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Tom Mix, Published December 27 2013

Spuds pick up boys basketball win, to face St. Mary's in final

MOORHEAD – Moorhead pulled away early in the second half, but in the final five minutes the Spuds had to hold on to post a win over Cambridge-Isanti on Friday night.

Timely shooting helped the Spuds post an 83-75 boys basketball win over the Bluejackets during the Moorhead Holiday Tournament.

“I thought we shared the ball well,” Moorhead head coach Corey Zimmerman said. “Every time they came at us with a run, we responded with a big shot. We had a lot of guys hit some shots, and they were always in the right place at the right time.”

Moorhead senior guard Tyler Eidsness scored 17 of his 21 points in the second half and connected for three

3-pointers.

The Spuds (3-5) advance to play Bismarck St. Mary’s in the championship game at 7:15 p.m. today.

Cambridge-Isanti’s Devin Malik sunk a pair of free throws with 3 minutes, 14 seconds left to play cutting Moorhead’s lead to 70-66.

Moorhead led by as many as 15 points in the second half, but the Bluejackets (6-2) hung around, getting production from junior Kyle McDonald and senior Matt Swanson. The pair combined for 23 points in the second half.

“I have to give our guys some credit for not giving up,” Cambridge-Isanti head coach Mike McDonald said. “We got it to within four points, but had a tough turnover. We battled back to make a game of it, but (Moorhead) hit some shots.”

The Spuds led 37-31 at halftime. Moorhead hit a total of 11 3-pointers in the game.

Junior Cody Dorow added 21 points for the Spuds.

Cambridge-Isanti plays Hawley in the third-place game set for 5:30 p.m. today.

CAMBRIDGE-ISANTI: McDonald 6 2-4 15, Vavra 2 2-2 7, Cox 7 0-0 16, Swanson 5 8-8 20, Johnson 2 0-0 6, Hiljus 1 4-5 6, Malik 1 2-2 5. Totals: 24 18-21 75.

MOORHEAD: Steckler 3 1-3 9, Eidsness 8 2-3 21, Dorow 7 3-4 21, Lawrence 3 2-2 8, Wiesmann 1 0-0 6, Stich 2 0-0 6, Bye 3 4-5 10, Tonsfeldt 3 0-1 6. Totals: 30 12-18 83.

Halftime: M 37, CI 31. 3-pointers: Steckler 2, Eidsness 3, Dorow 4, Stich 2, Vavra, McDonald, Cox 2, Swanson 2, Johnson 2, Malik. Total fouls: CI 19, M 18. Rebounds: CI 18 (McDonald 4), M 29 (Lawrence 7). Turnovers: CI 7, M 16.

Bismarck St. Mary’s 69, Hawley 49

In the opening minutes, Bismarck St. Mary’s showed some rust, but in time the Saints played up to their No. 1 ranking at the Moorhead Holiday Tournament.

St. Mary’s cruised to a 69-49 win over Hawley and had three players score in double figures.

Prior to Friday’s game against the Nuggets, the Saints – ranked No. 1 in North Dakota Class A – hadn’t played a game in a week.

“We knew we had to come into this tournament ready to play and couldn’t afford to slack off,” said St. Mary’s senior guard Darius Sparks, who finished with 19 points and five rebounds. “Every game is important, and we are also trying to have some fun.”

Senior Ben Weisbeck led the Saints (4-0) with 25 points. Senior point guard Scott Nagel added 14 points and six rebounds for St. Mary’s.

Hawley opened the game by building a double-digit lead, but it didn’t last long.

Sparks capped a 12-0 run for the Saints by hitting a 3-pointer with 4:47 left in the first half giving St. Mary’s a 21-20 lead. St. Mary’s never trailed after Sparks’ bucket.

Junior forward Ben Ellefson scored 25 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Nuggets (3-5).

“(St. Mary’s) is a tough team to defend,” Hawley head coach Jed Carlson said. “They have five guys who all can hit shots. We got the lead early, but then their senior leadership kicked in.”

ST. MARY’S: Nagel 5 2-2 14, Sparks 6 4-4 19, Weisbeck 10 3-4 25, Obritsch 0 1-2 1, Puetz 0 0-4 0, Neff 2 3-5 7, Becker 0 3-4 3. Totals: 23 16-17 69.

HAWLEY: Omberg 1 0-0 3, Harms 2 1-3 7, Clute 1 0-0 3, Ellefson 10 4-6 25, Teeples 3 2-3 8, Steichen 1 0-0 2, Regnier 0 1-2 1. Totals: 18 8-14 49.

Halftime: BSM 37, H 28. 3-pointers: Nagel 2, Sparks 3, Weisbeck 2, Omberg, Harms 2, Clute, Ellefson. Total fouls: BSM 17, H 19. Fouled out: Obritsch. Rebounds: BSM 39 (Neff 7), H 27 (Ellefson 9). Turnovers: BSM 12, H 9.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562