Braham 54, Pine City 78
On Jan. 28, Pine City boys basketball traveled to Braham. There is so much history there, so much pride. It makes for a great atmosphere and a great game. They have the state championship banners hanging, Coach Vaughan’s Hall of Fame banner – a lot of good basketball has been played in their gyms.
“Coach Eklund and I chat quite a bit,” said coach Kyle Allen. “I really respect what he does over there, and I hope that feeling is mutual. We know each other’s systems, what we want to accomplish, and how we want to do it. It makes it fun. Now it is a chess match of strategies and execution.”
It was a bit of a seesaw battle in the first half of play as the Dragons got off to a slow start, turning the ball over a few times in their first couple of possessions. Pine City got out to a lead; however, Braham battled back and made a bit of a run of their own.
The score was close at halftime, but the Pine City coaches felt like we could make the appropriate adjustments at halftime.
In the second half, Pine City extended their lead. Caleb Fromm did a great job of setting the tone on both ends of the court. Konnor Jusczak took over the pace and execution of the offensive end of the court, leading to a game-high seven assists. Kameron Jusczak came down with six total rebounds, only out-paced by Seth Logan who had 10. Dylan Petersen was able to pull in five total rebounds in a role off the bench. Christian Fromm scored all 11 of his points in the second half, finding the correct spot while guys did a great job of feeding him the ball.
Aitkin 60, Pine City 82
On Jan. 30, the Dragons would come away with their second win of the week at home against Aitkin.
“I love when we are able to create a fun environment at Pine City,” said Coach Allen. “We had a lot of fans, community members, students and others fill in on Thursday night. When you couple that with the pep band, it makes for a great night of basketball and a fun experience for our players. The gym is energetic, and we hope that our brand of basketball coupled with our own energy and excitement makes for a good experience for the fans as well.”
Pine City knew this was going to be a physical game coming in, and it did not disappoint. It was a fast-paced game where neither team was willing to back down. There were a lot of fouls called both ways and rightfully so.
The first half was a battle up until the last few minutes when the Dragons were able to go on a little run to end the half, giving themselves an 8-point lead at half. A great execution by the Dragon players set up an open 3-point shot for Seth Logan who was able to convert the shot.
In the second half, Pine City was able to keep their composure and continue to keep the pressure on both ends of the court.
“Caleb Fromm, again, had a great game,” Coach Allen said. “A lot of what he does does not show up in the stat book. Tonight, however, he took four charges in the game, which is unbelievable.”
Seth Logan led the Dragons on the boards with nine total rebounds, followed by Duke Waxberg with seven and Christian Fromm with six. Koleman Lind did a great job of setting up other players with nine assists, but was able to balance that with his own scoring attack.
“If we can continue to have Koleman Lind, Konnor Jusczak and Duke Waxberg control the flow of offense like they have, we will be good on the offensive end,” said Allen.