During school Connor Bowman learns how to heat things up in the kitchen from his favorite teacher Heidi Anderson.
Monday night, Anderson learned how Bowman and the Brainerd Warriors heat things up on the basketball court as they deep fried the Sauk Rapids Storm 75-34.
Anderson, a creative foods teacher at Brainerd High School, was in attendance as part of a teacher appreciation night the Warriors hosted to honor their favorite teachers. She witnessed Brainerd’s pressure cooker type defense as the Warriors held Sauk Rapids to 23 percent shooting and forced the Storm into 17 turnovers.
“The game plan tonight was a defensive clinic,” said Bowman. “That’s what we wanted to show everybody. Because people talk and we want to be known as a defensive team. We thought we would put the screws to them early.”
The Warriors used a 19-0 run to start the second half. They held Sauk Rapids scoreless until Kobe Boraas hit two free throws with 10:21 remaining.
“I knew we were playing pretty good defense, but I didn’t know that,” said Warrior head coach Scott Stanfield about holding Sauk Rapids scoreless for almost eight minutes to start the half. “They struggle scoring points, and to our kids credit, we played pretty good defense. We moved our feet pretty well and we didn’t gamble too much.”
Bowman came off the bench to score six points in the first half. Those six points were part an 18-4 run the Warriors used to cook up a 43-22 halftime edge.
Jacob Blong led the Warriors with 13 points and Marcus Comstock added 10. Both played limited minutes in the second half. The starters watched DJ Kraemer knock down three straight 3-pointers to finish with nine points.
“It was a blast out there,” said Bowman. “It’s good getting the guys going early and then we get the JV in there at the end. That’s just a blast.”
Brainerd shot 48 percent from the field and turned the ball over just six times. The Warriors also limited Sauk Rapids to only two second-chance points helping them improve to 11-0 in the conference. The Warriors own a 4-game conference lead over second-place Rocori (7-4).
Brainerd jumped out early using a 15-2 run to claim a 19-8 advantage. Despite a rematch with the only team to hand Brainerd a loss this season in Moorhead looming Tuesday, Stanfield wasn’t worried about his team looking past Sauk Rapids.
“This is a unique team in that they don’t take anything for granted,” Stanfield said. “They know that the number of games as seniors is limited and they don’t want any let downs. They want to play well in every game of the remainder of the schedule. They spent a lot of time together so they don’t take anyone for granted.”
Sauk Rapids 22 12 — 34
Brainerd 43 32 — 75
Ismail Ali 2, Ben Kieke 10, Zach Silbernick 1, Jared Krebs 5, Kobe Boraas 5, Ben Riedeman 4, Clayton Douvier 4, Riley Stockinger 3. FG 10-44 (23 percent), FT 10-17 (59 percent). 3-point 4-16 (25 percent).
Grant Reuer 5, Tony Sauer 3, Jack Sauer 8, Taylor Huber 2, Connor Bowman 6, Jacob Blong 13, Marcus Comstock 10, Ian Haug 4, Chris Bowman 5, Jagar Hanson 6, Nick Schwen 2, Logan Davis 2, DJ Kraemer 9. FG 29-60 (48 percent), FT 7-12 (58 percent). 3-point 10-23 (45 percent).