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Cardinals advance to Section 5A title game

Nevis' bid to return to the Section 5A boys basketball championship game was denied Monday, March 12, as Cromwell-Wright held on for a 55-50 victory at Pequot Lakes in the Section 5A North final.

Cromwell-Wright, the No. 1 seed in the North, reached the North final with a win over No. 8 Bertha-Hewitt and a win in double overtime over No. 4 Browerville/Eagle Valley. Cromwell-Wright earned the top seed in the North following a 55-49 overtime victory at Nevis, the No. 2 seed, on Feb. 23.

The Cardinals took control early as a pair of 3-pointers by Micah Pocernich and two layups by Cameron Cahoon produced a 10-2 lead before two jumpers and a 3-pointer by Marcus Pocernich made it 19-11 with 8:31 to play in the first half. A 3-pointer by Pocernich at the buzzer gave the Cardinals a 24-20 lead at the half.

The start of the second half featured three ties before Cromwell claimed the lead for good.

After two baskets by Jaden Gronner gave Cromwell-Wright a 30-27 edge, the Tigers tied it at 31-31 with 11:47 to play. Michael Landquist followed with a jumper as the game was tied at 34-34 with 9:49 left.

Cromwell responded with a 13-4 run to produce the biggest lead of the game. Pocernich hit two 3-pointers and Cahoon hit a pair of jumpers as the Cardinals led 47-38 with 3:19 to go.

Nevis made a late run as a layup by Landquist, a 3-pointer by Caden Kramer, a layup by Henry, and a layup and 3-pointer by Dylen Spain-Brist cut the gap to 53-50 with :08 remaining before Pocernich hit two free throws with :05 showing to seal the win.

Pocernich, who scored 31 points in Cromwell's playoff win over B-H and 18 points in the win over B/EV, scored 20 points. Cahoon added 16 points and nine rebounds.

The Cardinals (23-6) advanced to the Section 5A championship game against Hinckley-Finlayson on Friday, March 16, at Crosby-Ironton.