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Area Boys' Basketball: Lake City improves to 3-0 with comeback win

Lake City's Josh Matanich (54) drives around a Pine Island defender during the Tigers game on Thursday. Martin Schlegel / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 3
Pine Island's Jacob Weber (in maroon) drives to the rim as Reid Gastner (in white) defends. Martin Schlegel / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 3
Lake City's Jake Wohlers attempts a shot during his team's game against Zumbrota-Mazeppa on Tuesday. Martin Schlegel / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 3

Trailing by as much as 13 points in the second half, the Lake City boys basketball team stormed back to win 62-58 over Pine Island on Thursday.

Pine Island led 49-39 with 5 minutes, 19 seconds to go in the game. Lake City desperately needed stops defensively. The Tigers went for broke and instituted a full-court press, a risky move as both Nathan Heise and Reid Gastner started getting into foul trouble.

“You always worry about (foul trouble) when you're in a full-court press. That's why we don't do it a whole lot,” said Lake City head coach Greg Berge. “We had to change the tempo someway. If you press the whole game you're susceptible to getting in foul trouble. We have guys on our team that we want to keep in the game so you have to pick your spots.”

The move payed off, however, as Lake City went on a 23-9 run in the final five minutes of the game.

“The difference in the game is the last five, six minutes when we made our run. We set the tone with our defense,” Berge said. “The kids had a great finish to the game because we we're the aggressor.”

The comeback was highlighted by a 3-pointer by Jake Wohlers with less than 1:30 to go to put the Tigers up 57-56. Wohlers, who scored 17 points and went 5 of 8 behind the arc, had the utmost confidence to put his team ahead.

“Just a dribble-drive, and then once we get inside we look to dish a lot,” Wohlers said of the play that set him up. “I just knew it was going in right there. I was like, ‘let’s go.’”

Pine Island and Lake City traded points with Heise’s two free throws for the Tigers and Carter O’Reilly’s layup for the Panthers.

The Tigers closed out the game by hitting a few more free throws and walked out off the court celebrating the win.

“Again, we finally got an inside-out approach late in the game,” Berge said. “Super proud of not giving up, not quitting. Pine Island deserved to win for a big part of the game, we just found a way at the end.”

Both team struggled to get much offensively in the first half. Each team played well defensively, but in the open looks each team did get, a majority of them were missed. Pine Island’s Jacob Weber, who finished with a team-high 21 points, was hot in the early minutes but cooled off as he managed seven points in the first half. He poured it on in the second half, scoring 14 points and finished with nine rebounds. Josh Navratil had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Panthers.

Lake City improved to 3-0 overall, while Pine Island fell to 1-2 overall.

Thursday’s Area Scores:

Cannon Falls 69, Lanesboro 46

Friday’s Area Scores:

Zumbrota-Mazeppa 62, Wabasha-Kellogg 55

Randolph 78, Kingsland 62

Byron 75, Kenyon-Wanamingo 42

Kasson-Mantorville 56, Goodhue 36

Tuesday

The Lake City boys basketball team took down Zumbrota-Mazeppa 67-54 on Tuesday.

Trailing early, Lake City hit three 3-pointers on three straight possessions. The 3-point shooting kickstarted the Lake City offense. Tigers head coach Greg Berge said while the team didn't plan on shooting from behind the arc but adjusted to Zumbrota-Mazeppa's defense. As a result, the Tigers scored bucketed 39 points off of 3-pointers.

"We're a good 3-point shooting team but we do not want to live and die with the 3-point shot," Berge said. "We have to keep working inside out more. We were able to hit a lot of threes and move the ball around."

Lake City focused on passing the quickly around the perimeter until a shooter was open from behind the arc. The patient approach worked and Lake City was able to gain momentum. However, the Tigers were never able to pull away.

"I don't think we matched (the Cougar's) intensity level early in the game," Berge said. "Give them a lot of credit, they hung around because they played real hard. We had chances to stretch it even more and Zumbrota-Mazeppa kept working hard and battling back."

Zumbrota-Mazeppa hit two keys 3-pointers that could have swung the game its way. The first came just before the buzzer at halftime as the ball was quickly inbounded and heaved toward the basket. Z-M had just 1.8 seconds to make a play and celebrated into the locker room after watching the ball bank in.

Later in the game Anthony Cylkowski nailed a three to cut the Cougar's deficit to 65-52. Zumbrota-Mazeppa did have chances to cut the deficit even further but missed on a few passes and shots down the stretch.

Lake City's Nathan Heise scored 18 points in the first half and finished with a team-high 23 points. In the second half, Jake Wohlers gave the Tigers a lift with 17 points with all but two coming from behind the arc.

"Jake is a great shooter. He got a lot of open looks and he drilled them," Berge said. "We need guys like that to step up. (Nathan Heise) was real hot early and other guys stepped up to balance out our scoring."

Zumbrota-Mazeppa was led offensively by Cole Peters, who had 24 points. Blake Stiller had 10 points, while Cylkowski finished with nine points.

Other Area Scores:

Cannon Falls 61, Plainview-Elgin-Millville 57

Lewiston-Altura 61, Pine Island 59

Randolph 63, Schaeffer Academy 53

Rochester Lourdes 69, Goodhue 41

RE Sports

The Red Wing Republican Eagle covers local sports in Goodhue County and surrounding areas. 

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