CROSBY -- The Crosby-Ironton Rangers haven't been shooting the ball especially well. But against the Aitkin Gobblers that all changed.
The Rangers came into the contest shooting 24 percent from three-point land, but found the touch Tuesday, going 9 of 16 (56 percent), leading to a 55-39 win at Woock Gym.
"It's been a while," Ranger head coach Dave Galovich said. "We haven't shot the ball very well. In our last ball game we shot 25 percent so it was really nice to come out like we did.
"Gideon (Avelsgard) did a great job from the perimeter. We set some good screens to get him open. He came off the screens hard, set his feet and knocked them down."
Avelsgard led the shooting barrage, going 6-for-9 from behind the arc. Three of them were in the first quarter as the Rangers grabbed a two-point lead at the end of the period.
"I had some good looks," Avelsgard said. "I wasn't really looking for my shot but when I'm open, I'll take it. Other than that I was just looking to run the play."
Avelsgard was still in the zone still in the second quarter, added two more from long distance. He added another field goal to give him 17 points at the half and the Rangers a 32-21 lead.
"We had to come out and make a statement," said Avelsgard. "Against Wadena (Last Friday) there wasn't any intensity or effort so we had to come out and prove that we had it. This game was very important for us."
The Gobblers scored only nine points in the second quarter and finished the game shooting 31 percent from the field. They were 1 of 12 from behind the arc.
"Inside or outside, we obviously didn't shoot very well," Aitkin head coach Greg Hills said. "They took away our perimeter with their overplay defense. We weren't really patient enough.
"They played good defense. They really overplayed our wings which made it hard for us to get into our offense."
Aitkin's Brandon Siemers kept the Gobblers close with his 14 first half points.
The Gobblers came out in the third quarter with intense defensive pressure, holding the Rangers scoreless until the 3:30 mark.
"We got ourselves back in the ball game but then had a lapse at the end of the third and at the beginning of the fourth," said Hills. "That allowed them a couple of easy buckets and to get the lead up to ten. Then we were fighting an uphill battle."
The Gobblers rattled off seven unanswered points to pull to within four points but then went dormant only getting another 11 the rest of the game.
"We got a little stagnant," said Galovich. "I thought they came out and pressured us more and did a better job defensively. We also made some bad decisions trying to force the ball in at times when things weren't really there for us."
The Rangers got it going again in the fourth quarter with 10 unanswered points. Joel Anderson hit four free throws and Tom Mount hit a clutch three that put an end to the Gobblers' hopes.
Avelsgard hit his sixth three of the game and ended up with 22 points to tie Siemers for the game high.
Aitkin 12 9 11 7 -- 39
Crosby-Ironton 1 4 18 5 18 -- 55
Wes Hoppe 8, Adam Holder 1, Mark Weimer 2, Jesse Smithson 2, Brandon Siemers 22, Adam Spolarich 2, Jeremiah Bender 2. Team totals: FG 16-52 (31 percent), FT 6-9 (67 percent). Conference -- 4-1. Overall -- 6-3. Next game: Host Braham Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
Earl Villebrun 5, Tom Mount 11, Gideon Avelsgard 22, Kyle Bartels 4, Joel Anderson 4, James Freese 9. Team totals: FG 18-45 (40 percent), FT 10-15 (67 percent). Conference -- 0-4. Overall -- 6-7. Next game: at Greenway Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
3-point baskets -- A-1 (Hoppe); C-I-9 (Avelsgard 6, Villebrun 1, Mount 2). Rebounds -- A-27; C-I-27. Turnovers -- A-11; C-I-14. Total fouls -- A-13; C-I-14. Assists -- A-9; C-I-7. Steals -- A-6; C-I-4. Blocks -- C-I-3.
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