Eagles clinch Lakeland West title

Above The Fold Media | For the Leader
The 2019-20 Unity boys basketball team is shown back (L to R): Coach Grant Johnson, Jaxon Flaherty, Dan Sorenson, Cullen Feist, Luke Flaherty, Jake Bloom, Zach Collins, coach Jon Grams and head coach Shaun Fisher. Front: Gabe Benjamin, Zach Peterson, Heath Foeller, Nate Garvey, Nick Paulsen and team manager Maddie Simmerman. - Photos by Sue Bunting
First round bye in playoffs
BALSAM LAKE – The Unity boys basketball team continued its Lakeland West winning streak and maintained a one-game lead over Luck in the standings as the postseason approaches.
The Eagles improved to 10-2 in conference play, getting a game-high 26 points from Jaxon Flaherty in a 59-50 home win over Grantsburg on Friday, Feb. 21. Flaherty scored his 1,000th career point during the game, from the free-throw line.
Flaherty scored 18 first-half points and helped the Eagles to a double-digit lead. Cullen Feist added seven of his nine points in the first while Gus Bergman led the Pirate offense with eight.
Carson Knutson led Grantsburg’s second-half comeback by scoring 11 of his team-high 16 points in the second half and Austin Wedin added a pair of 3-pointers. But eight second-half points from both Flaherty and Dan Sorensen were enough to maintain a lead and get the win.
Sorensen finished with 10 points for Unity; Bergman had 12 for Grantsburg while Wedin and Jared Van Watermeulen had nine points each.
The Eagles remained atop the Lakeland West and end the regular season this Thursday at home against Clear Lake while the Pirates, 7-5, missed a chance to catch St. Croix Falls, 8-4, in third, and host Northwood this Thursday.
Unity earned a first-round bye for the postseason and Grantsburg hosted Glenwood City on Tuesday, Feb. 25.
Luck 79, Turtle Lake 59
LUCK – Gage Johansen scored a game-high 26 points and added 10 rebounds in the Cardinals win on Monday, Feb. 24.
Luck started with an 8-0 lead and later went on a 20-4 run to take a 16-point lead with time remaining in the first half. The Cardinals eventually took a 16-point lead into the break and maintained a double-digit lead for the remainder.
Carsen Eley had 19 points for Luck; Levi Jensen had 13 and Ben Smith added 10.
The Cardinals close the regular season with games this Thursday at home against Shell Lake and at New Auburn on Friday, Feb. 28. They hosted Lac Courte Oreilles to open postseason play on Tuesday, Feb. 25.
Unity 53, Spring Valley 27
SPRING VALLEY – Cullen Feist scored a game-high 16 points while Jaxon Flaherty added 14 in the Eagles’ road win on Monday, Feb. 24.
Unity held Spring Valley to 14 first-half points and six of those were scored on 3-pointers. The Eagles took a six-point lead into the half, then opened a double-digit lead in the second half.
Jake Bloom and Zach Collins added seven points each for Unity, which improved to 17-3 overall on the season.
South Shore 74, Frederic 67
PORT WING – After snapping a four-game losing streak with a win over Solon Springs, the Vikings were denied a second consecutive win on Monday, Feb. 24.
South Shore scored 49 second-half points to erase Frederic’s slim halftime lead. The Vikings host Cornell this Thursday, Feb. 27, to end the regular season and go to Northwood on Tuesday, March 3, to start postseason play.
Drummond 63, Siren 51
DRUMMOND – The Dragons second-half comeback effort fell short on the road Monday, Feb. 24.
Siren fell behind by more than 20 points in the game and managed to shrink the deficit, but couldn’t get within striking range.
Riley Churchill led the Dragons with 24 points; Nathan Kosloski had 11 and Chad Songetay added seven points.
Siren concludes the regular season at home this Thursday, Feb. 27, against Clayton before starting postseason play against South Shore on Tuesday, March 3.
Luck 89, Cameron 86
LUCK – A late 3-pointer from the Comets forced overtime but Gage Johansen scored 14 of Luck’s 15 overtime points to give them the win on Friday, Feb. 21.
Johansen finished with a team-high 22 points and 16 rebounds for the Cardinals, who overcame an early deficit to lead by as many as 10 points in the first half. They led for nearly the entire second half and were up by 11 points with less than five minutes remaining.
But the Comets went on a 12-3 run to pull within a basket in the final minute. A pair of free throws from Levi Jensen gave Luck a 74-71 lead in the final seconds, though a last-chance 3-pointer from Richie Murphy sent the game to overtime.
Johansen then scored the first seven points in overtime and continued scoring to help counter more 3-pointers from Cameron.
Wyatt Jensen finished with 19 points for Luck; Ben Smith had 18 points with nine rebounds; Levi Jensen had 17 points and nine rebounds while Carsen Eley had 13 points and nine rebounds.
SCF 63, Barron 48
BARRON – Four Saints reached double-digit point totals in their road win on Tuesday, Feb. 18.
Kullan Parks and Dayo Oye had 13 points each for St. Croix Falls, which held Barron to 16 first-half points to take a 14-point lead into the second half. Alex Mysicka added 11 points; Declan Greenquist had 10 and Jared Lessman had nine. Parks added seven rebounds and was 7-for-9 at the free-throw line, where the Saints went 13-for-20 as a team.
St. Croix Falls also made over half their attempts from the floor, going 16-for-28.
Frederic 49, Solon Springs 44
SOLON SPRINGS – Holding a one-point lead with less than two minutes remaining on Feb. 18, the Vikings scored the game’s final four points at the free-throw line to secure the road win.
Logan Lillehaug had a game-high 19 points for Frederic, which led by as many as 17 points in the first half and eventually took a 30-15 advantage into the break. The Vikings trailed for less than a minute in the entire game, though Solon Springs made a second-half run to pull within a basket.
The Eagles got a 3-pointer to make it a 45-44 game in the final minutes, but Lillehaug and Adam Dreier each sank a pair of late free throws to ensure the win.
Dreier finished with 15 points and 15 rebounds for Frederic; Bradley Nick had eight points and five rebounds while Oscar Lahti had five points and three rebounds.

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