BEMIDJI and ST. CLOUD - Bryce Tesdahl made a point to remind those who were listening that, "We're not done yet."
That was between the hugs, the tears and the smiles after the Crosby-Ironton Rangers secured their spot in the upcoming Class 2A state boys' basketball tournament.
Poise, confidence and balance helped Class 2A's Rangers remain unbeaten (30-0) and claim the Section 8-2A championship Tuesday with a 74-62 victory over the Pelican Rapids Vikings at a standing-room only Bemidji State University.
What Tesdahl was referring to was the fact C-I still needs to win three more games before they can proclaim mission accomplished with a state title.
On Tuesday second-half defense was one of the keys that helped the Rangers advance. It needed to be after Pelican Rapids shot 50 percent from the field, 50 percent from 3-point and 88 percent from the line to stay with the Rangers with a 30-30 halftime score.
In St. Cloud, it was run and rebound.
That's the game plan of the New London-Spicer Wildcats and they executed it to perfection Tuesday in a 76-41 victory over the Staples-Motley Cardinals in the Section 6-2A boys' basketball championship game at St. Cloud State University.
The Wildcats' quickness and athleticism led to easy baskets and 56 percent shooting (28 of 50). NL-S made 6 of 13 from 3-point range, all in the first half. Point guard Jordan Radel hit 3 of 4 threes and finished with 15 points and seven assists.
When NL-S missed it dominated the boards with size and strength and blocked eight shots. Behind 6-foot-5 Wade Powers, 6-6 Chris Tengwall and 6-3 Skylar Wachter, NL-S outrebounded the Cardinals 36-20, outscored them 38-20 in the paint and outscored them 23-15 off turnovers. The Wildcats had 22 second-chance points to S-M's five.
Read additional game details online Wednesday morning.
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