PREP BOYS' BASKETBALL: Wolverines moving onMOUNTAIN LAKE — In its first playoff appearance of the season, the Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin Wolverines put on quite a show. Led by 22 points — including two slam dunks — from sophomore Carter Kirk, the Wolverines defeated Madelia 72-46 Tuesday night in the South Sub-Section quarterfinals of Section 2A. The Wolverines had a bye in the first round, so Tuesday marked their first postseason playoff appearance of the year.
MOUNTAIN LAKE — In its first playoff appearance of the season, the Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin Wolverines put on quite a show.
Led by 22 points — including two slam dunks — from sophomore Carter Kirk, the Wolverines defeated Madelia 72-46 Tuesday night in the South Sub-Section quarterfinals of Section 2A. The Wolverines had a bye in the first round, so Tuesday marked their first postseason playoff appearance of the year.
The win advances ML/B-O to the semifinals against Granada-Huntley-East Chain on Thursday.
“That first game in the playoffs you always have the jitters and all that stuff,” ML/B-O head coach Shawn Naas said. “We played really well. Overall, I’m very pleased. It’s always that No. 7 seed that comes in this round and they have nothing to lose, so I was very happy with how we stepped up.”
The Wolverines got off to a quick start, getting up 11-0 before Madelia was able to score.
In the first eight minutes of the game, ML/B-O put together a 17-2 run, led by eight points from Kirk.
By the time halftime rolled around, the Wolverines were leading the Blackhawks by 16 points (32-16).
“We started off real strong,” Kirk said. “We struggled at some points in the first half, but we kept it rolling. I think this is probably in the top-5 games we’ve played all season. It was a fun game, that’s for sure.”
But the Wolverines really pulled away in the second half.
The scoring brigade started with a Kirk dunk just 15 seconds into the half.
From there, the Wolverines went on a 28-11 run over the next 10 minutes to establish a 33-point lead (60-27).
“That was our goal when we went in at halftime was to try to extend the lead and end the game early,” Naas said. “We didn’t want to give them any breathing room. We knew that the first three minutes were going to be important and we came out and we scored. There was a big dunk by Carter in that run, so that got a little life in us. We just continued playing defense and they continued to have trouble shooting.”
The Wolverines were led by Kirk’s 22 points and nine rebounds. Cody Penner added 19 points, Beau Herrig had 17 points and nine rebounds, while Tony Donkhong had two points and five assists and Andrew Hempeck had three points and four assists for ML/B-O.
But it wasn’t the offense the team was bragging about after the game, in fact, the Wolverines thought that aspect of the game could’ve been better. Naas said after the game that the team could’ve gotten the “basket into the hole a little more.”
However, Naas and the players were pleased with the defensive efforts of the Wolverines.
“Sometimes in the regular season our defense was just awful,” Kirk said. “But we knew if we wanted to go far in the playoffs we had to step up that part of our game. Our defense just stayed constant and we stepped up our intensity, which was something else we knew we had to do if we wanted to make it far here.”
Madelia was led by Kendall Peterson’s 22 points. He was the only Blackhawk to score in double figures.
Madelia finished the season with a 14-13 record, while ML/B-O advances to the semifinals with a 21-5 record.
Naas said the 26-point victory over Madelia should be a great momentum surge for the Wolverines moving forward.
The Wolverines will have another game at home when they take on G-H-EC Thursday. And the team is hoping for a similar outcome as the one they had Tuesday.
“Obviously we want a win, but more importantly we want to play to the best of our potential,” Kirk said. “If we do that we should come out with a ‘W,’ but you never know. This is the playoffs anything can happen.”
MHS 16 30 — 46
ML/B-O 32 40 — 72
MHS (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Peterson 2-5-7-23, Leal 2-0-0-6, Evjen 0-2-0-4, Bergeman 0-1-0-2, Arndt 0-1-3-5, Sorenson 1-0-0-3, Van Hee 1-0-0-3. Total 6-9-10-46.
ML/B-O (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Herring 1-7-0-17, C. Kirk 0-11-0-22, Penner 1-7-2-19, Hempeck 0-1-1-3, Thiessen 0-3-1-7, Donkhong 0-1-0-2, J. Grev 0-1-0-2. Total 2-31-4-72.
Daily Globe Sports Reporter Jocelyn Syrstad can be reached at 376-7335.