St. Scholastica’s Quinn Fischer went up for a layup against Wisconsin-Superior Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, and it didn’t quite fall, so he went after the rebound and somewhere in the sequence he took an elbow to the mouth, popping his retainer and chipping a tooth.

No big deal. Fischer is from Esko — tough-guy town.

“You have to keep fighting, keep playing,” Fischer said.

Fischer did just that, scoring a game-high 20 points while adding 10 rebounds to lead the Saints to their first victory of the season, an entertaining 69-60 nonconference win over crosstown rival Wisconsin-Superior before 346 at Reif Gymnasium.

Fischer made four 3-pointers for the game, including a couple in the closing minutes that were clutch.

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“We played a tough game all the way through, but we needed to get something on the board there,” Fischer said of the late 3s. “We had to put them away there, and those two 3s contributed to that. Great pass from Nick (Carlson) on that last one, collapsing the defense and then kicking it out.”

Yes, that last one was a thing of beauty as UWS’ J’Vaun Walker tried in vain to defend, only for a pump fake by Fischer caused Walker to go flying by and end up somewhere near Lake Superior while Fischer launched his 3, just beating the shot-clock buzzer.

The first 3-pointer, however, was more important in the sense that it gave CSS a 61-55 lead with 2:32 remaining, and once they had the lead, the Saints (1-1) knew what to do with it.

“We had the same thing with River Falls (a 77-76 OT loss Nov. 10), but we didn a better job executing down the stretch in this game,” CSS coach David Staniger said. “With River Falls, we settled a little bit and kind of got out of our rhythm. Tonight down the stretch we played to who we are. We went through the post, reversed the basketball and obviously Quinn made a couple big shots there.”

This one was close until the end, back and forth, the proverbial coin-toss game until Fischer made those 3s and UWS malfunctioned offensively. CSS outscored UWS 19-7 in the final six minutes to end its two-game losing streak to the Yellowjackets.

Walker finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds for UWS (1-3), which has no seniors on its roster, and a lack of experience showed down the stretch. Eli Vogel also had 14 points.

“Those 3-pointers were daggers,” Yellowjackets coach Greg Polkowski said. “They put us in a tough position getting the ball inside. We bore down inside and they made us pay for it, so those were daggers. Once they got the lead, there was a plan there. We put ourselves in a position to win that game, but there was a lack of execution at the end.”

Isiah Hendrickson of Duluth East added 14 points off the bench for CSS, while Jack Silgen and Nick Carlson added 10 points apiece for CSS. Silgen added 11 rebounds in a balanced effort for the Saints.

“Really good execution, really good team basketball,” Staniger said. “We’re experienced out there, with three seniors plus Cade (Goggleye, a junior) who has been in those games his whole life. There is no panic in us whatsoever. Once Quinn hit that first 3, we really locked in. It wasn’t a big celebration or anything like that. Yeah, we were feeling good, but we really locked in defensively.”

Wisconsin-Superior 28-32—60

St. Scholastica 32-37—69

Wisconsin-Superior — J’Vaun Walker 14, Xavier Patterson 9, Mason Ackley 6, Eli Vogel 14, Josef Fahrenholtz 7, Josh Reinersen 6, Enrique Sanchez 4. Totals 24 9-15 60.

3-point goals — Patterson, Vogel 2.

St. Scholastica — Jack Silgen 10, Cade Goggleeye 4, Quinn Fischer 20, Jeff Moore 7, Nick Carlson 10, Isiah Hendrickson 4, Noah Winesett 14. Totals 22 19-27 69.

3-point goals — Fischer 4, Moore, Winesett.