Sports

Four-team scramble for Lakeland West

Above The Fold Media | For the Leader
Unity’s Jaxon Flaherty scores against the Tigers. - Photo by Eugene Sikorski
Playoffs loom as regular season winds down

LUCK – Neither St. Croix Falls nor Luck could take a step forward in the Lakeland West boys basketball title race last week. 
In two games against each other, the Saints and Cardinals managed to split the decisions and maintain a four-team scramble as the regular season comes to a close. While Unity held the lead with a 9-2 in-conference record to start the week, the Cardinals, 9-3, and Saints, 8-4, couldn’t close the gap but remained ahead of Grantsburg, 7-4. 
The Saints finished with the 74-68 overtime win on Tuesday, Feb. 11, getting 17 points and 22 rebounds from Kullan Parks. St. Croix Falls started the second half with a 37-28 lead but a 3-pointer from Gage Johansen later gave the Cardinals a 47-45 lead with less than 10 minutes remaining. 
Johansen – who finished with a game-high 20 points – tied the game at 57-57 in the final minutes and though Trevor LaMirande put the Saints back ahead at 62-59 with less than a minute remaining, Carsen Eley hit a late 3-pointer to send the game into overtime. 
The Saints then sank five free throws in the final minute of overtime to secure the win. Declan Greenquist and Payton Christensen had 12 points each for St. Croix Falls while LaMirande finished with 10 points and eight assists. Parks also led the team with 22 rebounds. 
Johansen added nine rebounds to his 20 points; Levi Jensen had 17 points; Eley finished with 15 and Ben Smith added 13. 
Luck avenged the loss with a 73-68 win on Monday, despite a game-high 30 points from Parks. Jensen led the Cardinals with 21 points and Johansen sank three free throws in the final minute of regulation to secure the win for Luck. 
Johansen finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds; Wyatt Jensen had 11 points while Smith and Eley had nine each. Eley also had eight assists. 
Parks added 16 rebounds to his 30 points; Christenson scored 10 points and Alex Mysicka had eight. 
Luck hosts Cameron this Friday and Turtle Lake on Monday; St. Croix Falls hosts Cameron this Thursday. 
Luck 69, Siren 55
LUCK – Levi Jensen scored a game-high 24 points for the Cardinals in their win on Friday, Feb. 14. 
Jensen sank four of Luck’s seven 3-pointers in the game and helped their 26-for-33 effort at the free-throw line. Carsen Eley added 15 points; Gage Johansen scored 14 and Wyatt Jensen had 10. 
SCF 75, Frederic 48
FREDERIC – Dayo Oye led three St. Croix Falls players in double digits with 20 points in a win on Friday. 
The Saints went 26-for-42 from the floor, where Oye sank all six of his attempts. He also was 2-for-2 at the free-throw line and made a pair of 3-pointers. Payton Christenson added 14 points for the Saints and Jared Lessman had 10. 
Adam Dreier led the Vikings with 23 points and 10 rebounds; Oscar Lahti added nine points and six rebounds. 
Birchwood 80, Siren 67
BIRCHWOOD – Matthew Marcinske scored a game-high 31 points and Preston Herricks added 26 for Birchwood in their win over Siren on Monday. 
The Bobcats sank 10 3-pointers in the game.
Unity 53, Grantsburg 34
GRANTSBURG – Jaxon Flaherty had a game-high 33 points for the Eagles in a road win on Feb. 11. 
He scored 22 points in the first half to help Unity to a 36-18 lead entering halftime. Dan Sorensen scored all eight of his points in the first half before Flaherty accounted for 11 of the team’s 18 second-half points. 
Jared Van Watermeulen led Grantsburg with 12 points, scoring 11 of those in the first half. Carson Knutson added eight points for the Pirates. 
Webster 57, Frederic 45
WEBSTER – The Tigers outscored the Vikings 39-23 in the second half to erase a halftime deficit on Feb. 11. 
Adam Dreier led Frederic with 16 points and Logan Lillehaug added 15. The Vikings limited Webster to 18 first-half points but the Tigers nearly scored more in the second half than Frederic did in the game. 


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