Lanesboro’s Kole Ruud drives around a Rushford-Peterson defender in the section tournament semifinals.  DAWN HAUGE/REPUBLICAN-LEADER
Lanesboro’s Kole Ruud drives around a Rushford-Peterson defender in the section tournament semifinals. DAWN HAUGE/REPUBLICAN-LEADER
Top-seed Rushford-Peterson defeated fourth-seeded Lanesboro 79-53 in the 1A East Subsection semifinals on Feb. 25.

The state-ranked (No. 3) Trojans utilized consistently tough defensive pressure. Turnovers fed a fast, aggressive transition offense.

"We played well early but we had a couple turnovers in a row that led to R-P's big run and then we never re-grouped and recovered," Lanesboro coach John Smith said. "Their pressure led to our turnovers and inability to execute better on offense. We had some good looks on the offensive end but we just didn't have enough possessions when you have that many turnovers."

Lanesboro shot the lights out to start the game. After an early 13-4 run, LHS enjoyed a 16-10 lead. That's when the wheels fell off as forced turnovers and effective R-P defense led to a monstrous 44-9 run for the Trojans, who took a 54-25 margin into the locker room.

"I thought that early in the game, Lanesboro did a really good job of finding the open man against our pressure and they hit shots," R-P coach Tom Vix later told KFIL radio prior to Saturday's subsection final. "They made almost everything they shot in the first three to four minutes."

Although the Burros out-scored R-P 28-25 in the second half, it was not nearly enough to close the gap.

Lanesboro hit 10 of 25 triple tries (40 percent), six of 10 from two-point range, and sank 11 of 14 free throws (79 percent). But it wasn't enough to make up for a 57-35 deficit in field goal opportunities. With 26 turnovers, LHS suffered nearly twice as many lost possessions as did R-P (14). The Trojans also our-rebounded LHS 25-15.

Vix said that the first half run was just too much for the Burros to overcome. But Lanesboro isn't the first team to encounter that problem. "We're a team that's difficult to come back on," he noted. "We press, made or miss, every possession."

Kole Ruud finished off his high school career with an outstanding 27 points, hitting six of 11 treys and seven of seven from the free throw line. He also provided an assist, a steal, and a rebound. Senior Garrett Boggs had eight points, a rebound, and an assist. Cole Schwichtenberg and Luke Rogers each added six points. Rogers, the third Burro senior, also added five rebounds and a team-high seven assists, while Schwichtenberg had two boards, a steal, and an assist. Liam Dorn provided five rebounds, two assists, and three points. Tylar Miller also had three points.

Junior guard Cole Kingsley led R-P with 16 points, seven assists, five rebounds and four steals. Alex Vix added 14 points, three rebounds. Austin O'Hare netted 13 points and lifted two steals. Noah Carlson had eight points and four steals.

Ruud was named the KFIL-radio LHS Player of the Game. Kingsley won that honor for the Trojans. The KFIL Game Ball award went to Vix.

Lanesboro closes at 17-10 overall, while R-P moved to 28-1 after defeating Spring Grove in the subsection finals. The Trojans will play Goodhue for a shot at the state tourney on March 6.

"The kids played hard and I was proud of the way they handled themselves during the game without ever giving up," Smith said. "It was another fun and exciting year for the team, but it is always tough to walk off the floor for the last time for the seniors.



Sub-section 1A-East Boys Basketball 2014

#8 Schaeffer Academy 87, #9 Houston 73

#7 Wabasha-Kellogg 66, #10 Hope Lutheran 65

Sub-section Quarterfinals

#1 Rushford-Peterson 82, Schaeffer 33

#4 Lanesboro 77, #5 Kingsland 55

#2 Spring Grove 67, Wabasha-Kellogg 60

#6 Mabel-Canton 71, #3 Fillmore Central 56

Sub-section Semi-finals

Spring Grove 62, Mabel-Canton 46

Rushford-Peterson 79, Lanesboro 53

Sub-section Championship Finals

Rushford-Peterson 83, Spring Grove 65

Section 1A championship

Winner advances to state

March 6, Rochester 6:00 p.m.

Rushford-Peterson vs. Goodhue



SEC Boys Basketball - final

*division champions/co-champions

EAST DIVISION

Spring Grove* 18-0 SEC (25-4 season)

Lanesboro 14-4 SEC (17-10 season)

Mabel-Canton 12-6 SEC (15-12 season)

Hope Lutheran 7-10 SEC (10-15 season)

Houston 6-11 SEC (6-17 season)

WEST DIVISION

Schaeffer Academy* 10-8 SEC (13-13 season)

Grand Meadow* 10-8 (11-14 season)

Lyle/Pacelli 7-11 SEC (9-17 season)

Glenville-Emmons 4-14 SEC (7-20 season)

LeRoy-Ostrander 1-17 SEC (2-22 season)