By Scott DCamp
Two failed second half comebacks produced a pair of losses for the Thief River Falls boys basketball team over the weekend.
The Prowlers got off to a slow start against Sartell Friday night, trailing 39-25 at the break. The team rallied, however and whittled the Saber lead down to two points, with 40 seconds remaining.
The Prowlers turned it over on their next possession. Trailing by three on its last possession, a McKenzie McCullough three point attempt was no good.
“We did a good job getting back into the game after making some halftime adjustments,” said Head Coach Joe Wasfaret.
On Saturday, the Prowlers faced a similar scenario. They trailed by as many as 19 points in the first half but rallied just before the break to cut the Storm lead to 13.
Sauk Rapids-Rice had a length advantage with 6-foot, 7-inch Cody Landwehr and 6-foot, 5-inch Deng Deang making points in the paint almost impossible to come by. The Storm’s height advantage also caused matchup problems defensively for the Prowlers.
“We couldn’t play man to man,” Wasfaret said. “We had to go to a one-three-one zone or a two-three zone.”
The Prowlers stayed within striking distance in the second half and cut the Storm lead to five, 64-59, with 14 seconds remaining. The Prowlers fouled the Storm before the ensuing rebound. The Storm made both free throws to ice the game 66-59.
Against Sartell, the Prowlers were led by a 14-point effort from McKenzie McCullogh and 10 points from Payton Graham. The Sabers were led by Eric Markman with 19 points, Thomas Gieske with 13 and Ethan Stark with 10.
On Saturday, the Prowlers were led in scoring by Brady Hoffard’s 24 points. Payton Graham added 12 points and Landon Kruckeberg scored eight points.
Sauk Rapids-Rice got a 20-point effort from Cody Landwehr that helped him amass more than 1,000 points in his career. Landwehr’s 1000th and 1001st points gave the Storm a 48-38 lead around the mid point of the second half.
With the losses, the Prowlers fell to 8-10 on the season.
1 2 T
Sartell 39 21 60
Thief River Falls 25 32 57
Sartell – Brandon Walz 2, Trent Mayer 10, Eric Markamn 19, Chris Belling 6, Thomas Gieske 13, Ethan Stark 10.
TRF – Brady Hoffard 9, Will Anderson 6, Payton Graham 10, Gavin Bugge 7, Tayton Zutz 10, Kelby Jobe 1, McKenzie McCullough 14.
1 2 T
Sauk Rapids-Rice 43 23 66
Thief River Falls 30 29 59
SRR – Nathan Waldorf 2, Cade Milton-Baumgardner, Tyler Kranz 11, Brandon Tretter 2, Deng Deoeng 17, Cody Landwehr 20, Anthony Massman 7.
TRF – Brady Hoffard 24, Will Anderson 6, Payton Graham 12, Gavin Bugge 4, Landon Kruckeberg 8, McKenzie McCullough 5.