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Posted On: 03/13/18 2:40 PM
The Sub-Section 5A North Championship took place on Monday at Pequot Lakes High School between the #1 seed Cromwell-Wright Cardinals and the #2 seed Nevis Tigers.
The first half was nip and tuck between the two contrasting styles. Nevis wanted to slow the tempo and get the ball in the paint, while Cromwell did most of their damage from the perimeter, with three early triples from Micah Pocernich. The score at halftime saw the Cardinals on top 24-20.
It was more of the same in the second half, as Nevis continued their methodical style and Cromwell answered on the other end. Cromwell-Wright would prevail 55-50. Pocernich led all scorers with 20 points, while junior Michael Landquist netted 16 for Nevis prior to fouling out with 1:24 remaining.
Cromwell-Wright will move on to face the #1 seed from the south sub-section, Hinckley-Finlayson, at 7pm on Friday at Crosby-Ironton High School.
Here are five takeaways from Monday’s action:
Foul Trouble for the Tigers – Down the stretch, one thing that may have hindered the Tigers was foul trouble. They had arguably two of their best players, junior Michael Landquist and senior Tom Wormley, foul out in the last couple of minutes. Landquist was the most effective scorer for the Tigers, he had a lot of success on the block against smaller guards/forwards from Cromwell but struggled to find his rhythm from deep last night. Wormley could have had a larger impact in this game as the tallest player on the floor, but a couple quick fouls in the first half, and more of the same in the second limited him all game.
Returning for the Tigers – The Tigers have had a lot of success as a team recently, and there is reason to believe that it could continue next season. They do lose five players that were key in their rotation this year but return two starters. Sophomore Luke DeWulf and junior Michael Landquist will return next season and bring plenty of skill and leadership to the table. DeWulf finished with 6 points last night and Landquist added 16.
Cromwell Deadly from Deep – A lot of their success is predicated on their ability to connect from long-range, and they were able to last night. Sophomore Micah Pocernich hit three quick triples last night, and a few more in the second half to finish the game with 20 points. Juniors Marcus Pocernich and Jaden Gronner also got into the action, finishing with 8 and 6 points, respectively.
Undersized Inside – Nevis had a clear size advantage last night, however, junior Cameron Cahoon did some damage in the paint for the Cardinals. On numerous occasions, Cahoon would catch the ball at the elbow, shot fake, and take the larger Tigers defenders to the rim. He successfully converted a number of times, in addition to drawing fouls, on his way to 16 points for the night.
Will Youth Be a Factor? – Going into this game I had this question. Most of the Nevis players were members and contributors to last year’s section championship team, and their roster included six seniors. While some younger players are impervious to the pressure and atmosphere, it can often be a real factor in these games. Cromwell only has two seniors and rely heavily on a number of juniors and sophomores. They’ll face another team on Friday, Hinckley-Finlayson, that has a roster full of juniors and seniors. Will the young Cardinals hold up in an even more pressure-packed environment? Time will tell.