Pine City 71, MLWR 53
Moose Lake/Willow River (MLWR) was ranked ahead of Pine City coming into the game hosted by MLWR on Tuesday, Feb. 26; however, the Dragons held MLWR to only 14 points in the first half and came home with the victory 71-53.
Seth Logan and Jake Adams led the Dragons with 20 points each. During the second half, junior Seth Logan reached the 1,000 career varsity point milestone as a Dragon. Logan has scored all his points under head coach Kyle Allen and is coach Allen’s fifth 1,000 point scorer. Koleman Lind also scored in double figures for the Dragons with 11 points.
“Our assist numbers were low, our steal numbers were low, but our number of turnovers was also low. We didn’t show as high as a percentage as we would have liked,” said coach Kyle Allen. “The numbers really say that our defense was on point, not in creating the turnovers that we usually like, but in the solid play that led to tough shots for them.”
Pine City 102, Hinckley/Finlayson 71
What a fun game and what a great atmosphere. Pine City traveled to Hinckley/Finlayson, playing in front of a packed house on Friday, March 1. The last game of the regular season for both teams and a championship on the line, Pine City showed up to play and defeated Hinckley/Finlayson 102-71.
During the first half, Pine City’s defense was having a hard time protecting the perimeter and caused them to give up a lot of rebounds and second chance points to Hinckley/Finlayson.
“That is a recipe for disaster,” said coach Allen. “We saw some foul trouble in the first half with some of our ‘bigs’ which led us to going to the bench early and going with smaller lineups.”
Due to Christian Fromm and Seth Logan facing some foul trouble, Kameron Jusczak, Chris Trudeau and Duke Waxberg all gave big minutes in the first half. Konnor Jusczak played great underneath the boards, doing everything he could to create room for rebounds. Jusczak also hit some big three-point shots in the final minutes of the first half to give Pine City a four point lead at half time.
“Coming out of halftime, I really liked how we focused in on our identity and philosophy,” said Allen. “We played much better on the defensive end, which led to better rebounding and more scoring opportunities.”
The Dragons had four players scoring in double figures with Nick Hansmann leading Pine City with 22 points. Seth Logan had 19 points with an impressive eight total rebounds. Konnor Jusczak scored 18 points and Jake Adams had 16 points to go along with his three steals. Koleman Lind had a game high nine assists, followed by Adams and Nick Hansmann with four apiece.
“Winning the outright conference championship felt great, and now going back-to-back feels even better. There was a lot of work in the early years that led to this. This is not something that ‘just happened.’ The boys that came before these groups that laid the foundation for what we can accomplish now are never forgotten. We wouldn’t be where we are without them,” said coach Allen.