When a team is primarily shooting layups and free throws, basketball can be a relatively easy game.
The Little Falls Flyers shot 53 percent from the field, making 18 shots within 10 feet of the hoop. In addition, they swished 83 percent of their free throws in a 64-53 boys' basketball victory over the Brainerd Warriors Friday.
Meanwhile, the Warriors shot only 38 percent from the floor and 69 percent at the foul line.
"When you shoot 38 percent it's not really a mystery to analyze the game," Warriors coach Matt Urbanek said. "When one team shoots 53 percent and one team shoots 38 percent, you don't have to look too much further."
The victory was only the second in seven games for Little Falls while Brainerd lost its ninth in a row.
"Both teams were mentally struggling coming into the game," Flyers coach Kevin Jordan said. "I've got a lot respect for Matt and his program. Either way, one of us was going to go home feeling a lot better than we have been for the last couple weeks. If it wasn't me I would have felt good about Matt feeling that way."
Brainerd head coach Matt Urbanek talked with the Warriors during a timeout in the third quarter Friday. (Dispatch Photo by Nels Norquist)
Brainerd felt good about how it played in the first half. It led by as many as five before trailing 26-24 at halftime as it shot 45 percent.
Lucas Brick's 11 first-half points, including three treys, ignited the Warriors and also led them in scoring.
Muscular 6-foot-5 senior Tony Parker helped the Flyers seize control in the second half, scoring 14 points in that span. He finished with 20 points, making 8 of 9 shots from the field and 4 of 4 at the foul line.
Jonathan Schulz added 14 points on 4-for-6 shooting for the Flyers, who improved to 4-7 in the Central Lakes Conference while Brainerd slipped to 1-10.
The Flyers' defense limited Brainerd's Blake Eller, Justin Mueller and Zach Eastman to a combined 24 points. Mueller and Eastman eventually fouled out.
"We didn't want their shooters to get on a roll," Jordan said. "I don't know how good of a (defensive) job we did in the first half. It seemed like they weren't missing many shots in the first half and Brick got loose for three threes.
Flyers 64, Warriors 53
The stat: The Flyers shot 53 percent from the field.
Next: at St. Cloud Apollo, 7:30 p.m. Thursday
"They've got three good shooters. When they get going on the perimeter they can beat anybody."
Brainerd's next opportunity to beat an opponent is Thursday at St. Cloud Apollo (3-16 overall). The Eagles lost to Sartell 54-53 in overtime Friday.
"We have kids that are playing hard and giving us everything they have," Urbanek said. "We're in a tough stretch right now. As long as we keep playing hard, and try to do things right, we're going to be OK.
"We need to keep playing hard and sticking together. We've been playing good for stretches. Now we need to put a consistent four quarters together."
Little Falls 12 14 19 19 -- 64
Brainerd 14 10 11 18 -- 53
Jordan Horejsi 8, Jonathan Schulz 14, Eric Bell 8, Travis Fedor 2, Tony Parker 20, Matt Schilling 2, Tad Erickson 6, Chad Kofoed 2, Phil Hochsprung 2. Team totals: FG 19-36 (53 percent), FT 24-29 (83 percent). 3-point baskets: 2-5 (Schulz 2). Conference -- 4-7. Overall -- 7-9. Next game: host Willmar 7::30 p.m. Thursday.
Blake Eller 9, Justin Mueller 6, Zach Eastman 9, Lucas Brick 11, Adian Kummet 7, Gabe Solseth 1, Nick Lesmeister 4, Spencer Sundberg 4, Mike Stoe 2. Team totals: FG 19-50 (38 percent), FT 11-16 (69 percent). 3-point baskets: 4-13 (Brick 3, Eller). Conference -- 1-10. Overall -- 3-14. Next game: at St. Cloud Apollo 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
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