CROSBY — Nevin Greer saved his best for last.
The senior guard scored nine of his 12 second-half points in the final 2:30 of Tuesday night’s Mid-State Conference clash with Crosby-Ironton.
The final two were the difference as Greer sank two free throws to lead Pequot Lakes to a 56-54 victory over the rival Rangers.
The two-year varsity player finished with 16 points. Back court teammate Logan Lange led Pequot with 19. Those two guided the Patriots through a contest that featured 10 lead changes and four ties.
“The big thing, we finally got some breaks to go our way,” said Pequot head coach Garry Grewe. “The other games we’ve lost this year things have just gone against us. This time we got the breaks and we capitalized. I felt really good having Nevin Greer at the line.”
C-I held a 51-47 advantage when Greer started to get hot. He hit a floater in the lane, followed by a 3-pointer. His next basket, which came in transition gave Pequot a 54-53 edge. Daniel Hudrlik tied the game at 54 on a free throw, but missed the second. On a missed put back attempt, Greer was fouled on the rebound. From there he sank the two free throws to help Pequot improve to 4-1 in the conference.
“Bottom line, Nevin started scoring for us,” Grewe said. “And he took the ball to the basket and made some big plays for us, which was big because we had a lot of kids in foul trouble. A lot of kids came off our bench and contributed, too.”
Lange kept Pequot close in the first half as he scored 14 points, including three 3-pointers and another 3-point play. With Pequot trailing 21-13, Lange went off for six straight points and Pequot took its first lead minutes later at 2:01 on another Lange field goal to make it 24-23. The Patriots would maintain that one-point lead (28-27) going into the half.
The Rangers answered with Caleb Baker, who led C-I with 19 points and five steals. Baker scored 11 of those points in the second half with his lay-in and two Michael Hoge free throws handing C-I the largest lead of the second half at 44-38. But the Rangers struggled with the lead.
“It comes down to execution and it seems like we played our worst basketball with a four-point lead,” said C-I head coach Dave Galovich. “When we would be up by four that’s when things would go sour. It’s like we can’t stand prosperity. We do some good things, have an opportunity to build on it and then we get ourselves in situations where we don’t run the offense and come up with empty possessions.”
Michael Hoge added 10 points and seven rebounds and Jacob Goodwin scored 11 points for the Rangers, who suffered their second straight close loss.
“Again, we had numerous opportunities to finish off the game and we didn’t do it,” said Galovich. “We talked about leadership and taking charge and making sure we get ourselves set, but we ran into a number of empty possessions where we didn’t get a shot off and that just kills you.”
Jordan Redmond tallied 10 points for Pequot, which shot 38 percent from the field, but was 10-of-12 from the line.
“This is a big win for us because it helps us get back in the section, but more importantly, we still have a lot of basketball to go,” said Grewe. “With our schedule we needed a win like this to gain some confidence.”
Pequot Lakes 28 28 — 56
Crosby-Ironton 27 27 — 54
Alex Goerges 2, Connor Leagjeld 2, Nevin Greer 16, Logan Lange 19, Nolan Michaelson 4, Riley Johnson 2, Steve Duval 1, Jordan Redmond 10. FG 20-53 (38 percent), FT 10-12 (83 percent), 3-point baskets: 6-19 (32 percent).
Jacob Goodwin 11, Will Goodwin 3, Michael Hoge 10, Caleb Baker 19, Jordaan Reynolds 4, Daniel Hudrlik 7. FG 16-42 (38 percent), FT 18-29 (62 percent), 3-point baskets: 4-12 (33 percent).
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 855-5856.