It was not the way the Brainerd Warriors girls' basketball team wanted to end the regular season.
A 62-33 loss to Class 4A's fourth-ranked Moorhead Spuds Feb. 27 was the Warriors' fourth straight loss before the Section 8 tournament.
"You want to be playing pretty well toward the end of the season," Warriors coach Carl Hendrickson said, "and I thought we were doing that. We had won three in a row and we were playing well.
"Down the stretch we played against some good teams, but if the ball doesn't go in the basket, you're not going to win. We spent a lot of time Monday shooting the ball. Shooting is confidence. If you have to work hard to get baskets, that's when the game can get long."
Hendrickson hopes the shots begin to fall Thursday when the third-seeded Warriors (12-12) host No. 6 Bemidji (8-16) in the section quarterfinals.
"Bemidji has played everyone tough," he said. "They've had close games that came down to the end. They just haven't been able to get over the hump to win some of those games."
On Jan. 20, the Warriors rallied on their home court to beat the Lumberjacks 47-35 as Maria Swanson scored 10 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had four assists. Megan Arns added six points, seven boards, five steals and five assists.
The Warriors did not allow a Bemidji player to score in double figures.
Brainerd bounced back from a 26-20 halftime deficit to outscore the Lumberjacks 27-9 in the second half, including 12-1 in the third quarter.
"At this time of the season everyone's 0-0," Hendrickson said. "You just have to play basketball. You don't put much new in now. You just refine what you have and hope you're playing well."
Boys' basketball -- The Warriors finished the regular season 5-20 but are grateful for the opportunity to play Moorhead again.
Brainerd will be seeded seventh in the Section 8, Class 4A tournament and will travel to No. 2 Moorhead 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Section seedings are unofficial until Sunday but Warriors coach Matt Urbanek reports Elk River has locked up the top seed after a 33-point victory over Coon Rapids this week.
"Since (Elk River is) No. 1, Moorhead is locked into No. 2, and we play Moorhead for sure," Urbanek said.
On Feb. 14, the Warriors bolted to an 18-7 lead against Moorhead and led by 10 in the fourth quarter before losing 65-61. Justin Mueller scored 19 points for Brainerd, Blake Eller added 16 and Zach Eastman 12.
"We respect Moorhead," Urbanek said. "We know they're a well-coached and disciplined team. They probably play harder and more physical than any team in the section. It's probably the toughest place to play on the road in the whole section.
"At the same time, we feel confident it will be a good game and that we can compete with them. We had some success the first time we played. Moorhead, to their credit, played well down the stretch. We didn't make our shots. They won the game, but we took some confidence out of that game."
Moorhead (18-7) finished the regular season with three straight losses.
"I told the team (Monday) that records don't matter," Urbanek said. "Everyone right now is 0-0. You kind of get new life, start from scratch, and that's exciting, especially knowing we've been competitive in a lot of games.
"We kind of get to start over. We're hoping for a nice run here. We're hoping to make some noise in the playoffs."
And, Urbanek likes the fact the Warriors will have eight days to prepare for Moorhead.
"It's a chance to regroup, prepare, rest up, do some shooting," he said. "I think we will come in fresh and ready to go next Tuesday."
Urbanek said the other likely seed positions are St. Cloud Tech third, Maple Grove fourth, Bemidji fifth, Buffalo sixth and St. Cloud Apollo eighth.
Adapted floor hockey -- Brainerd (8-3) ends the regular season Friday at Hudson, Wis. A section playoff game, if necessary, is Tuesday. The state tournament is March 19-20 at Stillwater.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.