The Pequot Lakes Patriots boys’ basketball team settled for second place after losing to the Barnesville Trojans 47-32 in a defensive battle in the championship game of the “Wheaties” Wallin tournament on Saturday, Dec. 28, at the Pequot Lakes Athletic Complex.
The Patriots had defeated Bagley 55-46 in the tournament semifinals on Friday, Dec. 27, to advance to the title game. Pequot Lakes’ CJ Borleis and Jack Kreitz were both chosen to the all-tournament team.
“Even though we beat Bagley, we missed a bunch of layups, and we had a lot of turnovers,” said Patriots’ coach Ben Starns. “Against Barnesville, we didn’t shoot very well, but we were still in the game halfway through the second half, and only trailed by six. But then we couldn’t score on three straight possessions. (Barnesville) was a real good team.”
The Patriots trailed just 23-17 with less than one minute left in the opening half when Michael Strand hit a 3-point shot for the Trojans. Pequot Lakes had a steal for a layup by Borleis and a 3-point basket by Hunter Larson to keep within striking distance.
The Patriots later trailed 33-22 when Borleis made a 3-point shot and Connor Davich drove for a couple layups to cut the deficit to 35-29 with nine minutes left, but that was as close as Pequot Lakes would come. Strand nailed an 18-foot shot and an NBA-length 3-pointer as the Trojans pulled away.
Strand ended with 20 points while teammate Kyler Martz had 14. Borleis finished with 10 points while Kreitz had nine to pace the Patriots.
“I think Travis (Jacobson) had one of his better games for us, and C.J. (Borleis) had 28 points and about 30 rebounds (in the two tournament games).”
The Patriots, 5-4 overall, are scheduled to host Staples-Motley at 7:15 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 3.
Barnesville 23 24 — 47
Pequot Lakes 17 15 — 32
Kyler Martz 14, Nathan Dokkebakken 3, Michael Strand 20, Ben Sauve 6, Nick Randklev 2, Ethan Ishaug 2. FT 2-7 (29 percent).
Connor Davich 4, Jack Kreitz 9, John Craig 2, Travis Jacobson 4, Hunter Larson 3, CJ Borleis 10. FT 4-10 (40 percent).
Patriots 55, Bagley 46
On Friday, Davich made two 3-point baskets to give the hosts a 32-17 lead over the Flyers at the break. To open the second half, John Craig hit a couple 3-point shots and Borleis added another 3-pointer as Pequot Lakes cruised to a win.
Borleis led all scorers with a career-high 18 points while Davich, Kreitz and Jacobson all added eight points for the balanced attack.
In the other opening game, Barnesville beat Hermantown 72-55 behind 32 points by Strand. Hermantown beat Bagley 55-42 in the third-place game. Others making the all-tournament team were Strand and Martz; Kole Zuidmulder and Thomas Madison from Hermantown; and Kameron Anderson and Louis Larson of Bagley.
Bagley 17 29 — 46
Pequot Lakes 32 23 — 55
Erik Paulson 5, Landon Peterson 3, Walker Cage 5, Louis Larson 9, Jack Laudon 5, Jordan Loiland 7, Mark Lundsten 2, Kameron Anderson 10.
Connor Davich 8, Jack Kreitz 8, John Craig 6, Travis Jacobson 8, Hunter Larson 4, Henry Liedl 3, CJ Borleis 18.
Junior varsity splits
The Pequot Lakes junior varsity team split their two games at the tournament, beating Bagley 50-46 in the first round but falling to Barnesville 35-25 in the championship game of the Wheaties Wallin tourney.
Against Bagley, the Patriots trailed 31-27 at the half before rallying to win. Gage Westlund let the hosts with 16 points while Eric Elverum and Austin Anderson each had nine points, Hunter Goerges added seven, Josh Buell five, and Lucas Mumm and Connor Dale each had two.
“We got some good looks at the basket in the second half, and guys like Westlund, Elverum and Anderson were able to score,” said Pequot Lakes coach Alex Kunesh.
Barnesville proved to be too much for the Patriots in a defensive battle as the visitors led 21-17 at the half, and then limited Pequot Lakes to just eight points in the second half.
Westlund had seven points against the Trojans while Jackson Goerges had five, Elverum four, Mumm three and Hunter Goerges, Anderson and Buell each had two.