Pine River-Backus was defeated 61-42 by the visiting Crosby-Ironton Rangers in a non-conference boys’ basketball game on Tuesday, Nov. 26. Although the Rangers controlled the lead throughout the contest, the game was closer than the final score would indicate.
The Rangers got out to an early lead showing strong defense and taking advantage of their opportunities on the offensive end. C-I did much of their damage inside the arc, not needing the long-range shot to build their lead. Conversely, the home team was able to find some success from their 3-point shot, going seven of seven from behind the arc.
The Rangers led 32-25 at halftime with the Tigers hoping to dig their way out of the deficit in the second half. However, the Rangers were able to keep their lead around the ten-point range for the early part of the second half. The Tigers appeared to have momentum after Travon Pederson 3-pointer to turn a 10-point deficit into a more manageable seven points.
The Rangers chose this opportunity to shut the door on the home team by going scoring the games next six points to get momentum back in their favor. C-I turned up the pressure on defense, pressing the Tigers in their backcourt. This strategy had mixed results, sometimes leading to easy baskets for the Tigers, but more often leading into a turnover by PRB and giving C-I another offensive possession.
In the end, the visiting team was able to pull away during the final minutes of the game.
Daniel Hudrlik scored 25 points for the Rangers while Konrad Bueckers had 14 points for the Tigers. PR-B, 0-2 overall, is schedued to play at Isle on Thursday, Dec. 5.
Pine River-Backus 25 17 — 42
Crosby-Ironton 32 28 — 61
Hank Raph 7, TJ Lukanen 2, Cole Larson 4, Konrad Bueckers 14, Travon Pederson 6, Tony Pederson 1, Zach Struss 8. FT 1-6 (16 percent).
Will Goodwin 9, Brady Tesdahl 5, Riley Jacobs 16, Noah Gindorff 6, Daniel Hudrlik 25. FT 9-15 (60 percent).
Nevis 57, Tigers 55
On Friday, Nov. 22, PR-B lost a close game at Nevis despite 24 points from sophomore Konrad Bueckers. The contest was close from midway through the first half until the final buzzer as both teams struggled to keep any type of lead. Both teams did have success from behind the arc.
The Tigers started off the game with a combination of great defense and outside shooting to build an early lead. The Tigers defense pestered Nevis early on, creating several turnovers and converting them into fast break baskets on the other end. Then senior Travon Pederson hit a pair of 3-point baskets to create a 13-6 lead.
Finding themselves down on their home court, Nevis needed to find an answer to the stifling defensive effort being shown by the away team, and they found their answer in the form of the three-point shot. Nevis’ next three successful baskets came from outside the arc, which was a major contributor to a 12-3 run. PR-B struggled to convert on their offensive opportunities, allowing Nevis to take an 18-16 lead.
The Tigers came back with 3-point shooting of their own, hitting on consecutive long-range shots to take the lead right back. Going into the locker room, PR-B was clinging to a slim 24-23 advantage.
The second half was exciting due to the tight score throughout. Neither team was able to build up a lead larger than four or more points. When one team would get a basket or two, the other team would answer right back.
With the score knotted up 53-52 in the final minutes, Pine River-Backus had a couple of drives with possible contact, but ended up with empty at the basket and without a foul call going in their favor. In the final minute, with the Tigers down 56-53, the Tigers drove the lane and got a much needed basket.
On the inbounds pass, the Tigers appeared to have the Nevis ball carrier stuck in the corner by two defenders, but a foul was called leading to the final point of the game for Nevis at the free throw line and a final score of 57-55.