Tigers, Eagles advance
Both the Northwestern Tigers and the Solon Springs Eagles will face conference opponents in their boys basketball regional finals Saturday.
Northwestern hosts Hayward, and the Eagles play Mellen at Northwood School in Minong. Both games begin at 7 p.m.
For the Eagles, it is their second consecutive trip to the regional finals. The team has yet to win a regional title.
“We have some unfinished business,” said Dale Rajala, Solon Springs head coach. “Last year left a bad taste for us, and this team is hungry. They know that just getting there is not something that they want to be satisfied with.”
Solon Springs advanced to the region finals with a 61-46 victory over Mercer Friday night. The Eagles led 33-18 at halftime and increased their lead to 20 in the second half before Mercer narrowed the gap with a late surge.
Tarrin St. Germain scored 18 points in the second half for the Tigers and led all players with 22 points.
Jens Gehl had 16 points to lead the Eagles, and Zach Rajala added 12.
Mellen, who split its regular season games with Solon Springs, defeated Webster 63-59 Friday to advance.
Northwestern won its regional semifinal against Amery Friday with a monster first half. The Tigers put up 53 points in the opening half and went on to win 86-67.
Riley Stowers scored 16 points in the first half, while Mike Lindsay and Tyler Little had eight apiece.
For the night Stowers had a game-high 27 points. Also scoring in double figures for Northwestern were Alex Tecker (15) Little (12) and Tanner Klobucher (10).
Hayward, which shared the Heart O’ North Conference title with Northwestern and Bloomer this season, defeated Ellsworth 65-53 Friday night.
Northwestern won both regular season games against Hayward, but the Hurricanes enter Saturday’s match-up on a five-game winning streak.
Mercer 18 28 — 46
Solon Springs 33 28 — 61
Mercer — Tarrin St. Germain 22, Johnny Cassiani 8, Zayne Earl 5, Jose Cruz 4, Kobe Hiller 3, Baylie Huybrecht 2, Jake Hill 2.
3-point goals — St. Germain, Hiller.
Solon Springs — Jens Gehl 16, Zach Rajala 12, Caden Smith 9, Nick Zosel 8, Reid Lisson 5, Dane Banks 5, Alex Hunter 4, Chase Latvala 2.
3-point goals — Smith 2, Rajala 2, Hunter.
Amery 30 37 — 67
Northwestern 53 33 — 86
Amery — Seth Amundsen 16, Lane Christenson 15, Zach Swenson 10, Conner McBrayer 8, Calen Coy 6, Tristen Collins 6, Noah Rademaker 4, Sam Forneago 2.
3-point goals — Amundsen 4, Christenson 3, Swenson 2, Coy, Collins.
Northwestern — Riley Stowers 27, Alex Tecker 15, Tyler Little 12, Tanner Klobucher 10, Mike Lindsay 8, Anthony Lupa 7, Kade Bartelt 5, Brody Payton 2.
3-point goals — Stowers 2, Lindsay 2, Bartelt, Lupa.