LITTLE FALLS - Having won their last two games following an 0-7 start the Brainerd Warriors brought momentum into Friday's game against the Little Falls Flyers.
The Warriors fell behind 20-5 after about eight minutes but recovered, tying it 29-29 and 32-32 before Little Falls seized a five-point halftime edge.
But the bottom fell out of Brainerd's comeback as it was limited to 14 points in the second half of a 63-46 Central Lakes Conference loss.
"We expended so much energy, mentally and physically, to (get back in the game)," Warriors coach Matt Urbanek said. "The fact they went on that run to end the first half gave them some momentum to start the second half. Our guys were pretty spent."
Flyers 63, Warriors 46
The key: Little Falls limited Brainerd to 14 points in the second half.
Conference: Brd 2-6, LF 2-4
Overall: Brd 2-8, 7-5
Next: St. Cloud Tech at Brainerd 7:30 p.m. Thursday., LF at Sauk Rapids 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Only five Warriors scored in the second half, none more than six points. Brainerd shot just 23 percent in the second, 32.1 percent for the game.
The Warriors made just six baskets in the second. Leading 46-41 the Flyers outscored Brainerd 17-5 in the last 8 1/2 minutes. Jon Wiese, with 11 points, was the only Warrior in double figures.
"I thought we did a very good job on their two offensive threats in (Kyle) Crocker and (Ben) Gervais," Flyers coach Kevin Jordan said. "Alex Scott did a great job on Crocker and Nick Erdrich did a great job on Gervais."
Four Flyer starters scored at least nine points. Dan Kornbaum led the way with 17, Erdrich added 15, Ronnie Kornbaum 10 and Ethan Mustonen nine. Ryan Voss came off the bench to provide nine.
"Danny has developed into a pretty good inside threat, he's been scoring consistently," Jordan said.
"Offensively, early in December, our guys just had three-point too much in their mind," Jordan added. "They thought we were going to be a great shooting perimeter team just like last year. We were thinking about (threes) all the time, not concentrating on our movement. Now the threes we're getting are coming from instinct. We're playing with instinct instead of thinking about the wrong things."
Little Falls can play a perimeter game (sinking 11 threes), dump it inside to the 6-8 Dan Kornbaum or have the 6-2 Erdrich slash to the rim. Dan Kornbaum also can step out and nail a three, like he did in the second half, got fouled and converted a four-point play.
The Flyers shot 52.3 percent in the first half, 42.2 percent for the game, and swished 14 of 18 free throws.
"The biggest thing is offensively we're starting to look for each other instead of looking for 'myself,'" Jordan said. "The guys are doing a lot better just playing together, trying to get each other open, and create offense for each other instead of for themselves."
After defeating Rocori and Sartell in their last two games the Warriors slipped to 2-6 in the conference, 2-8 overall.
Brainerd 32 14 - 46
Little Falls 37 26 - 63
Jon Wiese 11, Mike Gervenak 9, Ben Gervais 3, Kyle Crocker 8, Aaron Pavek 5, Sam Feyder 4, T.J. Struss 4, Devin Larson 2. FG 18-56 (32.1 percent), FT 4-10 (40 percent). 3-point baskets: Wiese, Gervenak 3, Crocker 2. Turnovers: 14.
Alex Scott 3, Ronnie Kornbaum 10, Nick Erdrich 15, Dan Kornbaum 17, Ethan Mustonen 9, Ryan Voss 9. FG 19-45 (42.2 percent), FT 14-18 (77.7 percent). 3-point baskets: Scott, R. Kornbaum, Erdrich, D. Kornbaum 2, Mustonen 3, Voss 3. Turnovers: 15.
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