State boys basketball: W-WG to play in consolation championship game

MINNEAPOLIS -- Westbrook-Walnut Grove's Minnesota state boys basketball dreams took a tumble Thursday at Williams Arena on the campus of the University of Minnesota. In a first-round Class A clash, the Chargers lost to North Woods, 56-39. But the...



MINNEAPOLIS -- Westbrook-Walnut Grove’s Minnesota state boys basketball dreams took a tumble Thursday at Williams Arena on the campus of the University of Minnesota. In a first-round Class A clash, the Chargers lost to North Woods, 56-39.

But the Section 3 champions recovered on Friday, rolling past Cromwell-Wright 70-57 at Concordia University in the consolation semifinals.

W-WG (24-8) will play for the consolation championship this morning (Saturday, March 23) at 8 a.m., again at Concordia, against Springfield.


The Chargers’ loss to North Woods was a disappointment, for sure, but could have been no more a disappointment than Springfield experienced in its Thursday opener. The Tigers, seeded No. 1 in the tournament, were upset 78-67 by unseeded Spring Grove. They, like W-WG, rebounded in the consolation semis with a 95-73 win over Christ’s Household of Faith.

Westbrook-Walnut Grove and Springfield met once in the regular season, which resulted in a 104-76 Springfield victory. The Tigers entered the tournament averaging more than 88 points per game and scoring more than 100 points seven times.

North Woods 56, W-WG 39 The Chargers simply couldn’t keep up with Section 7 champ North Woods. Trailing by just three points, 22-19, at halftime, W-WG was outscored 34-20 by the Grizzlies in the second half.

W-WG started well against the Grizzlies as senior point guard Andrew Quade made a long 3-point shot to open the scoring. Parker Freeburg, a 6-7 senior post, made his presence felt early in the paint.

But North Woods, in its third straight state tournament appearance, out-shot W-WG 54 percent to 28 percent in the second half and methodically extended its lead. A Cade Goggleye jumper with 9:05 remaining stretched the advantage to 37-26. A Nathan Ross 3-point shot pulled the Chargers within seven points with seven and a half minutes to go, but a T.J. Chiabotti 3 from long range made the score 43-31. Moments later, a Chase Kleppe shot made it 45-31 and W-WG took a much-needed time-out with 5:46 to go.

The skull session didn’t help, however. Once back on the court, the Grizzlies stretched their lead further as the Chargers got sloppy in their attempts to pull closer in a hurry.

Trevor Morrison scored 20 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for North Woods. Chiabotti added 11 points and Goggleye had 10.

Freeburg was 8-of-11 from the field and led Westbrook-Walnut Grove with 16 points. No other Charger scored in double figures. The Chargers were 3-for-23 from 3-point range while North Woods was 3-for-14.


North Woods was charted with 23 points off W-WG turnovers, compared with 11 points in a similar fashion for W-WG, which turned the ball over 19 times to the Grizzlies’ 13 times.

Westbrook-Walnut Grove 19 39North Woods 22 56WESTBROOK-WALNUT GROVE (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- Mischke 1-0-0-3, Christians 0-1-2-4, Ross 1-2-2-7, Quade 1-0-2-5, Freeburg 0-8-0-16, Lien 0-1-0-2, Pilaczynski 0-1-0-2. Totals 3-12-6-39.NORTH WOODS (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- C.Goggleye 1-2-3-10, Kleppe 0-1-0-2, TJ Chiabotti 0-5-1-11, Morrison 0-9-2-20, D.Goggleye 0-2-2-6, Barto 0-0-1-1, D.Chiabotti 2-0-0-6. Totals 3-19-9-56. W-WG 70, C-W 57 The Chargers rarely struggle on offense like they did against North Woods, when Nathan Ross tallied just seven points, Andrew Quade had only five, and Ethan Mischke had just three. Their fortunes improved, however, against Cromwell-Wright, which entered the tournament armed with a 25-3 record.

Mischke was 9-of-14 from the field -- including 7-of-10 from 3-point range -- against the Cardinals, finishing with 25 points. Quade produced 15 points while going 6-of-9 from the field and 4-of-6 at the free throw line. Ross and Parker Freeburg had 11 points apiece.

Cromwell-Wright opened the scoring, but W-WG assumed an 11-4 lead on a 3-point shot by Quade. The lead narrowed to 13-11 with 12:11 remaining in the half, but the Chargers increased it to 10 points, 24-14, on another 3-pointer by Quade.

Leading 36-29 at halftime, the Chargers outscored the Cardinals 34-28 in the second half. In the second half, they never trailed and stretched the lead to 62-45 with 5:34 remaining on a Ross 3-pointer.

Cromwell-Wright’s Micah Pocernich entered the tournament with 107 3-pointers. He made two of three 3-point attempts against the Chargers and finished with 20 points. Marcus Pocernich had 14 points and Isaac Sheldon 10 for the Cards.

Westbrook-Walnut Grove out-rebounded C-W 36-24 with Freeburg getting 15 for himself. Quade was credited with nine assists and four steals.

Cromwell-Wright 29 57Westbrook-Walnut Grove 36 70CROMWELL-WRIGHT (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- Ma.Pocernich 0-5-4-14, Mi.Pocernich 2-7-0-20, Shelton 2-2-0-10, Gronner 1-0-0-3, Cahoon 0-2-1-5, Libbon 1-0-0-3, Anderson 0-1-0-2. Totals 6-17-5-57.WESTBROOK-WALNUT GROVE (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- Mischke 7-2-0-25, Christians 0-3-0-6, Ross 1-2-4-11, Quade 3-3-0-15, Freeburg 0-5-1-11, Kuehl 0-0-0-0, Lien 0-1-0-2, Pilaczynski 0-0-0-0. Totals 11-16-5-70.

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