Erik Peterson looks for an open Lanesboro teammate in a game against Winona Cotter.
Erik Peterson looks for an open Lanesboro teammate in a game against Winona Cotter.

The Lanesboro boys' basketball squad began their 2012-13 campaign at home on Nov. 30, when Class AA Winona Cotter of the Hiawatha Valley League paid the Burros a visit. The Burros took the early lead with some good shooting from beyond the arc, and held on to a slim margin at the half, but the Ramblers pulled away in the second period with good defense and foul shooting, winning 60-51.

"We struggled at the free-throw line which hurt the outcome of the game," LHS coach John Smith said. "We also turned the ball over too many times to beat a quality team like Winona Cotter."

The Burros' first three buckets were from downtown, as they took a 9-4 advantage. Cotter tied the game at 17, but trailed 21-19 at the half. After three tie scores early in the second period, the Ramblers gradually gained a 7-point advantage. Lanesboro fought back to grab the lead briefly (45-44) on a drive to the bucket by senior guard Isaac Freese with four minutes left to play. At that point, Cotter pulled away for good, working the ball inside and scoring off a pair of transitions. Five of their last seven points came from the free throw line.

"We did shoot the ball ok but we just had too many turnovers that resulted in empty possessions," Smith noted. "The boys played really hard and there are many positive things that came out of the game that should help us improve."

For the Burros, Erik Peterson and Kole Ruud each scored 15. They also did a good job shooting from three-point land with Peterson hitting 5 of 10 from beyond the arc and Ruud going 4 for 8. Luke Rogers contributed 14 points. Ruud led in rebounds, with 9, while Rogers led in thefts, with 4.

Cotter sophomore Kyle Kerrigan led the Ramblers with 15, while senior Jon Eichman scored 14 points.

Cotter won the turnover tussle, giving up 22 while taking away 31. Lanesboro fouled less (21 compared to 25 for the visitors), but only hit 8 of 20 (40 percent) of their tries from the line. The Ramblers were 18 of 23 (78 percent) from the charity stripe. The Burros out-shot Cotter from three-point territory (39 percent to 11 percent), but not from the post (45 percent to 50 percent).

For the Burros, three more home games beckon. Mabel-Canton visited on Dec. 4, followed by Grand Meadow on the Friday and Hope Lutheran on Tuesday, Dec. 11.