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Prep boys basketball: Spartans use 3-point barrage to chop down Lumberjacks

Sanigar leads way as Superior hits 13 3-pointers, including 10 in the second half to pull away for the Lake Superior Conference victory.

Superior’s Calvin Anderson (24) drives to the hoop on Cloquet’s Joseph Bailey (4)
Superior’s Calvin Anderson (24) drives to the hoop on Cloquet’s Joseph Bailey (4) in the first half of the game in Superior on Friday evening, Jan. 20.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
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SUPERIOR — Superior boys basketball player Devon Ford took the pass, set his feet and cast a 3-pointer in the second half Friday, Jan. 20, that clanked off the front of the rim.

Miraculously, the ball gently bounced up and in, leading the Cloquet coaching staff to look at each other in disbelief.

“It was just one of those nights,” Lumberjacks coach Steve Battaglia said. “The more you’re around the sport, the more those things happen. Sometimes guys can’t miss. It was clearly their night.”

Yes it was.

Tresean Sanigar hit five 3-pointers and scored 22 points to lead Superior to a 76-48 Lake Superior Conference victory over Cloquet on Box Out Cancer Night at Superior High School.

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The Spartans hit 13 3-pointers, with 10 of those coming in a ridiculous second half as Superior broke from a 30-20 halftime lead by outscoring the Lumberjacks 46-28 the rest of the way. At one point in the second half, according to Superior coach Kory Deadrick, the Spartans hit 9 of 11 3-pointers, exclusively shooting the 3-ball on 11 straight possessions.

Cloquet’s Marco Antonio Mayorga (42) and Superior’s Daynen Lull (3) battle for a rebound
Cloquet’s Marco Antonio Mayorga (42) and Superior’s Daynen Lull (3) battle for a rebound in the first half of the game in Superior on Friday evening, Jan. 20.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

Sanigar said hitting 3-pointers is as contagious this time of year as the flu.

“I started pretty cold but then warmed up and it just went from there,” said Sanigar, a 6-foot-1 junior guard who is in his first year as a starter. “When I hit one, then Devon hit one, then the whole team just started hitting. If we play like we can play, we can beat anybody on our schedule.”

Sanigar said the Spartans live and die by the 3, and Friday night, they were living it up.

“We work on them in practice,” he said. “That’s kind of our offense.”

Sanigar leads the team in scoring at about 19.5 points while adding five rebounds and four assists per game.

If Sanigar messes up on offense for Superior (9-4), he knows how to fix the problem on the other end as evidenced Friday when he came soaring in, seemingly out of nowhere, to block a couple shots that were going to be easy layups for Cloquet (7-8).

Cloquet’s Joseph Bailey (4) slips past Superior’s Calvin Anderson (24) for a bucket
Cloquet’s Joseph Bailey (4) slips past Superior’s Calvin Anderson (24) for a bucket in the second half of the game in Superior on Friday evening, Jan. 20.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

“It’s not one person on our team who does everything,” Stanigar said. “We all do some good things.”

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Deadrick was asked if the Spartans skip the layup drill in practice and go right to chucking 3s.

“It is amazing because we do spend a lot of time shooting layups, but we do spend a ton of time shooting 3s,” Deadrick said. “The game has evolved a little bit due to the 3s, so those are the spots we want to get to, and we’re very capable of doing what we did. It took us a little time, give Cloquet credit, but we found a little weakness and then exploited it.”

That’s what led to a crazy rally in the second half where Superior’s lead went from 40-29 to 60-33 in a hurry, a 20-4 run that took less than four minutes of clock.

“Lights out,” Battaglia said. “They’re as good as anybody around here when they shoot the ball like that. And defensively, they’re long and that can cause problems for you. Their trap kind of brings you back to the (former coach Dave) Kontny days, a 1-2-2 with 6-foot-2 to 6-foot-4 guys. They’re good.”

Calvin Anderson added 13 points for Superior and Ford added 12, all on 3s.

Superior’s Tre Sanigar (5) drives past Cloquet’s Marco Antonio Mayorga (42)
Superior’s Tre Sanigar (5) drives past Cloquet’s Marco Antonio Mayorga (42) in the first half of the game in Superior on Friday evening, Jan. 20.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

Jack Battaglia had 13 points and Kollin Bonneville chipped in 12 for Cloquet. North Dakota State football recruit Reese Sheldon and leading scorer Marco Antonia Mayorga were both nursing ankle injuries for the Lumberjacks, with Sheldon hardly playing and Mayorga being held to three points, about 17 below his average.

“And one of our subs, same thing, but it wouldn’t have made any difference,” Battaglia said. “Superior was that good tonight. I don’t think that (performance) was indicative of our team, but no excuses. It was just a tough night for us.”

And a great night for the Spartans.

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Superior’s Calvin Anderson (24) scores
Superior’s Calvin Anderson (24) scores in the first half of the Spartans game with Cloquet in Superior on Friday evening, Jan. 20.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

The game has indeed involved to favor the 3 and it doesn’t take a math genius to know that three points is worth 50% more than two, but knowing your math never hurts.

Deadrick smiled when being asked if he got an A in math.

“I did,” Deadrick said, drawing a laugh.

Cloquet 20-28—48

Superior 30-46—76

Cloquet — Izaiah Carrier 3, Joe Bailey 5, Kollin Bonneville 12, Seth Rothamel 8, Malachi Bridge 2, Jack Battaglia 13, Elijah Aultman 2, Marco Antonia Mayorga 3. Totals 17 9-15 48.

3-point goals — Bailey, Rothamel, Battaglia 3.

Superior — Daynen Lull 8, Tresean Sanigar 22, Percie Cole 6, Devon Ford 12, Kyle Johnson 5, Carter Lambert 9, Calvin Anderson 13, Drew Eisel 1. Totals 27 9-11 76.

3-point goals — Sanigar 5, Ford 4, Lambert 3, Anderson.

Superior head basketball coach Kory Deadrick talks with Daynen Lull (3)
Superior head basketball coach Kory Deadrick talks with Daynen Lull (3) in the first half of the Spartans game with Cloquet in Superior on Friday evening, Jan. 20.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
Cloquet head basketball coach Steve Battaglia talks to Joseph Bailey (4)
Cloquet head basketball coach Steve Battaglia talks to Joseph Bailey (4) in the first half of the game in Superior on Friday evening, Jan. 20.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

Jon Nowacki joined the News Tribune in August 1998 as a sports reporter. He grew up in Stephen, Minnesota, in the northwest corner of the state, where he was actively involved in school and sports and was a proud member of the Tigers’ 1992 state championship nine-man football team.

After graduating in 1993, Nowacki majored in print journalism at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, serving as editor of the college paper, “The Aquin,” and graduating with honors in December 1997. He worked with the Associated Press during the “tobacco trial” of 1998, leading to the industry’s historic $206 billion settlement, before moving to Duluth.

Nowacki started as a prep reporter for the News Tribune before moving onto the college ranks, with an emphasis on Minnesota Duluth football, including coverage of the Bulldogs’ NCAA Division II championships in 2008 and 2010.

Nowacki continues to focus on college sports while filling in as a backup on preps, especially at tournament time. He covers the Duluth Huskies baseball team and auto racing in the summer. When time allows, he also writes an offbeat and lighthearted food column entitled “The Taco Stand,” a reference to the “Taco Jon” nickname given to him by his older brother when he was a teenager that stuck with him through college. He has a teenage daughter, Emma.

Nowacki can be reached at jnowacki@duluthnews.com or (218) 380-7027. Follow him on Twitter @TacoJon1.
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