CROSBY -- The Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines boys' basketball team shot 17 free throws Friday. The Crosby-Ironton Rangers made 36.
That along with a game-high 28 points from Tyler Scull and 22 from Parker Robinson helped C-I snap a three-game losing streak and beat Mid-State Conference rival W-DC 85-77 in overtime at Woock Gymnasium.
Aside from a game-opening three-pointer by Tony Zontelli, who finished with 19 points, the Rangers never led in regulation. They trailed by 15 points in the second quarter.
Slowly C-I crept back as player after player for W-DC fouled out. The first was starting center Matt Cary, who finished with 10 points. Cary, the Wolverines only low post threat, fouled out in the third quarter.
Crosby-Ironton's Jon Jasman (center) looked for an open teammate, while under pressure from Wadena-Deer Creek's Brett Hieb (left) and Tom Robinson. (Dispatch Photo by Nels Norquist)
"When he went out, all of a sudden they didn't have an inside presence and we could get out on the perimeter a little more," said C-I coach Dave Galovich. "That helped our defensive play.
We could put a little more pressure on the perimeter."
Before Cary fouled out, W-DC was shooting 23-of-41 from the floor. In the fourth quarter the Wolverines shot just 4-of-12.
"The first half I thought we did a real nice job of moving the basketball," said W-DC coach Tom Van Erp. "We had five different guys score in the second quarter and five different guys score in the first. We got the ball moving around and people scoring. We lost the momentum in the second half when Matt Cary got his fifth foul."
The Rangers cut the deficit to 11 points after three quarters. Then held W-DC scoreless until 3:34 remained in the fourth to crawl within four. Twice Scull tied the score. The first on a layup knotted the game at 61. Michael Grieme, who scored 27 points, pushed W-DC back into the lead.
"Michael is an awesome player," said Scull. "We've played against each other ever since we were little. He's one of the best guys in the area easily. He was hitting baseline fade aways and jumpers. He's going to make those shots."
After a free throw by Grieme gave W-DC a 64-62 advantage, another Scull layup with less than 10 seconds sent the game into overtime.
"They shoot 53 free throws, we shot 17," said Van Erp. "Both teams play man-to-man (defense) for most of the night. That's how they stayed in the game. That's frustrating because I think our kids played hard enough to win."
Overtime is where C-I free throws and W-DC foul trouble turned the tide in C-I's favor. The Rangers shot 16 free throws in the four-minute overtime. They made 15 of them. Scull finished with nine points in the extra frame.
"We haven't played good all week," said Scull. "We finally got sick of it. Every game we did something different wrong. One game we didn't come out ready to play or we didn't finish at the end. We started out that way again (Friday). We just went into halftime and tried to play as a team and get back into the game and we did."
The Rangers committed four turnovers, while creating 16 W-DC turnovers.
"I give Wadena credit," said Galovich. "The first half they came out and shot the ball well. "They moved the ball around well and I thought they played good ball. We were fortunate to get them into foul trouble. To the credit of our kids we kept clawing away and clawing away and tied it late."
Wadena-Deer Creek 20 18 18 8 13 -- 77
Crosby-Ironton 10 15 20 19 21 -- 85
Michael Grieme 27, Brett Hieb 19, Lucas Grothmann 8, Matt Cary 10, Travis George 5, Tyler Pederson 2, Tom Robinson 4, Tim Snyder 2. Team totals: FG 30-58 (52 percent), FT 10-17 (59 percent), 3-point baskets: 7-17 (Grieme 3, Hieb 3, George 1). Conference -- 3-8. Overall -- 8-10. Next game: host Pequot Lakes 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Jon Jasman 6, Tyler Scull 28, Tony Zontelli 19, Matt Brady 5, Ryan Kuschel 2, Parker Robinson 22, Nick Perpich 1. Team totals: FG 22-52 (42 percent), FT 36-53 (68 percent), 3-point baskets: 5-15 (Scull 2, Zontelli 2, Jasman 1). Conference -- 6-4. Overall -- 13-7. Next game: at Pine River-Backus 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
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