Mora 63, Pine City 61
On Monday, Feb. 3, the Pine City High School gym had a playoff feel about it, as the Dragons hosted Mora. It was a loud gym and the Mora section was just as loud as the Pine City section; something you usually see on a neutral floor in the playoffs, as the Dragons fell to Mora 63-61.
“This creates a great experience for us that will hopefully help us as we move on. We love playing in front of our home crowd and we need to be able to play in a loud environment that is maybe not always cheering for us,” said coach Kyle Allen. “You never like to lose, but our goal is to take the adversity and loss and use it to our advantage.”
In competitive games like Mora, Pine City has less room for error. That is when the Dragons need to not be committing system mistakes because of lack of focus.
“It was a good wakeup call for us; when they rushed our court and celebrated like they had just won the World Series, I think our boys felt that – I believe our boys will hold on to that and respond positively,” said coach Allen.
The play on the court was physical, fun and exciting to witness with both teams battling the whole way through.
“Even with our lack of execution at times, we played the game down to the wire, never gave in, and gave ourselves a chance at the end to tie or win,” said coach Allen.
Pine City 75, East Central 56,
The Dragons celebrated Varsity Parent and Senior night with a Pine City 56 -75 win on Thursday, Feb. 6, as they hosted East Central. The Pine City senior players this year are Konnor Jusczak, Seth Logan, Tanner Wicktor, Christian Fromm, Duke Waxberg and Koleman Lind. Senior managers are Lexi Havel and Martina Degiorgis.
“We have so much more season to go, so much more work to do. However, we do want to honor and say thank you to our parents and our seniors for their years of dedication, work, time, efforts, and contributions to our program,” said coach Allen.
Coming into the game, East Central only had one conference loss on their record; a 63-54 loss to the Dragons at East Central earlier in the season. This game had a lot of conference final standings riding on it and Pine City took that very serious. They went out there to play a tough game against a tough opponent.
The Dragons’ rebounding was under average in the game, but their shot percentage made up for it. Seth Logan led the Dragons with five total rebounds while Christian Fromm, Duke Waxberg and Dylan Petersen all had four. Caleb Fromm took two charges and Dylan Petersen and Koleman Lind each took one.
Pine City 83, Duluth Marshall 70
Pine City played their third tough game of the week on Friday, Feb. 7, and came away with a big win over Duluth Marshall 70 – 83. Duluth Marshall has some outstanding ball players and some really good scorers, being one of the top scoring teams in the state this year.
Seth Logan officially passed Noah Adams as the all-time leading scorer in Pine City High School boys basketball history.
“Seth is, obviously, one of the best scorers I have coached in my time here. This milestone is huge and should stand on the boys side for some time,” said coach Allen. “It was a goal of his to achieve and he has worked to make it happen. He has been a big part of what we do for four years now.”
The Dragons went into halftime up 12 points; however, Duluth Marshall came out of the locker room hitting on all cylinders making some tough shots in the second half.
“Give them credit, they cut it to 1 several times, but our boys were able to hold on. We did a nice job of not panicking and sticking to the game plan, said coach Allen. “They had a few stretches in the second half where they scored on several possessions in a row, that is something we can not allow.”
Having to play tough games, back to back, Pine City did not shoot well from the free throw line, but were able to hold on, make enough good plays, and finish the game with the win.