7AA Championship #2 Pequot Lakes at #1 Esko
The Pequot Lakes Patriots Boys Basketball team battled back from a 10-point deficit in the 2nd half and defeated top-seeded Esko 58-50 to capture the Section 7AA Championship Thursday night from the Romano Gymnasium on the UMD Campus.
A tightly played first half coupled with only shooting 1-for-6 at the free throw line put the Patriots down early. Esko was able to cruise through much of the first half with the advantage as they were able to pull ahead with 4 players hitting a three-pointer. Dalton Spindler led the Eskomos with 7 points at the break with Nicholas Swanson adding 6 points. Pequot Lakes was able to keep things close with Grant Loge’s 7 first half points despite trailing 23-18 at the half.
Esko came out shooting in the 2nd half with a trio of three pointers early and taking the ball away from the Patriots. The Eskomos also were able to get Pequot into foul trouble and converted 7-of-11 at the free throw line on their way to 10-point lead. The Patriots kept chipping away at the lead with contributions from the entire lineup. Trimming the deficit down to a single possession, Eli Laposky’s first points of the game came to tie the game 47-47 followed by Grant Loge’s three pointer to put Pequot Lakes up for good with less than 2 minutes remaining. The Patriots would go on to finish the game at the free-throw line, where they hit 11-of-15 in the 2nd half.
Grant Loge finished with a team-leading 16 points and collected 3 rebounds for Pequot Lakes. Ryan Harmala tallied 9 of his 14 points in the second half and Nic Kotaska added 8 points. Esko was led by Makoi Perich and Cuinn Berger’s 12 points and Nicholas Swanson added 9 points.
Pequot Lakes will head to the Class AA State Tournament in the Twin Cities next week with their 24-6 record. Esko’s season comes to an end at 25-4.
Pequot Lakes Stats (11-15 FT; 24 rebounds; 10 rebounds): Grant Loge 16pts, 3rebs; Ryan Harmala 13pts, 4rebs; Nic Kotaska 8pts, 1reb; Sam Rysavy 7pts, 6rebs; Eli Laposky 6pts, 4rebs; Brayden Spiczka 4pts, 2rebs; Gavin Kennan and Karson Thurlow 2pts, 1reb; Evin Ruud 1reb
Esko Stats (9-13 FT; 23 rebounds; 9 rebounds): Makoi Perich 12pts, 5rebs; Cuinn Berger 12pts, 3rebs; Nicholas Swanson 9pts, 1reb; Dalton Spindler 5pts, 1reb; Mason Perich 4pts, 4rebs; Connor Lahti and Sam Haugen 3pts, 1reb; Carter Zezulka 2pts, 3rebs; Brett Lillo and Chad Hart 2rebs