The song "Cold as Ice" may be a song from the band Foreigner, but it was the theme of the Brainerd Warrior boys' basketball game against St. Cloud Tech Thursday.
The Warriors shot a dismal 13 of 54 from the field (24 percent) while the Tigers made 18 of their 36 shots from the floor (49 percent) to come away with a 60-43 Central Lakes Conference victory.
To make matters worse, Brainerd standout Landon Stanfield, averaging more than 20 points a game, was just 3-for-18 shooting and scored 11 points. Forward Brett Cloutier led the Warriors with 14 points.
"It was one of those nights where the ball wasn't going in," Warriors coach Matt Urbanek said. "I thought we did a lot of good things and put ourselves in good position to have good looks at the basket.
Tech 60, Warriors 43
The key: Brainerd shot just 24 percent from the field.
Conf: Brd 7-3, Tech 5-5
Overall: Brd 9-5, Tech 8-7
Next: Brd hosts Fergus Falls 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
"In basketball it's like when you miss a few it spreads and it's contagious. We missed a few at the beginning and it seemed like the basket tightened up on us."
The loss was Brainerd's fifth in its last eight games while Tech won for the eighth time in its last 11.
The Warriors were just 7-22 in the first half, including 2-11 from behind the 3-point line. While Brainerd struggled from behind the arc the Tigers roared, making 5 of 11, led by Nate Laudenbach's three threes and 11 first-half points.
Tech used a 12-3 run, in which Laudenbach and Nick Jordan each hit 3-pointers and Aaron Fruth completed a 3-point play, to nab a 22-12 lead. Tech later took its largest lead of the game, 27-16, but Brainerd scored the last four points of the half on a Stanfield driving layup and two Cloutier free throws.
"Early on when we missed some shots the players kept telling each other to keep shooting and the coaches said to keep shooting," said Urbanek. "But once you miss a few you become tentative instead of shooting loose and with confidence. I think we tightened up a bit when our shots didn't go in.
"We also know we're going to make more shots than that so I don't think we're going to have too many of these types of games."
The Warriors made things interesting early in the second half as they used a 9-2 run, highlighted by four Stanfield points and a Mitch Means 3-pointer, to pull within 31-29.
Tech answered with a run of its own, scoring nine unanswered points, seven coming from Collin Stinogel, who scored 11 points in the second half.
"We made a nice run in the second half to get back in the game," Urbanek said. "But Tech went down and hit some big shots so give them credit for doing that."
St. Cloud Tech 27 33 - 60
Brainerd 20 23 - 43
St. Cloud Tech
Tye Dill 11, Nate Wolters 9, Nate Laudenbach 11, Ross Baker 3, Aaron Fruth 7, Collin Stinogel 11, Nick Jordan 8. FG 18-37 (49 percent), FT 17-25 (68 percent). Three-point baskets: 7 (Dill 2, Wolters, Laudenbach 3, Jordan).
Kyle Crocker 8, Brett Cloutier 14, Jed Magstadt 2, Mitch Means 6, Mike Valesano 2, Landon Stanfield. 11 FG 13-54 (24 percent), FT 10-11 (91 percent). Three-point baskets: 5 (Crocker 2, Means 2, Stanfield).
TROY GUNDERSON can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5865.
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