The Superior High School boys basketball team moved into first place in the Lake Superior Conference with a 64-53 win at Hermantown Tuesday night.
The Spartans improve to 6-3 overall and 3-1 in the LSC with the fourth-point victory.
“We were foul trouble in the first half with four starters on the bench for extended periods of time, but I thought our kids off the bench did a great job keeping us in the game,” SHS coach Dave Kontny said. “Defensively we played pretty solid and offensively we had nice balance and really executed better in the second half. Guys started making the extra pass which resulted in easy looks and down the stretch we made our free throws which is always important.
“Give Hermantown credit, they played hard, both teams played as hard as they could. Hermantown has some nice young kids but so do we.”
Erick Tunell led the Spartans with a game-high 21 points. Cody Hunt added 18 points, followed by Derek Kontny, 13; Colton Lorenz and Jordan Hughes, three apiece; and Ben Erickson and Bryan Sanders, two apiece.
Lorenz, Hughes, Kontny and Tunell made a 3-point basket apiece and the Spartans were 18-of-24 from the free-throw line.
Corey Anderson led the Hawks with 14 points. Kole Zuidmuldeer was next with 13 points, followed by Kevin Folman, 11; Parker Anderson and Alex Schmies, two apiece; and Parker Johnson, one. Nine of Folman’s points came on three 3-pointers.
Hermantown was 8-of-12 from the free-throw line.
Superior outscored Hermantown 34-26 in the first half and 30-27 in the second.
The Spartans host Duluth Denfeld at 7:15 p.m. on Jan. 12.
“It’ll be nice to play at home in a week or so,” Kontny said. “We have a week now to prepare for Denfeld and we get a chance to play at home. We’ve been on the road eight out of nine games so far and that’s not easy.”
Bluejays 44, Spartans 31
Superior wrapped up play in the Big Rivers Conference/Wisconsin Valley Conference Challenge with the five-point loss to Merrill Thursday afternoon at Eau Claire Memorial.
The Spartans opened the event with a 44-31 win over Wausau West on Wednesday.
Derek Kontny led Superior with 18 points, followed by Hunt, 13; Tunell, 10; Spencer Urban, five; and Hughes, three.
The Spartans made seven 3-pointers, including three by Kontny, two by Tunell and one each by Hughes and Urban. They were also 12-of-17 from the free-throw line.
Merrill (3-6) was led by David Jesperson’s 17 points. Jared Wardall added 12 points and Ben Anderson and Adam Smith each had seven.
The Bluejays made four 3-pointers, two by Jesperson and one each by Paul Theorin and Anderson. They were 14-of-27 from the free-throw line.
“It was just one of those games of momentum, and when it turned good for them they took advantage of it,” coach Kontny said. “Their size allowed them to look over a lot of our traps and get some easy baskets. We just couldn’t get going offensively until late in the game when we cut the lead to one point, but then we missed a few bunnies and they made their free throws down the stretch.
“We battled the entire game, and with a young team, I thought our kids showed composure making the run in the fourth quarter. It’s not easy to travel two days in a row and play, but you have to do it late in the season, so it was a good lesson for us.”