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Spartan hoop teams suffer loses

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The Superior High School girls basketball team lost 54-43 to the Cloquet Lumberjacks Thursday night in the SHS gym.

The Spartans led 30-27 at halftime thanks to tenacious defensive play, but they piled up a lot of fouls in the process.

Foul trouble hurt Superior in a second half that had it outscored 27-13 and fall to 1-1 on the season.

“It was a strange game for us,” SHS coach Dave Kontny said. “We dug ourselves a bad hole by getting in such foul trouble early in the game. That forced us to expend a ton of energy on defense, which led to a lot of turnovers in our favor, but we just couldn't get the ball to go in and the second half our shooting got worse.”

The Spartans also made just 9-of-21 free-throw attempts.

“We did what we wanted to do — making them turn the ball over — but we just couldn’t convert from the floor or the free-throw line,” Kontny said. “It was just one of those nights.  I did a poor job of coaching at critical times as well and that didn't help either.”

Sophomore Niya Wilson led the Spartans with 11 points. Emily Hunter, Maddy Myer and Lauren Raboin were next with six points apiece.

Kendra Kelley led Cloquet with a team-high 26-points, which included three 3-pointers. Carmen Foss was next with 15 points.

“Give Cloquet credit, they earned this win,” Kontny said. “I feel bad for the girls, they work so hard every day and you just have games like this, it is what it is.

“We’re just going to take it one day at a time and work at improving. I love this team, they have a ton of heart and want to get better. I can’t ask for more than that.”

The Spartans are back in action at Esko at 7:15 p.m. on Thursday.

Superior................................... 30        13         —         43

Cloquet.................................... 27        27         —         54

Cloquet — Carmen Foss 15, Abbey Collins 3, Kate Owens 2, Kendra Kelley 26, Hailey Giacomini 1, Vanna Kelley 1, Allie Wojtysiak 6. Totals 19 13-21 54.

3-point goals — K. Kelley 3.

Superior — Chloe Kintop 3, Sophie Kintop 2, Lexi Jensen 6, Niya Wilson 11, Emily Hunter 6, Maddy Myer 6, Lauren Raboin 6, Mady Stariha 3. Totals 16 9-21 43.

3-point goals — Myer, Stariha.

Boys basketball

The Spartans opened its season with a 79-63 loss at Forest Lake Thursday night.

Mason Ackley and Ben Rhodes led Superior with 14 points apiece. Ackley’s line included five rebounds and five assists, while Rhodes had two assists and made two of Superior’s seven 3-pointers.

Kaleb Zentowski was next with 13 points with three 3-pointers, five rebounds and a steal.

John Schrader and Thad Ball led Forest Lake with 19 and 18 points, respectively.

The Spartans host Esko Tuesday and Hermantown Thursday. Both games are at 7:15 p.m.

Esko defeated Hermantown 80-58 Thursday.

Superior................................... 32        31         —         63

Forest Lake............................ 40        39         —         79

Superior — Mason Ackley 14, Ben Rhodes 14, Kaleb Zentkowski 13, Xavier Patterson 7, Cam Borgh 6, Elijah Owens 3, Corey Sanders 2, Joey Barker 4. Totals 23 10-18 63.

3-point goals — Zentkowski 3, Rhodes 2, Owens, Barker.

Forest Lake — Cooper Berg 10, Galvy Ngimukua 1, Thad Ball 18, Hunter Damon 19, Roman Notch 2, John Schrader 19, Connor Hale 10. Totals 28 14-19 79.

3-point goals — Berg 2, Damon 5, Schrader 2.