The ninth-seeded Pine River-Backus Tigers were defeated by the lopsided score of 73-29 in their East Subsection 5A quarterfinal boys' basketball game against the much favored top-seeded Barnum Bombers in Barnum on Thursday, March 7.
Barnum showed why they were a top seed in the subsection, as they are a very strong team on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. They were able to force turnovers and took advantage of the extra offensive possessions to keep the score in their favor for all of the game.
Barnum controlled nearly every phase of the game both offensively and defensively. On offense, Barnum played very unselfishly, patiently passing the ball to find the player with the most wide-open position. They were able to get baskets inside the paint, but they were also able to hit the outside jumper as well, often behind the arc for 3-pointers.
On defense, the Bombers were successful at forcing the Tigers into difficult shots and often created turnovers. When PR-B drove the lane, they usually came up empty handed, often getting their shot blocked or stolen. Only six minutes into the game, Barnum had taken a 14-1 lead, when Konrad Beuckers drove the lane and was blocked. The Barnum player was called for a foul and Beuckers made good on one of his two free throw attempts.
On the Tigers following attempt, Beau Howard was also fouled on an attempt to drive the lane. Barnum successfully contested nearly every shot that the Tigers could muster. With seven minutes to go in the first half, Pine River was in a 30-9 deficit. The Tigers were able to make a few baskets in the waning minutes of the half, but it would not be enough to cut into the deficit.
At halftime, the Bombers had a commanding lead, 48-17, going into the locker room.
The second half was much of the same for the Tigers. Barnum swarmed the Pine River-Backus ball handlers forcing passes to players that were covered, leading to a turnover, or taking a forced shot that often missed its mark. In the second half, the Tigers were outscored by a 25-12 margin.
When the final buzzer sounded the Tigers saw their season come to an end. PR-B finishes with a 2-26 record.