Cole Schwichtenberg sparked the Burros against Kingsland as he scored 23 points.  CHRISTINE VREEMAN/REPUBLICAN-LEADER
Cole Schwichtenberg sparked the Burros against Kingsland as he scored 23 points. CHRISTINE VREEMAN/REPUBLICAN-LEADER
Burro freshman Cole Schwichtenberg came off the bench early on Saturday, and everybody took notice. Taking advantage of a triangle-and-two defense that left some open looks on the perimeter, Schwichtenberg proceeded to calmly can three consecutive triples on the way to a career-high 23 points.

Fourth-seed Lanesboro won the Section 1A opener 77-55 against fifth-seed Kingsland in a game that was rescheduled twice due to a blizzard.

Kingsland had jumped out to a 4-0 margin, and there were five lead changes before LHS rattled in eight straight points while forcing the pace. By the time KHS called time out with 4:13 left in the half the Burros were threatening to run wild, 32-21.

But the Knights weren't finished yet. In spite of fouling often enough to send the home team to the line for the double bonus, Kingsland cut the lead to single digits on a buzzer-beater by senior guard Lenny Moore (37-28) just before intermission.

Whistles continued to plague the Knights as the second half began. Less that three minutes into the period, KHS had already committed six team fouls, putting the Burros back into the bonus. Lanesboro made the most of it, netting an excellent 83 percent (30 of 36) at the line during the game. Those 30 points were just too many for the Knights to overcome. Kingsland went to the charity stripe just nine times, sinking four.

LHS coach John Smith credited his freshman guard with a great effort, forcing Kingsland to change their defensive scheme.

"We were then able to run our game and get to the free throw line with penetration against their bigger line-up," Smith said. "Kole Ruud was again solid from the line hitting 14 of 15. Liam Dorn and Luke Rogers rebounded very well for us on the defensive end as well as Garrett Boggs handling the ball vs. their pressure...

The Burros enjoyed the double bonus for over eight minutes in the second half. Lanesboro built a 20-point lead by hitting 13 of 14-second period free throws by the time the clock passed the six-minute mark.

Schwichtenberg also came down with four rebounds, lifted a steal, and passed for an assist. Ruud totaled 21 points, four boards, two steals, and passed for five assists. Dorn scored 12 points and led on the glass with 14 rebounds. He also took a charge, snagged two steals, and dished an assist. Rogers had 11 points, 10 rebounds, two blocked shots, and two steals. Like Dorn, he also managed to take a charge. Garrett Boggs was the fifth Burro in double digits, with 10 points, five rebounds, and six assists.

Ruud and Schwichtenberg shared the KUUL Player of the Game Award for LHS. Liam Dorn received the Game Ball award. The Player of the Game Award for KHS went to senior guard Jordan Meskill, who helped hold Ruud to three field goals, and scored five points.

Jake Rindels led Kingsland scorers with 13 points. Quinn Larson added nine, while Marcus Plaehn netted eight.

Saturday's result was one of three Southeast Conference wins in four 1A-East quarterfinal games. All three victories were SEC versus Three Rivers Conference contests. No. 2 Spring Grove dismissed No. 7 Wabasha-Kellogg, and No. 6 Mabel-Canton upended No. 3 Fillmore Central. But top seed and state-ranked Rushford-Peterson of the Three Rivers crushed No. 8 Schaeffer Academy, 82-33.

The Burros were scheduled to face off with Rushford-Peterson in the 1A East subsection semi-finals on Tuesday, Feb. 25. The venue is the Mayo Civic Auditorium. The subsection championship will be at the same site on Saturday, March 1, at 11 a.m.