The Pirates led several times in the second, but couldn’t capitalize. “I thought when we had the lead we were OK, but we got tired,” Verndale coach Art Schluttner said of his team, led by Jordyn Glenz and Shania Glenz’s 18 points each.
For the record, Antonutti’s top-seeded Eskomos (25-3), rated No. 9 in the final Class AA state polls, haven’t lost for 89 days, or 23 consecutive games dating back to Dec. 12. Yet, streaks aside, a tall task waits in either top-seeded International Falls or No. 2 Pequot Lakes Saturday. I-Falls has double-digit wins and reached last year’s final before bowing out to Esko, while Pequot Lakes gave the Eskomos a fit in a Feb. 13 contest that Esko won 55-50 with a late, furious comeback.
For a third time, the Wrens gave the Bulldogs everything they could handle, but Carlton held on to a 46-40 victory over their rivals in a Section 7A tilt last Wednesday at Proctor. Despite an abundance of green within the Proctor high school gymnasium, Carlton’s blue and Wrenshall’s orange colors decorated the bleachers, as plenty of faithful fans attended a game between neighbors that is never one to miss.
MINNEAPOLIS - After Esko eased by Annandale on its way to the school's first-ever Class AA state boys basketball title in 2014, one might have thought tonight's rematch two years...
“It’s been fun,” said Hunter Fetters, one of three senior captains now moving on. “I’m definitely going to miss it.”
DULUTH—When asked of his senior point guard Jaxson Turner, Esko boys basketball coach Mike Devney was quick to note his standout playmaker is “not a rah-rah guy.” A person might...
“They’re the favorite,” Gronner said. “And we’re going to have to beat some good teams along the way to get [to them].”
“I think it’s tougher than it’s been the last two years,” Antonutti admitted. “We’ll have our work cut out for us.”
Cloquet, meanwhile, winners of their final pair of regular-season games, was keyed by senior Jordan Diver and sophomore Riley Johnson's game-best 17 points each, as the slippery Diver did his work from all creative angles and Johnson established the low block.
“Other people can call us the favorite, but I’m not going to,” said Devney. “Whoever wins will have four tough games in a row. Hopefully it’s us, but you can give the nod to any.”