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Prep report: Esko unleashes barrage of 3-pointers in Section 7AA quarterfinals

The Eskomos will meet Crosby-Ironton in a section semifinal on Tuesday night.

boys playing basketball
Eli Laposky (32) of Pequot Lakes watches as his shot gets ready to go through the basket on a play where he was also fouled in the first half of the Patriots' game vs Greenway in the Section 7AA boys basketball quarterfinals Saturday, March 12, 2022 at Hermantown High School.
Dan Williamson / Duluth News Tribune
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HERMANTOWN — The top four seeds will contest the semifinals in Section 7AA boys basketball after winning quarterfinals on Saturday at Hermantown High School.

Top seeded Esko had the most impressive offensive performance, routing Pierz 105-55 in the leadoff game of the quadrupleheader.

The Eskomos (24-3) made a mind-boggling 21 3-pointers, with Dalton Spindler drilling seven and Cuinn Berger six.

The Eskomos outscored the Pioneers 55-20 in the first half and comfortably ensured their place in a section semifinal on Tuesday at Romano Gym in Duluth against Crosby-Ironton.

Noah Oberfeld had 16 points to lead Pierz (10-17)


Crosby-Ironton 76, Two Harbors 56

Big games from the Rangers' Carson Turk (26 points) and Jordan Oehrlein (25) overcame a 30-point performance from the Agates' Trent Gomez.

The fourth-seeded Rangers advanced to face Esko, to which they lost 79-56 in Esko on Feb. 23.

The Agates end their season 18-10.

two players jump for the basketball
Mathias MacKnight (13) of Greenway battles Sam Rysavy (41) of Pequot Lakes during the jump ball to start their Section 7AA quarterfinal boys basketball game Saturday, March 12, 2022 at Hermantown High School.
Dan Williamson / Duluth News Tribune

Pequot Lakes 63, Greenway 50

The seventh-seeded Raiders pushed an upset bid through the first half, but a 16-2 run after the break proved their downfall.

The second-seeded Patriots (22-6) got a game-high 17 points from Ryan Harmala.

Greenway (13-14), which had a 27-26 edge at the break, lost despite making 10 treys and getting 16 points from Mathias Macknight and 15 from Westin Smith.

Moose Lake/Willow River 80, Virginia 42

Alex Watrin had the individual performance of the day, racking up 37 points as the Rebels rolled into a semifinal vs. Pequot Lakes at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Romano Gym.


The Rebels defense had a good day too, holding the Blue Devils to 16 first-half points and allowing no one to score more than Casey Aune's 11.

Section 7A

Cherry 67, South Ridge 61

The top-seeded Tigers opened on an 11-2 run but couldn't shake the Panthers until time ran out in their quarterfinal at Romano Gym in Duluth.

Isaac Asuma filled up the stat sheet, coming three assists short of a triple-double with 30 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.

Sam Serna added 18 points and Isiah Asuma 14 as the Tigers (24-4) booked a spot in Wednesday's semifinals against Mountain Iron-Buhl (5:30 p.m.).

Austin Josephson scored 26 for the Panthers, who finish 15-10.

Mountain Iron-Buhl 78, Duluth Marshall 67

A 50-point second half floated the Rangers (21-7) into the section semifinals.

It was a 28-27 MI-B lead at halftime, but Asher Zubich could not be contained, scoring 22 of his game-high 35 points after intermission.

Brooks Johnson led the Hilltoppers (16-11) with 24 points, 17 of them in the second half.


Deer River 75, Chisholm 68

The Warriors had too much scoring balance to overcome, getting five players into double figures as they outlasted the Bluestreaks.

Ty Morrison scored 17 to lead Deer River.

Noah Sundquist of Chisholm (19-6) had 19 points in the first half alone but was held to six the rest of the way as his side was outscored 37-28 in the second half.

Deer River (22-6) advances to face North Woods (24-4), a 71-67 winner over Northland behind 22 points from Brendan Chiabotti, in the second semifinal Wednesday night at UMD.

Section 5A

Barnum and Cromwell-Wright will have an all-Carlton County subsection final on Tuesday night in Hinckley after both won subsection semifinals at that location on Saturday afternoon.

The Bombers eliminated fifth-seeded Ogilvie 60-50 in the first game, while the Cardinals followed with a 60-53 win over sixth-seeded Braham.

The winner of Tuesday's game will meet either Nevis or Browerville in the section final on Friday night at a location to be determined.


Thunderhawks, Rangers learn state assignments

Mountain Iron-Buhl locked in its place as the No. 1 seed when the Minnesota State High School League released pairings for the state tournament on Saturday.

The Rangers (27-3) will face unseeded Minneota (26-4) at 11 a.m. on Thursday at Maturi Pavilion in Minneapolis.

Grand Rapids (25-3) was unseeded in the AAA bracket and will face St. Paul Como Park (22-6) on Wednesday at 2 p.m. in the same venue.

players goes up for a layup
Mathias MacKnight (13) goes up for a layup against Pequot Lakes during the second half of their Section 7AA quarterfinal boys basketball game Saturday, March 12, 2022 at Hermantown High School.
Dan Williamson / Duluth News Tribune

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