RED LAKE – The Cass Lake-Bena boys basketball team ended the 2012 portion of its schedule on a high note last week as the Panthers outgunned Red Lake 97-96 here.
“As usual, there was a packed house for this classic rivalry,” said CL-B coach Brian Michaelson whose team evened its record at 2-2. “Going in we knew we had to play better than we did in the previous two games.”
Red Lake forged a 45-39 lead at intermission but Michaelson and his players made some “minor changes” at the break.
“We also had an understanding about our missed opportunities. We came out in the second half with better consistency and we controlled the boards better,” Michaelson said.
“We battled back and had the lead for the majority of the second half.”
The Panthers could have widened the gap had they converted better from the free throw line.
“This game shouldn’t have been as close as it was,” Michaelson said. “We had a poor performance at the line, going 16-for-38, and missed several easy shots under the basket. But we showed progress and are getting better each week with our fundamentals.
“This was a big win, the first (against Red Lake) in my tenure as head coach, and I’m glad to end the streak of close games going their way in the final seconds.”
Josh LaDuke nailed seven 3-point shots and led CL-B with 40 points.
Cass Lake-Bena returns to duty Dec. 27 at the Crosby-Ironton holiday tournament.
The day after losing to Cass Lake-Bena Red Lake fell 73-72 at home to Walker-Hackensack-Akeley. The Warriors (4-2) will host Thief River Falls today.
Laporte continues its search for its first victory and will take an 0-6 record into the new year. Bagley closes its 2012 schedule today when it hosts Climax-Fisher and the Flyers are 2-5 after stopping Crookston 58-52 Tuesday. Also since last week Bagley lost 72-42 to Fertile- Beltrami and 68-50 at Fosston.
Kelliher-Northome extended its winning streak to four games and improved to 4-1 with a pair of victories. The Mustangs topped Clearbrook-Gonvick 3-1 last week and thumped Hill City 80-57 on Tuesday.
Today K-N hosts Blackduck in its final pre-Christmas contest. The Drakes are 4-2 after losing 63-61 Tuesday at Bigfork. Last Friday Blackduck stopped Littlefork-Big Falls 68-51.
Clearbrook-Gonvick (1-4) is off until playing at the Thief River Falls Invitational on Dec. 27.
Bagley split a pair of games during the past week. On Friday it defeated Fertile-Beltrami 58-25 but Tuesday the Flyers dropped a 65-59 decision to neighborhood rival Fosston.
In the win over Fertile-Beltrami the Flyers roared to a 37-13 lead at the break and continued their dominance in the second stanza.
“It was really exciting to see the team have such balanced scoring,” said Bagley coach Brandon Schwegel. “We had four girls in double figures.”
That cast was led by Jaysha Pemberton who tallied 13 points. Bailey Fultz added 11 and Sean Benson and Kari Skersick each scored 10.
Bagley’s busy week continues today when it hosts Climax-Fisher.
Clearbrook-Gonvick maintained its unbeaten status as it downed Nevis 57-23 Friday and toppled Blackduck 70-26 on Tuesday for its seventh victory. The Bears will visit Walker-Hackensack-Akeley today in its final game of 2012.
Blackduck picked up its second win last week with a 46-41 victory at Red Lake County Central. On Tuesday it lost to Clearbrook-Gonvick and today the Drakes will visit Kelliher-Northome (4-2).
Cass Lake-Bena dipped to 0-5 last week with an 80-55 loss to Red Lake. The Panthers resume their schedule Dec. 27 at the WHA Invitational.
Red Lake closed its 2012 schedule with a 5-0 mark and is off until Jan. 10 when it tangles with Red Lake County Central.
Laporte is 0-6 and will play at Verndale today.