Bruce and Carol Wiese had to be proud of their "boys" on parents' night Friday.
The Brainerd couple, who have volunteered countless hours in support of Warrior boys' basketball, were honored before Brainerd's 59-50 victory over the Rocori Spartans. They have been influential in the basketball lives of their son, Jon, and six other seniors, many of whom they have known since kindergarten.
"Bruce has done a lot, all throughout our basketball careers," Warriors senior post Sam Feyder said. "I stayed with their family on lots of road trips. We've gone on trips to Indianapolis, Kentucky, Kansas, lots of different places. Bruce has done a lot for the program. It was nice to honor him, and Carol, too."
The Warriors honored the Wieses by putting together one of their most solid efforts of the season. They kept turnovers to a minimum (12), executed at a deliberate pace, shot well and played uncompromising defense.
Warriors 59, Rocori 50
The key: Brainerd shot 59 percent and limited the Spartans to 39.6 percent.
Conference: Brd 4-10, Roc 6-8
Overall: Brd 5-14, Roc 10-11
Next: Brainerd at Fergus Falls 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Brainerd made 11 of 22 shots in the first half, 12 of 17 in the second, to finish at 59 percent.
"A lot of them were high-quality shots because we were able to turn our defense into offense with transition," Warriors coach Matt Urbanek said. "That's what good defense does for you, it turns into easy offensive opportunities.
"I thought we went inside well. Sam Feyder had a very good first half, a very good game. We did a good job of attacking the rim, not just settling for three-point shots."
Feyder made all five of his first-half shots and finished with 12 points. Kyle Crocker scored the Warriors' first nine points and finished with 19. Ben Gervais provided 16. Gervais made 5 of 7 shots, Crocker 6 of 11 and Feyder 6 of 8.
"They did a good job getting it to me at the high post," Feyder said. "They were going in so I kept putting them up. We passed the ball well and had a good game."
The Warriors limited Rocori to 39.6 percent shooting. The Spartans had to make numerous passes in their half-court sets before shooting.
"I thought it was one of our best defensive games of the year," Urbanek said. "I thought our guys really came to play. We did some different things on defense. I give our players a lot of credit because they executed it.
"I think we took them out of their flex offense. Then we played some traps and zones and tried to keep switching things up to take them out of their rhythm. We got a lot of deflections and kept them from getting into any kind of flow on offense."
"They kind of want to slow everything down," Feyder said. "We kind of like to get out and run. It was good to be able to play the pace of game they were playing at, and beat them at it, for the second time this year."
The second half was tied four times and the lead changed seven times. Rocori was clinging to a 46-43 lead when the Warriors went on a nine-point run for a 52-46 edge. Rocori was never closer than four thereafter.
The first half was tied six times and the lead changed 15 times. Both teams were deliberate offensively, thanks in part to zone defenses played by both.
"We had contributions from a lot of guys, even if it doesn't show up in the point totals," Urbanek said.
Rocori 29 21 - 50
Brainerd 31 28 - 59
Adam Backes 14, Ben Rausch 15, Scott Schroeder 1, Bryan Lashinski 2, Zach Hinkemeyer 11, Brett Eisenschenk 5, Chris Lardy 2. FG 19-48 (39.6 percent), FT 4-8. Three-point baskets: Backes 2, Rausch 3, Hinkemeyer 3. Turnovers: 16.
Ben Gervais 16, Kyle Crocker 19, Thomas Fairbanks 4, Sam Feyder 12, Aaron Pavek 4, Mike Gervenak 4. FG 23-39 (59 percent), FT 8-10. Three-point baskets: Gervais 4, Crocker. Turnovers: 12.
MIKE BIALKA may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 855-5861.
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