CROSBY - It didn't create as many turnovers, but the Crosby-Ironton Rangers' defense did it again.
C-I did force the Staples-Motley Cardinals into 22 turnovers, but it was S-M's 3-of-11 shooting from 3-point in the second half that allowed the Rangers to sneak away with a 59-58 Mid-State Conference victory Friday.
The Rangers' Mark Hoge nailed a 3-pointer to break a 54-54 tie with less than three minutes to play. Then he sank 2-of-4 shots from the foul line to seal the win.
S-M had a chance to tie it with 23 seconds remaining, but C-I's defense forced Cardinals point guard Jordan Riewer into an off-balanced 3-point attempt that bounced of the rim.
Scrambling for a basketball can be rough on a player as Tyler Dickie (bottom) of the Crosby-Ironton Rangers found out Friday when Sam Baker (24), Jon Bristow (42) and others fought for a loose ball during their game against the Staples-Motley Cardinals.
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"There was no secret to the game, we got outworked, outhustled and outplayed," said Cardinals coach Lynn Peterson. "We should have been able to get a better shot than we did. Our shot selection out there was atrocious. Because things didn't come easy for us we revert to what we can do and that's fire it up. They get the rebound. They run down to the other end and score.
"Quite frankly we didn't execute the last play at all. Everybody needed to be ready to hit a shot and we weren't ready to hit a shot."
Hoge led all scorers with 26 points. He added 12 rebounds and five assists. Unlike two weeks earlier against Pequot Lakes, Hoge wrecked havoc in the paint. He attempted just three 3-pointers, making two, and scored only the two free throws. The remainder of his points came from close range.
"That was important, when you're aggressive and you attack the basket you get to the free throw line," said Rangers coach Dave Galovich. "We got to the free throw line 20 times, which is a good thing. The bad thing is we only made 10 of them. When you can get to the line 20 times and hold them to six that's huge in this ballgame."
While poor outside shooting in the second half hurt the Cardinals, it was what propelled them to a 29-28 halftime lead. Jordan Peterson was 3-for-3 from long range as the Cardinals shot 6-13 from beyond the arc in the first half.
Rangers 59, Cardinals 58
The key: Mark Hoge led all scorers with 26 points, including a 3-pointer that broke a 54-54 tie
Conf: C-I 5-2, S-M 5-2
Overall: C-I 16-2, SM 13-5
Next: C-I at Proctor 7:30 p.m. Saturday; Staples-Motley hosts Detroit Lakes 7:30 p.m. Friday.
SPOTTED: » CI vs SM
C-I matched that with 50-percent shooting in the first half. The Rangers also turned nine S-M turnovers into 11 points, six of which came on a 10-2 Ranger run, giving them a 14-8 edge. That was the largest lead of the first half.
"At halftime we told the kids that they needed to get out to their shooters a little bit better, but if they keep taking them, hopefully in the second half when it gets a little tight, there might be a few misses," Galovich said. "Forcing some turnovers and defending the interior was very important."
The Cardinals' halftime lead was erased with C-I's 11-5 run to open the second half.
S-M answered in the form of Derek Wolhowe, who scored 11 of his team-high 15 in the second half. The junior forward scored four straight points, helping S-M to a 6-0 run, which brought the team within 46-44.
Wolhowe's final basket tied the game 54-54, but he fouled out shortly after. The final tie was the sixth. There were 10 lead changes in a game where the teams were separated by one rebound, one point, one steal and two fouls.
Matthew Hudrlik added 13 points and four assists and Brock Tesdahl scored 10 points for the Rangers. Mike Lindaman scored 14 for the Cardinals.
The victory was the 500th of Galovich's career. A member of the Minnesota Coaches' Association Hall of Fame, he became the 27th boys' basketball coach to reach the mark. He has a career record of 500-263.
"It feels great for us to get it for him," said Hudrlik. "I'm really blessed to get to play for a coach like him."
Galovich liked the fact that it came in front of a large home crowd.
"It's something you don't really think about," said Galovich. "Once the buzzer goes off you can reflect a little bit. I guess it's nice to get it at home and to get it in front of a nice crowd and in an exciting game like this is a bonus as well. It's something that we haven't talked about and I certainly haven't mentioned it to our guys. They go out there and play for themselves."
Staples-Motley 29 29 - 58
Crosby-Ironton 28 31 - 59
Trevor Wentworth 6, Mike Lindaman 14, Gunner Johnson 4, Jordan Peterson 9, Derek Wolhowe 15, Jordan Riewer 9, Jon Bristow 1. FG 23-49 (47 percent), FT 3-6 (50 percent), 3-point baskets: 9-24 (Peterson 3, Lindaman 2, Wentworth 2, Wolhowe, Riewer).
Matthew Hudrlik 13, Tyler Dickie 4, Mark Hoge 26, Sam Baker 5, Brock Tesdahl 10. FG 23-48 (48 percent), FT 10-20 (50 percent), 3-point baskets: 3-12 (Hoge 2, Hudrlik).
Rebounds: CI 26 (Hoge 12, Baker 6), SM 25. Turnovers: CI 16, SM 22. Steals: CI 12, SM 11. Assists: CI 14 (Hoge 5, Hudrlik 4), SM 6. Blocks: CI 0, SM 2. Fouls: CI 14, SM 16.
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5856.
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