Bombers are marching through Section 5A
March 26, 2021
Barnum is the only local team in the Section 5A boys basketball playoffs still standing, after defeating McGregor and St. John’s Prep to get to the semifinal game against Upsala set for Wednesday night after this issue of the Pine Knot News went to press.
In the second round, Barnum defeated McGregor 50-41.
After upsetting the No. 5 seeded Cromwell-Wright Cards last week, the McGregor Mercuries tried to do the same against No. 4 seeded Barnum. However, the Bombers had just enough offensive firepower and defensive moxie to stymie the Mercs as the Bombers took the win to move on to the semifinals Wednesday night.
“McGregor was a tight game. McGregor played with more energy and hit some big shots to tie it up at about the 6-minute mark,” said Bombers coach Rich Newman. “Then we got a couple defensive stops and hit some shots to get the lead to the end.”
The Bombers were led by the 11 points of Reed Kornovich, Max Moors added nine, Jake Hultgren scored seven, Garrett Coughlin five, and Willie Richardson four and Joe Peterson contributed three points.
Barnum had an easier time with No. 8 seed St. John’s Prep which had won by forfeit in the second round.
In their quarterfinal matchup, the Bombers stormed out of the gates early as Hultgren and Peterson each racked up 14 points while Kornovich was also in double digits, with 10 points.
The final score was Barnum 73, St. John’s 34.
Also scoring for Barnum were Moors with nine points, Coughlin with five and both Matt Berry and Parker Schleret with four points. John Stevens, Evan Gustafson and Layne Wickstrom all recorded three points, and Richards and Hayden Charbonneau each had two points.
“Against St. John’s, the boys came out of the gates hard with good defensive pressure and a total team effort in the offensive end,” said Newman.
The longtime coach was cautiously optimistic about Wednesday’s game against No. 2 Upsala.
“Upsala is a very skilled team,” Newman said. “They pass well and can shoot the three. We will have to play good defense and rebound to compete. We have to bring effort and energy. And not turn the ball over against their press.”
Both No. 9 seeded Carlton and No. 12 seed Wrenshall fell in the second round of the Section 7A playoffs on March 18, with Carlton losing to Chisholm 66-42 and Wrenshall falling to Northland 91-52.
Mason Perry led the Wrens with 20 points, Zeke Rousseau added seven, it was six each for Peyton Johnson, Carter Woodall and Austin Larva, and Joel Lembke finished with two points.
“Right away we were in the game,” said Wrens coach Jon Bartczak. “It was back-and-forth and we had a couple of nice runs to put us right back in the game, but they went on a couple of good runs and outscored us by rebounding really well. It was a tough loss. They are a very good shooting team and we just couldn’t keep up with them.”
The No. 7 seeded South Ridge Panthers were the only local team to make it out of the second round, defeating No. 10 seed Mountain Iron-Buhl 61-59, before falling to No. 2 seeded Deer River Saturday by a score of 77-56.