Walker-Hackensack-Akeley was looking to end the regular season on a positive note at home Monday night, but they would have to play their best if they wanted to beat Cass Lake-Bena.
The 19-7 Panthers got off to a great start and scored 20 of the first 22 points. By the time the first half ended, the Wolves trailed 57-26 as the Panthers made 11 three-pointers. Cass Lake-Bena made another nine threes in the second half as they cruised to a 92-52 win.
The loss was the Wolves’ fourth straight to end the regular season, dropping them to the No. 5 seed in the Section 5A West. WHA will most likely play at Browerville in the first round Thursday. The winner will most likely face No. 1 Nevis two nights later.
Cass Lake-Bena’s win gives them at least a share of the Northwoods Conference title. They are 11-3, just ahead of 10-3 Nevis, who ends the regular season at Red Lake Friday night.
Cole Rasmussen was the only Wolf to reach double figures in the loss. He scored 14 points, grabbed six rebounds and had seven assists.
Tom Hansen finished with nine points, both Ethan Anderson and TJ Smith scored eight, Trent Schultz finished with seven points, and Clay Nelson scored six and had six assists.
Jarell Jacobs led all scoring with 31 points, including making seven three-pointers. He scored 20 points in the first half, and on the Panthers’ first possession of the second half drained a three-pointer to put him over the 2,000 point mark.
Miguel Reyes finished with 11 points, while Timmy Smith, Jauquin Sargent and Kaydin Lee each scored nine points.
Cass Lake-Bena shot better than 52 percent from the field, including 45 percent from the outside. WHA shot only 37 percent and turned the ball over 14 times compared to only seven for the Panthers’ starters.
WHA gave up 22 points in transition and 23 points off turnovers.
Wolves can’t hold lead
The Wolves played a nice first half and led host St. John’s Prep 31-25 Saturday afternoon.
But the second half did not go their way as they couldn’t get on track offensively and dropped a key Section 5A game 59-53.
“We came out cold and missed lots of bunnies inside,” Coach Schultz said when asked what the difference was in the second half. “They had two guys that scored almost all their points, and we just couldn’t stop from getting looks.”
The Johnnies made eight three-pointers to WHA’s three. WHA led almost every other category. They had more transition points, points in the paint, points off turnovers and second-chance points. The Johnnies were only called for nine fouls compared to 20 for WHA, with the Johnnies going 17-25 from the foul line while WHA was 1-7.
Rasmussen led WHA with 19 points with 13 coming in the first half. He also had 14 rebounds, eight assists and five steals.
Smith finished with nine points and eight rebounds, Nelson scored eight and Trent Schultz scored seven.
The Wolves were without Anderson.
Alton Meis made five three-pointers and finished with 26 points, including 5-6 from the foul line down the stretch. Luke Meyer also scored 16 points and Jsson Meng also had a nice second half by scoring all eight of his points.
Spartans win in Walker
The Wolves only turned the ball over seven times in Thursday night’s home game with Nashwauk-Keewatin, but the Spartans coughed up the ball only six times and did a much better job of scoring both inside and out for a 76-54 win.
Using their size advantage, the Spartans shot 47 percent from the field and scored 38 points in the paint — 12 more than WHA, who shot only 40 percent and were also out-rebounded 39-31. The Wolves also were only 6-16 from the foul line.
Both Anderson and Rasmussen led WHA with 12 points and seven rebounds each. Rasmussen also had five assists.
Hansen finished with nine points, and both Craven and Nelson scored eight.
The Spartans’ three bigs combined for 32 points, and their two outside sharp-shooters made seven of the team’s three-pointers for another 34 points.
Jager Nash made three threes to lead the Spartans with 18 points, Spencer Engel sank four threes for 16 points and Jeff Lorenz scored 15. Keegan Warmuth came off the bench to score nine points and Jack Lorentz had eight.
The Wolves hung with the Spartans for most of the first half, and only trailed 25-20 with about seven minutes to go when two WHA turnovers were turned into two lay ups and a free-throw. Nash followed that with a three-pointer, and a short time later a third turnover led to another lay up with Nash sinking another three for a 41-23 lead.
WHA managed to close the half on a 7-3 run with Anderson scoring five of those points including a three-pointer.
The Wolves cut the lead to single digits on three-pointers by Anderson and Rasmussen, and it stayed that way until a late surge by the Spartans, who closed the game on a 15-2 run over the final six minutes.