Wolves outlast BR-H in high scoring affair
CARNEY – Bark River-Harris went blow-for-blow with the Carney-Nadeau boys’ basketball team for the first 16 minutes of its basketball game on Thursday.
The second half of the game was a different story, as Keenan Lampinen lit it up from all over the court to lead the Wolves to an 83-72 victory.
“A good victory against a tough basketball team,” Carney-Nadeau coach Jake Polfus said. “They made it hard on us in the first half and it took some good defense in the third quarter to get us going.”
The Wolves held just a 40-37 lead at the half.
The score was 21-20 in favor of the Broncos after the first quarter, behind the strong play of Kyle Kleiman.
Dionte Blahnik scored six of the first nine points for the Wolves in the second to give them a 29-25 lead.
With 50.5 seconds left in the half and Carney-Nadeau holding a 40-31 lead, Bronco guard Cody Welch stole a pass and made a layup, Kleiman converted a jumper on another stolen pass and after a Wolves’ missed shot, Welch beat the buzzer with a basket inside to close out the half.
“We made it a game near the end of the second quarter and I was pleased with the way we played,” Broncos’ coach Tom Lindquist said. “We hit some shots and played good defense.”
After Branden Willa sank two free throws to cut the deficit to 40-39, Lampinen took over.
He sank a long jumper, followed by back-to-back layups to give the Wolves a 44-41 lead.
The Wolves’ defense, which clamped down early in the third quarter, forced three straight turnovers following Lampinen’s layups and he put them up 53-44 on a 3-pointer with 4:10 left in the quarter.
Lampinen’s final mark in the third quarter proved to be deadly as he beat the buzzer for a deep three off the glass to extend Carney-Nadeau’s lead to 65-51 heading into the fourth.
“Carney-Nadeau hit some big threes and played great defense in the third and we didn’t respond,” Lundquist said. “For every 3-pointer they made, we answered with just two points. It wasn’t enough.”
The final quarter played out mostly at the free-throw line where the Wolves finished 19-25 on the night, encouraging Polfus.
“We’ve shot about 53 percent from the charity stripe so far this year, so it was nice to see us shoot better tonight,” Polfus said. “I thought Keenan played an excellent game and we also had strong games from our supporting cast.”
Lampinen torched Bark River-Harris for 23 points in the second half and finished with a career-high 31. Austin Johnson had 15, Jason DuPont added 14 and Blahnik had 12.
“I felt good shooting the ball tonight and my teammates found me open,” Lampinen said. “Coach let us know at halftime that we needed to play better and I thought we responded well.”
Kleiman paced the Broncos with 21 points. Welch had 12 and both Jorden Sodergren and Willa added 11.
The Wolves improved to 4-1 overall, 2-1 in the C.U.P and Skyline Conference.
“I thought we had our legs back tonight after having a couple of weeks off from games,” Lampinen said. “We need to keep playing like this because we’re going to face many more tough teams the rest of the year.”