Relief was about as prevalent an emotion as happiness for the Brainerd Warriors boys' basketball team Tuesday night.
Brainerd snapped a seven-game losing streak as it held off the St. Cloud Tech Tigers 64-57 at the Brainerd High School gym.
"It feels really great," said Warriors forward Mitch Feierabend, who scored 15 points, including seven in the first quarter. "It's about time we got together as a team.
"Everything went pretty smoothly tonight. They didn't get any big runs against us. We did most of the running tonight."
Brainerd (3-9 Central Lakes Conference, 5-14 overall) beat Tech (3-9, 6-13) for the second time this season. The Warriors won 79-76 in overtime at St. Cloud.
"We really needed the win," said Brainerd assistant coach Scott Stanfield, who was subbing as head coach for Brad Amundson who was serving a one-game suspension for receiving two technical fouls in Saturday's loss at Mankato West. "It was a long time between wins."
Balance was a key for Brainerd Tuesday night. Four players scored eight points or more as Matt Yde had 18, Mike Zauhar 10 and Joe Morgan eight.
"It was fun to see the kids work together and move the ball," Stanfield said.
Feierabend agreed. "We're a lot better team when we get the ball moving around and everybody gets a touch," he said.
The Warriors did that early and often. Along with hot shooting, Brainerd switched up man-to-man and matchup zone defenses to stifle the Tigers' offense.
Yde was 4-for-5 from three-point range in the first half and the Warriors finished the game 8 of 14. Tech was 2-for-12 from beyond the arc and shot only 38 percent from the field.
Yde closed the first half with two 3-pointers and connected again 20 seconds into the second half. Two minutes later, Morgan tossed in a three from the right corner and Brainerd had a 47-25 lead.
But, similar to the way a lot of Warriors games have gone this season, the Tigers were able to make a late run. After a seven-point Tech run in the last three minutes, Brainerd maintained a 59-54 lead with 1:18 left. Morgan then connected on a pull-up jumper and Dan Karlgaard hit two free throws to put the Tigers away.
"After you've struggled for so long, finishing becomes harder and harder," Stanfield said. "If you don't finish real well, you begin to wonder if you can. You don't want the kids to think like that and I didn't see that tonight.
"There was a little fire and orneriness when Tech started to make a run. We gathered ourselves and finished it. It's when you finally do finish it that you can build on that for the next game."
St. Cloud Tech 8 13 19 17 -- 57
Brainerd 5 22 14 13 -- 64
ST. CLOUD TECH (57)
Nick Thielman 9, Christopher Carlson 10, Jay Mrozek 16, Mark Busch 2, Nick Terhune 6, Paul Ferber 12, Ryan Dingmann 2. Team totals: FG 24-63 (38 percent), FT 5-6 (83 percent). Conference -- 3-9. Overall -- 6-13.
Dan Karlgaard 2, Joe Morgan 8, Mitch Feierabend 15, Matt Yde 18, Mike Zauhar 10, Justin Heitkamp 5, Adam Hardy 6. Team totals: FG 20-39 (51 percent), FT 16-24 (67 percent). Conference -- 3-9. Overall -- 5-14. Next game: at Sartell, 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
3-point baskets -- T 2-12 (Thielman, Carlson); B 8-14 (Yde 5, Morgan 2, Heitkamp). Rebounds -- T 35, B 29 (Feierabend 8, Zauhar 7). Turnovers -- T 19, B 20. Total fouls -- T 23, B 11. Fouled out -- Mrozek, Ferber. Assists -- T 14, Brainerd 23 (Feierabend 5, Yde 5). Steals -- T 2, B 7 (Yde 4). Blocks -- T 3, B 3 (Heitkamp 2).
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