14-45 (31 percent). FT 5-7. 3-point baskets 5-13. Turnovers: 39.
Grand Rapids 58, Patriots 36
On Thursday, Jan. 10, the Thunderhawks improved to 9-2 overall as sophomore Alex Illikainen scored 31 points, including 21 in the second half, in the non-conference matchup.
Pequot Lakes did grab a 6-2 lead before Grand Rapids rallied for a 14-11 lead with just over four minutes left in the first half against the shorthanded Patriots, who played without Tyler Tappe and Keegan Johnson due to injuries. The Thunderhawks then scored the final five points of the half for a 19-11 lead in a low-scoring half.
Grand Rapids, which is ranked No. 7 in Class AAA, extended its lead to 30-15 in the first five minutes of the second half. The visitors eventually extended the lead to 40-20, and the outcome was pretty much decided. The Thunderhawks enjoyed their largest lead at 58-33 late in the game when the reserves took the court. That’s when the Patriots’ Sean Murray hit a 15-foot jumper for his first varsity points.
“They’re a good, young team with 10 players on the varsity roster going six-foot or better,” said Pequot Lakes coach Garry Grewe. “We stuck with them for a while, but we got in foul trouble and made quite a few turnovers.”
Jordan Redmond led the Patriots with 14 points.
Grand Rapids 19 39 — 58
Pequot Lakes 11 25 — 36
Mike Barrette 3, AJ Watland 9, Evan Reitter 6, Justin Gill 1, Alex Illikainen 31, Sam Rodenberg 2, Sam Smokrovich 6. FT 20-34 (59 percent).
Kevin Beltz 3, Jack Kreitz 2, Sean Murray 2, Wes Mumm 1, Jordan Redmond 14, Brandon Hehir 8, Travis Jacobson 6. FT 8-20 (40 percent).
Patriots 52, Crosby-Ironton 51
Pequot Lakes handed the Rangers a shocking defeat behind Travis Jacobson’s 24 points and Redmond’s 22 in Mid-State Conference action on Tuesday, Jan. 8.
The Patriots snapped a three-game losing streak and handed the Rangers their first Mid-State loss after three wins. C-I, which was ranked as high as sixth in Class AA, also entered the game with an 8-2 record. The Patriots improved to 3-2 in the Mid-State.
The Patriots grabbed an early 6-2 lead, but C-I answered with a 12-2 run. The Rangers extended the lead to 21-10 later in the opening half, but Pequot Lakes cut the deficit to 21-18. C-I’s Will Goodwin then made a pair of three-point shots to grow the lead to 27-18.
The Patriots would close out the first half with a 7-2 run to pull within 29-25 at intermission. The rivals battled over the first nine minutes of the second half as the Rangers maintained a 43-37 lead. But Pequot Lakes rallied with a 12-1 run to assume a 49-44 lead with three minutes remaining. The rally was sparked by Jacobson’s nine points.
The Patriots didn’t have the luxury of enjoying the lead very long as C-I tied it at 49 on a pair of three-point baskets with 1:44 left.
Pequot Lakes turned the ball over with 55 seconds remaining. The Rangers were running down the clock when Redmond stole the ball and scored on a layup despite being fouled. The senior added the free throw to give the Patriots a 52-49 lead with 19.9 seconds remaining.
C-I added a layup in the final seconds to make it a one-point game. Pequot Lakes did turn the ball over just before time expired, but C-I's desperation shot missed and the Patriots escaped with the win.
“The guys all stepped it up tonight with Tyler (Tappe) not playing because of a knee injury,” Grewe said. “Both Travis (Jacobson) and Jordan (Redmond) had outstanding games, and we beat C-I on the boards (24-15). We also shot 50 percent from the floor.”
Goodwin came up big for the Rangers with 22 points, including making six three-point baskets. Redmond added 10 rebounds for Pequot Lakes, which won despite committing 19 turnovers.
Pequot Lakes 25 27 — 52
Crosby-Ironton 29 22 — 51
John Craig 2, Wes Mumm 2, Jordan Redmond 22, Brandon Hehir 2, Travis Jacobson 24. FT 8-14 (57 percent). FG 22-44 (50 percent).
Will Goodwin 22, Caleb Baker 11, Riley Jacobs 7, Garrett Van Horn 5, Daniel Hudrlik 6. FT 5-10 (50 perdent). FG 27-66 (41 percent).