A season-opening six-game Northern Freeze winning streak hit a brick wall at the Brick House Thursday when the visiting Marshall County Central/Tri-County cooperative boys high school basketball team lost to Thief River Falls 82-53.
The Prowlers played all 15 players in uniform and 11 of them picked up points in their highest-scoring game since the 2014-15 season.
“We really played well,” said Thief River Falls coach Joe Wasfaret. “All ten guys in the rotation played well. It was our most complete game of the year.”
The lead changed hands five times in the first seven minutes before the Prowlers went on a 17-2 run that turned a 12-7 deficit into a 24-14 advantage on a Peyton Graham base line shot with 8:23 remaining in the opening half.
Thief River Falls never looked back. A Brady Hoffard 3-pointer from the top of the key at the buzzer made it 43-28, matching the biggest spread of the half.
Hoffard had 15 points at the break and the Prowlers scored 10 points off 13 Northern Freeze turnovers.
It didn’t get any better for the visitors when they returned to the court following intermission. Freeze coach Zachary Green was forced to call a time-out just 70 seconds into the second half that started with an 11-0 Thief River Falls run to make it 54-28 on a Will Anderson drive.
The 29-point difference at the end matched the Prowlers’ biggest lead of the night.
Hoffard finished with 25 points and Anderson had 15. Connor Sorenson netted a team-high 15 points for the Freeze.
Thief River Falls put together a 51 percent 28-for-55 shooting performance and cashed in on 18 of 23 free throw opportunities. Northern Freeze had a 45 percent 20-for-44 night from the field and went 10-for-14 at the line.
The Prowlers wound up with a 27-23 rebound edge. The Freeze had more turnovers, 23-12.
The game was put on the docket when Thief River Falls was forced to fold the Northwest Russ Smith Holiday Classic after a 33-year run. Northern Freeze was scheduled to be in the four-team field, along with the Prowlers, Kittson County Central and Red Lake before Red Lake opted out at a late date and organizers could not come up with a replacement.
Thief River Falls and Northern Freeze will meet again Feb. 24 in Newfolden.
The Freeze and Stephen-Argyle (Jan. 30) are the only Class A teams on the schedule for the Class AAA Prowlers this winter.
1 2 T
Northern Freeze 28 25 53
Thief River Falls 43 39 82
NF – Zak Anderson 3, Cole Anderson 3, Connor Sorenson 15, Kaden Mosenbroten 2, Ellert Adamek 9, Wyatt Bannerman 4, Sawyer Nelson 9, Jonah Underdahl 8.
TRF – Brady Hoffard 25, Blake Boen 3, Cameron Dahlin 4, Will Anderson 15, Payton Graham 7, Ean Olson 2, Gavin Bugge 3, Tayton Zutz 5, Derick Newland 7, Myles Johnson 2, McKenzie McCullough 9.