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'Jacks pick up wins over Rapids, Virginia

The Cloquet boys basketball team picked up an important win against Grand Rapids on Monday night. Led by three scorers in double digits and some strong defense, the Lumberjacks downed the Thunderhawks 54-43.

The Cloquet boys basketball team picked up an important win against Grand Rapids on Monday night. Led by three scorers in double digits and some strong defense, the Lumberjacks downed the Thunderhawks 54-43.

"It was a very slow pace which both teams seemed to be comfortable with and no one tried to push [it]," mentioned Cloquet coach Steve Battaglia.

"Our two guards, Ryan Lindstrom and Bryan Anderson, played very good defense... and interrupted what they wanted to do on offense. They took care of the ball as well as running a very disciplined offense for us."

Meanwhile, the Jacks were getting 17 points from 6-foot-10 center Chad Calcaterra, 15 points from Ryan Erkkila and 13 points from Cory Koning.

"Our big guys worked and worked against their zone and went to the basket hard," said Battaglia. "I like the way we are playing and the discipline that we are showing."

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The Lumberjacks led 24-18 at halftime and then outscored the Thunderhawks 30-25 in the second half. Key to the win was a nine-for-14 effort from the free-throw line. Grand Rapids only made one free throw in eight attempts on the night.

Also scoring for Cloquet were Ryan Lindstrom with four points, Peter LaCourse with three and it was two points for Justin Schmitz.

Grand Rapids was led in scoring by Jared Sutherland who had 22 points to lead all scorers.

"This game was big for confidence, though it didn't mean a whole lot in the big scheme of things," explained Battaglia. "It did prove that we can, and have, beat all top four seeds in our section and the guys are smart enough to know that what really matters is who wins the next time."

  • Friday night, the Lumberjacks picked up an impressive road win at Virginia. The Blue Devils had not lost at home all year and they were 22-1 on the season up to that point.

"It was nice to get the win," suggested Battaglia. "They are a very talented team that has found ways to win a lot of games."
Koning led the team with 21 points, Calcaterra finished with 16, it was Erkkila scoring 11, Ryan Lindstrom added 10 points, Schmitz finished with five, Bryan Anderson recorded four points and Peter LaCourse added three.

Keaton Romsaas led the Blue Devils with 24 points, Will Jackson finished with 16 and Craig Skalko added 14 points.

  • Last Wednesday, the Jacks dropped an 81-79 decision to Duluth East despite a 28-point night from Calcaterra.

"We played a good game, but lost it at the free-throw line where we were seven-of-19 and that doesn't cut it when you are playing good teams," said Battaglia. "They have the Starks kid who is one of the best shooters you'll ever see at the high school level."
Dyami Starks led the Greyhounds with 31 points, of which 15 came on three-point shots.

Cory Koning also had a big game for Cloquet with 18 points, Schmitz added 14, Erkkila scored 12, Lindstrom added four and it was three points for Bryan Anderson.

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