Silver Bay senior Jason Blood added 18 points to his school record for career scoring, but his career came to a close as the Mariners fell to Lakeview Christian Academy 76-61 in the Section 7A quarterfinals Saturday, March 10, in Hibbing.
Despite Jason Blood's play, foul trouble and missed opportunities were the theme, particularly in the second half, when Silver Bay managed only 21 points after scoring 40 in the first half.
In the end of the first half, the Mariner offense was humming and the defense was causing problems for the LCA attack, with Silver Bay closing the half on a 22-6 run and taking a 40-30 lead into halftime.
In the run, Blood had five points and point guard Mason Ollman had eight, including completing rare 4-point play when he was fouled on a 3-point attempt.
About the only thing that went wrong in the first half was when center Weston Monson picked up three personal fouls and Ollman had two.
In the second half, Silver Bay scored the first five points of the half, but it wasn't long before Monson picked up his fourth foul and Ollman picked up two cheap fouls, giving both players four with more than 12 minutes remaining and limiting how aggressive the Mariners could be on offense.
When Monson went to the bench with his fourth foul, Silver Bay didn't have an answer for LCA's Brandon BarBee, who scored 17 in the second half and 25 in the game. When Monson returned to the game, they were able to slow the Lions' attack temporarily, but he picked up his fifth foul with 8:11 to play and returned to the bench for good.
"When Weston went out, that really hurt us," coach Terry Blood said.
The Mariner defense also had a hard time stopping LCA's Jacob Easty, who finished with a game-high 26 points - 17 of those coming in the second half, when the Lions exploded for 46 points total.
The Mariners also missed some open looks, including a couple of corner 3-point attempts from sharpshooter Riley Tiboni, who finished with 17 points on five 3-pointers.
The Mariners also had a number of other missed opportunities, including a couple of put-back attempts by Blood and Ollman that simply didn't fall. Without Monson's presence in the lane to clean up missed shots, the Mariners struggled to manufacture points late in the game and couldn't keep pace with the LCA offense.
"We got in foul trouble and then we missed some easier shots," Coach Blood said. "I mean, we got some looks when it was a one- or two-point game, but we missed some of those. Then it just kind of swells and you're trying to scramble to cover and trap and they're starting to score. It just snowballed and we had to take chances, but the kids played hard.
"The energy was good, it was just the foul trouble and missed opportunities," he said. "We shot it, we just didn't make it."
Silver Bay (18-10) finished its season going 9-2 over the final 11 games, but ended on a familiar note: a loss to LCA. Last year, the Mariners fell to Lions 39-34 in a defensive struggle in Romano Gym at the University of Minnesota Duluth.
Silver Bay 40-21-61
Silver Bay - Zach Blood 2, Jason Blood 18, Mason Ollman 17, Weston Monson 4, Riley Tiboni 17, Jared DeHart 3. Totals 22 9-20 61.
3-point goals - J. Blood 2, Ollman, Tiboni 5.
Lakeview Christian Academy- Bennett Easty 3, Spicer Johnson 1, Lance Puffer 6 Jacob Easty 26, Drew Ouradnik 6, Ryan Johnson 9, Brandon BarBee 25. Totals 27 16-24 76.
3-point goals - B. Easty, Puffer 2, J. Easty 2, Johnson.