CROSBY - It was only a matter of time before the shots started to fall for the Pequot Lakes Patriots Friday.
And when they did Pequot turned a six-point deficit into a 63-52 Mid-State Conference victory over the Crosby-Ironton Rangers.
Pequot shot just 35 percent from the field, but saw sophomore Emily Lueck score 11 of her 12 points in the second half. Mindy Howard and Kirsten Noska each scored seven second-half points and both finished with 13.
Sam Stanfield of Crosby-Ironton drove for a layup against Sarah Thomas of Pequot Lakes.
Brainerd Dispatch/Kelly Humphrey » Purchase reprints of this photo.
The Patriots were also helped by 11-of-12 shooting from the foul line in the second half, including 6-for-6 to close out the game.
The Rangers didn't help matters with 25 turnovers, 14 in the second half. When the Rangers did get a shot off it didn't connect as they shot 6-of-27 (22 percent) in the final frame.
"We think that's one of our strong suits, putting pressure on them, and they were having trouble with it, especially in the second half," said Pequot coach Bob Nelson. "They did a pretty good job against it the first half.
Patriots 63, Rangers 52
The key: Pequot shot 11-of-12 from the line in the second half and forced 25 C-I turnovers.
Conf: CI 2-8, PL 7-2
Overall: CI 10-11, PL 16-6
Next: C-I hosts Grand Rapids 7:30 p.m. Tuesday; Pequot Lakes at Deer River 2:45 p.m. Saturday
"We had to contain them better in the second half. They were going by us like we weren't even there."
Despite the turnovers and poor shooting, C-I managed to claim a 46-40 edge when Christina Mapson knocked in two free throws. The senior forward scored six of her seven in the second half.
From there it was all Pequot. A Lueck 3-pointer, followed by baskets from Sarah Thomas and Kylie Beltz, tied the score at 47-47 with 6:13 remaining. It was the sixth tie of the contest and the game's seventh lead change came two minutes later when Howard scored at 4:09 for a 50-49 Pequot advantage.
Pequot then used a 12-3 run to reach the final score.
Mattie Lueck of the Pequot Lakes Patriots went up for a shot Friday against the Crosby-Ironton Rangers. Brainerd Dispatch/Kelly Humphrey » Purchase reprints of this photo.
"We had a little run there were we got up six or eight points and that was the difference in the game right there," said Nelson. "Crosby really worked hard. They hustled all the time."
C-I's Jana Anderson led the Rangers with 16 points. Sam Stanfield added 12 and Katie Swanhorst 10, including a 3-pointer to open the second half, giving the Rangers a 34-32 lead.
"Turnovers have been an Achilles heel for us all season," said C-I coach Randy Swanhorst. "We really have a kid out of position playing point for us. We have some inexperienced kids playing that position, but we turn the ball over in all kinds of ways. I'm not putting the blame on one person.
"We shot ourselves in the foot. We showed the ability to handle their press fine, but when we would take one step forward, we took two back. We got away from what we had to do and broke down."
Beltz finished with 10 points to help Pequot remain a half-game behind Detroit Lakes for the conference title. DL defeated Wadena-Deer Creek Friday to finish with an 8-2 conference mark. Pequot plays W-DC Tuesday and a win would give the Patriots a share of the title.
The Rangers fall to 10-12 with their fourth-straight loss. It won't get easier for C-I, which hosts Class 3A's Grand Rapids Tuesday.
"This is a juncture in the season where kids have to understand that we've been building toward this point and there are two ways to go, down or up, and there is absolutely no reason it shouldn't be up," said Swanhorst.
Pequot Lakes 32 31 - 63
Crosby-Ironton 31 21 - 52
Kylie Beltz 10, Katelyn Schmidt 5, Mattie Lueck 7, Kirsten Noska 13, Sarah Thomas 3, Mindy Howard 13, Emily Lueck 12. FG 18-52 (35 percent), FT 23-31 (74 percent), 3-point baskets: 4-8 (Howard 2, Lueck 2).
Christina Mapson 7, Katie Swanhorst 10, Jana Anderson 16, Whitney Cragun 6, Chauntel Spalj 1, Sam Stanfield 12. FG 17-51 (33 percent), FT 11-20 (55 percent), 3-point baskets: 5-17 (Swanhorst 3, Anderson 2).
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