SPARTAN RDP: Thunder Hawks pull away from Spartan boysSeason ends for SHS girls hockey team
The Superior High School boys basketball team kept the game within reach for three quarters Thursday against the Grand Rapids Thunderhawks, but in the fourth quarter Superior was outscored 17-8 and fell 53-38.
“We had our chances tonight and then the lid went on the basket in the fourth quarter,” said Dave Kontny, SHS head coach. “We had good looks and just didn’t knock down the shots. You hate to see it happen, especially when our kids played so well defensively.”
Superior gave Grand Rapids trouble with its defense in the first quarter, holding the Thunderhawks to six points to take an 8-6 lead. Grand Rapids used its height advantage early in the second quarter to take the lead on a 7-0 run and was up 22-19 at halftime.
Grand Rapids added slightly to its lead in the third quarter and then put the Spartans away in the fourth.
Superior was held scoreless for the first five minutes of the fourth quarter, allowing Grand Rapids to build a 49-30 lead as the Thunderhawks scored 13 unanswered points. Superior outscored Grand Rapids 8-4 the rest of the way to fall 53-38.
“They’re very seasoned and the pressure of a close game really never bothered them,” Kontny said of Grand Rapids. “I wish Rapids well. They’re a good team and I hope they make a nice run at another state berth.”
Jordan Hughes and Erik Tunell both had 10 points to lead Superior, while Derek Kontny added eight.
Alex Illikainen dominated inside for the Thunderhawks with 21 points, and Austin Pohlen added 17.
Grand Rapids improves to 20-3 with Thursday’s win while the Spartans fall to 11-8 overall.
“We have one day to prepare for Chippewa Falls, and they are playing very well down the stretch,” Coach Kontny said.
Superior hosts Chippewa Falls at 3 p.m. Saturday.
Superior’s busy week began with an 83-54 loss to Duluth East Tuesday night in the SHS gym.
East’s 7-foot junior Akolda Manyang led all scorers with 32 points.
SPARTAN SPIN: The SHS JV team defeated Duluth East 81-37 behind 28 points from Blake Raymond. … The Spartan freshmen also won 71-39 with Nathan Sanders leading the way with 21 points.
Grand Rapids 6 16 14 17 — 53
Superior 8 11 11 8 — 38
Superior — Jordan Hughes 10, Erik Tunell 10, Derek Kontny 8, Spencer Urban 2, Nick Melhum 2, Cody Hunt 2, Bryan Sanders 2, Colton Lorenz 2.
3-point goals — Hughes 2, Tunnel 2.
Grand Rapids — Austin Pohlen 17, Mark Laughlin 5, Alex Illikainen 21, Mike Spoden 10.
3-point goals — Pohlen 2, Laughlin.
Duluth East 22 21 23 17 — 83
Superior 13 13 14 14 — 54
Superior: Colton Llorenz 3, Zach Erickson 3, Jordan Hughes 10, Nick Melhum 2, Derek Kontny 8, Bryan Sanders 6, Erik Tunell 17, Spencer Urban 3, Ryan Kelleher 3. 3-point baskets: Erickson 1, Tunell 1. Free throws: 4-for-6.
Duluth East: Quinton Coleman 2, Taylor Stafford 9, Shaq Coleman 11, Johnny Woodard 23, Akolda Manyang 32, Joe Florestano 2, Mat Lochner 4.
3-point baskets: Stafford 1. Free throws: 18-for-30.
The seson came to an end for the SHS girls hockey team with an 8-1 loss to the St. Croix Valley Fusion Thursday night in River Falls.
Anna Lurndal scored Superior's goal with assists from Jordyn Thompson and Amanda Hinaus.
Sarah Runser finished with 17 saves for Superior and Kalli Armagost had 10 for the Fusion, who now host the winner of the Eau Claire Co-op and Hudson game on Tuesday.
The SHS girls junior varsity basketball team lost to Duluth East 52-33 Tuesday night in the SHS gym.
The Spartans got 10 points from Rachal Fregin and eight more from Taylor Nelson.
The varsity girls host Chippewaw Falls (17-1) at 7 p.m. Tuesday.