Hunters hand Spartans first LSC loss in 5 yearsSuperior’s last loss in the LSC was 73-65 to Duluth Central on Dec. 7, 2006.
By: Ken Olson, Superior Telegram
The Superior High School boys basketball team’s five-year undefeated run in the Lake Superior Conference came to an end Tuesday night with an 83-56 loss at Duluth Denfeld.
Superior’s last loss in the LSC was 47 conference games ago when Duluth Central defeated Superior 73-65 on Dec. 7, 2006 in the SHS gym.
Andrew Laughlin and Jodeston Robinson led Denfeld with 27 and 23 points, respectively.
Erick Tunell and Cody Hunt led Superior with 14 and 13 points, respectively. Derek Kontny also had 12 points and Jordan Hughes 10.
One bright spot in the first half was the play of Hunt, who scored most of his nine first-half points after grabbing rebounds.
One of Hunt’s baskets stopped an 11-0 run that gave the Hunters a 36-19 lead.
Denfeld followed that up with an 8-2 run to take a 44-23 halftime lead. Once again Superior’s two points came on a basket by Hunt.
During Denfeld’s runs, Laughlin had back-to-back jams and Robinson nailed two 3-pointers.
Denfeld built a pair of 32-point leads in the second half, the latest 68-36, before making wholesale changes with 10 minutes remaining.
Superior (3-1 overall, 1-1 LSC) is back in action at 7:15 p.m. Friday at Eastview, Minn.
SPARTAN SPIN: Denfeld won the JV game 49-32. … The Spartans continue to play without senior Colton Lorenz, who injured an ankle at the LSC jamboree. He is hoping to return in January.
Duluth Denfeld 44-41—85
Superior — Anthony Valentine 1, Ben Erickson 2, Cody Hunt 13, Derek Kontny 12, Erick Tunell 14, Jordan Hughes 10, Spencer Urban 4. Totals 20 10-15 56.
3-point goals — Kontny 3, Hughes 2, Tunell.
Duluth Denfeld — Connor Behm 2, Michael Benjamin 2, Cory Bolen 4, Sam Humes 10, Andrew Laughlin 27, Derek Meger 11, D.J. Richard 2, Jodeston Robinson 23, Jerome Strother Jr. 2, Graham Whiting 2, Marquise Robinson 2. Totals 36 3-7 85.
3-point goals — J. Robinson 5, Laughlin 4, Humes, Meger.
Spartans 50, Lakers 38
Saturday’s game with the Lakers in the SHS gym was a back-and-forth affair for three quarters with Superior leading by two points after one quarter, trailing 24-23 at the half and leading by three after three quarters.
That’s when the Spartans’ defense took over, only allowing five points in the fourth quarter while scoring 14 to win going away.
“We take great pride in the way we play defense,” SHS coach Dave Kontny said. “We went away from the trap we used early on but we still did a good job because our guys were making the right rotations and adjusted well.”
Ben Erickson led a balanced offensive attack for Superior with 11 points. Jordan Hughes and Tunell added 10 points each, Hunt had nine points along with 10 rebounds, Derek Kontny had six points, and Anthony Valentine and Spencer Urban chipped in with four apiece.
“Anytime you can get balanced scoring like we did today, you’ll take it,” Kontny said. “There might not be anybody scoring 20 points, but we’re getting more people involved in the offense.”
The Spartans also had 17 steals, including seven from Erickson, five from Derek Kontny and four from Valentine.
The Lakers (0-5) were led by Will Kalberg-Taylor and Josh Barnes with 13 and 12 points, respectively. Akeem Smith also had three points and Camden Knuckles and David Collins each had two.
There were 19 fouls called in a first quarter that saw the Lakers take an 8-4 lead thanks to 7-of-11 shooting from the free-throw line.
The Spartans, who already had four players with two fouls each, got better as the play went on and tied the game at 8-8 on an Urban jumper from the left baseline and two Tunell free throws with 2:44 left in the opening quarter.
A three-point play by Erickson and two Hughes’ free throws helped the Spartans end the quarter with a 13-11 lead.
The Lakers tied the game up early in the second quarter, but a Kontny 3-pointer and three free throws by Hunt helped the Spartans go on a 7-0 run for a 20-13 lead with 3:23 left in the half.
Southwest went back to its full-court press and outscored Superior 11-3 the rest of the quarter for a 24-23 lead.
The final two points of the half came at the buzzer on an alley-oop pass from Patrick England to Barnes on an out-of-bounds play from half court.
“That was a nice play and gave them some momentum, but give our kids credit, they only gave up 14 points in the second half,” Kontny said.
After Hunt’s basket gave Superior a 25-24 lead seconds into the third quarter, there five more lead changes until Erickson scored the final six points to give the Spartans a 36-33 lead heading into the final quarter.
The fourth quarter remained scoreless until Urban’s basket with 5:10 remaining.
Superior ended the game with a Kontny basket and three free throws by Tunell.
“We made nice adjustments on defense at halftime,” coach Kontny said. “I thought we also played much better on offense in the second half. We were patient and once we got into our half-court offense got some easy baskets and made some free throws.
SPARTAN SPIN: Superior lost the JV game 55-50 and won the freshmen game 68-22. Blake Raymond led the SHS JV w2ith 15 points. Matt O’Shaughnessy and Carter Anderson chipped in with nine apiece. Nick Melhum was the top scorer for the Spartan freshmen.
Mpls. Southwest 11-13-9-5—38