The Superior High School Spartans and Eau Claire North Huskies split a non-conference, boys and girls basketball doubleheader on “Coaches vs. Cancer Night” Tuesday, Feb. 11, in the SHS gym.
The evening began with the ECN boys defeating Superior 78-69. The Spartan girls salvaged the split with a 69-50 victory.
The Spartans picked up a key win over the Huskies when it comes to seeds for the WIAA tournament, which begins Tuesday, Feb. 25.
“This was a nice win for us,” SHS coach Dave Kontny said. “I didn't like our sloppy start, but the kids started to do what we practiced and that led to a nice lead at half.
“Give North credit, they battled back and cut the lead to nine, which woke us up, and we went on two really nice runs that were jump-started by our defense.”
The Spartans had four players score in double figures, led by Savannah Leopold’s 19 points. Emma Raye added 15 points, Kaileigh Miller had 12 and Niya Wilson 10.
Leopold and Julia Roe each made two 3-pointers.
Addison Bohman and Evie Dreger led ECN (3-16) with 14 and 13 points, respectively.
“I like how we are handling full-court pressure now," Kontny said. "It has taken us some time to grow up, but we are getting better. Our balanced scoring is really helping us. Teams can't just sit on one player, and that’s big for us.”
The Spartans (10-8) play at Hudson on Thursday, Feb. 13, and host Minneapolis North on Friday, Feb. 14. Both games begin at 7:15 p.m.
Eau Claire North........17-33—50
Eau Claire North — Evie Dreger 13, Nadia Horn 5, Amber Adams 4, Reanna Hutchinson 6, Addison Bohman 14, Brya Smith, Alyssa Polus 7. Totals 19 8-15 50.
3-point goals — Bohman 4, Polus 3.
Superior — Savannah Leopold 19, Emma Raye 15, Kaileigh Miller 12, Lily Gidley 4, Niya Wilson 10, Izzy Swanson 3, Julia Roe 6. Totals 21 22-33 69.
3-point goals — Leopold 2, Roe 2.
The Spartans were focused on stopping NCAA Division I recruit Dalton Banks, but it was the sharpshooting of Chad Kron and Ashton Kallstrom that was the difference in the Huskies' non-conference victory.
Banks, who averages 25.5 points a game and will play at Southern Illinois, was held to 14 points, all in the second half.
Picking up the slack were Kron and Kallstrom, who both finished with 25 points and accounted for six of the Huskies’ eight 3-pointers. Kallstrom entered the game averaging 18.3 points a game, and Kron averaged 12.6.
Joey Barker led Superior with a game-high 26 points. Lars Olson was next with 17 points, Kaden Kimmes had 13, and Draden Jensen had nine.
Superior led by five points (11-6) early and the game was tied 16-16 seven minutes into the game.
ECN took the lead for good a couple of seconds later on Kallstrom’s fourth 3-pointer.
The Huskies gradually opened up a 32-24 lead on a Kron 3-pointer, but two baskets by Olson and one by Kimmes got the Spartans within a bucket at 32-30.
The Huskies followed with a 10-4 run and led 42-34 at the half.
A three-point play by Barker got the Spartans within nine at 55-46 early in the second half.
Superior also got within seven at 62-55 with around six minutes remaining, but ECN’s lead ballooned to 73-57 thanks to an 11-2 run.
The Spartans outscored the Huskies 12-5 down the stretch.
ECN, which improves to 13-4 overall, is in second place in the Big Rivers Conference at 6-2. Chippewa Falls is in first place at 7-1.
Superior, 9-10 overall, hosts St. Cloud Cathedral at 5:45 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 14.
The Spartans can wrap up the Lake Superior Conference title with a win at Ashland on Thursday, Feb. 20. They play at Hudson in their final regular-season game Feb. 22.
Eau Claire North..........42-36—78
Eau Claire North — Chad Kron 15, Ashton Kallstrom 25, Dalton Banks 14, Henry Wilkinson 4, George Wilkinson 3, Jarrett Loe 4, Eli Persons 3.
3-point goals — Kallstrom 4, Kron 2, G. Wilkinson, Persons.
Superior — Joey Barker 26, Lars Olson 17, Kaden Kimmes 13, Draden Jensen 9, Johnny Rhodes 4. Totals 28 9-10 69.
3-point goals — Barker 3, Jensen.