Forest (Lake) Rangers hold off (WBL) Bears

To White Bear Lake we go for a Suburban East matchup between Forest Lake and White Bear Lake. WBL trying to get back in the middle of the pack and Forest Lake trying to make a run at 3rd place Hastings. Mark Klingsporn of Tartan looking on for a possible 2 vs 7 matchup with White Bear in the 1st round of section 4AAAA. Nice blaze orange from the White Bear students as well. And you can never go wrong with the Donatelli's pizza and Green Onions on the PA system. And the old Like Mike Gatorade theme right before the opening tip. That'll get the mood going.

The Rangers start off in their good old 1-3-1. WBL counters by tryinga couple of high posts against it. 2:30 in and coach Lockwood of WBL doesn't like it and calls time. New tactic is to try and really post the backside wing on the drop to free up the backside. But we're still at a snail's pace, 7-6 Forest Lake on a free throw at the 11:43 mark. Both starting guards for WBL with 2 fouls (Dwayne Nabors and David Rademacher). Griffin Lentsch with a couple jumpers. 16 all at 6:28. Time Forest Lake at 5:46 down 18-16 after a Spencer Cummings basket. Mitch Fiereck with 2 fouls and the aforemention guards are both down with 3 fouls. Zach Riedeman with a pretty drop step from the left block at 5:20 and we're tied at 18. Interesting move by Forest Lake to go to man D here as WBL has had trouble against the zone (including turnovers) all night. Ben Hoidal with a nice crossover for a driving 2 for Forest Lake near the end of the half. 24-22 White Bear Lake at the break despite 14 turnovers. Mitch Fiereck with 7 points and 7 boards despite foul trouble. Spencer Cummings and Griffin Lentsch cancel each other out with 8 points.

Forest Lake decides to stay man to start the 2nd half, interesting. Riedeman off to a quick start to the half on the offensive end. He finds Doug Sewall for 2, puts back a miss and nails a 3. 31-27 Rangers 3 minutes into the half. Another Riedeman hoops makes it 38-34 Rangers with 13 minutes left and Forest Lake decides to go back to the 1-3-1. Fiereck gets blocked and then stripped. That leads to 2 points on the other end for John Young from Lentsch. Another Rangers bucket extends the lead to 42-34 with 10:37 left and the Bears need time. 9-2 Forest Lake over 2:40. WBL hangs around. Spencer Cummings with a layup, David Rademacher with a triple, Paul Crossett with a nice up fake for a bucket, Nabors with a 3 over Riedeman and Fiereck with 5 points including a 3 point play to tie the game just inside of 7 minutes. Nice pass over the zone from Rademacher on that old school 3 point play. 49 all. Riedeman then draws the 4th foul on Fiereck. He sits along with Cummings. Riedeman with another bucket and then 4 points from Sewell make it 56-49 at 4:33. Cummings back in the game. He promptly gets fouled on a tip and makes both free throws to cut the lead to 5. After a Forest Lake bucket they have 2 bad possession of poor shot selection. Rademacher converts 1 of the possessions, but Cummings misses 2 free throws on the other. with 2:27 left. Then a strange T on the Forest Lake bench as a player said something, not the coaching staff. Fiereck makes 1 of 2 and Cummings makes 1 of 2 as Riedeman thought he had a block. 58-55 Rangers at 1:48. Forest Lake then called for a walk with 1:16 left and Rademacher converts. 58-57 Forest Lake with 55 seconds left. For some reason they hoist up a 3 with 40 seconds left, but Rademacher misses on the other end and the tie goes to Forest Lake with 36.2 left. Ben Hoidal (guilty of 2 of the 3 bad shots) tackled by Cummings with 19.8 left misses the front end of the bonus. Out of a timeout, the Bears attempt to run a backscreen lob for Fiereck. Its not there so Rademacher attempts to drive but his pass to Fiereck is stolen by Riedeman with 7 seconds left. He bounces the 1st one in off the front iron and then after a WBL timeout, he makes the 2nd for a 60-57 lead. The Bears try to pass to Cummings at halfcourt, but Sewall steals the pass and makes 1 of 2 with 5 seconds left to seal the deal. 61-57 Forest Lake wins on the road.

For White Bear Lake, Spencer Cummings with 15 points and 8 rebounds on my sheet. Mitch Fiereck with 13 and 10 by my count. I had 21 turnovers for them, but most of their were against the 1-3-1 in the 1st half. Nice call for Fiereck late but well defensed as Fiereck set a high ball screen between the circles and then ran off a screen for the lob. A win would have gotten the Bears back to .500 but they're now 9-11 and in real danger of being the 8 seed. A home win on Tuesday over Woodbury would help the cause as would a late season home win over Stillwater. Interesting that they're now using the dribble drive motion system with Cummings being in the inside guy.

For Forest Lake, they improve to 13-7 and the current leader in the race for the #1 seed in 7AAAA. Very favorable schedule too as they're done with Mounds View (2 losses) and have Roseville and CDH at home. Short turnaround too as they go to Duluth East for a Saturday afternoon game. That game is big in the section for Duluth East if they want the #2 seed. Zach Riedeman with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Griffin Lentsch witih 17 and deadly from mid-range in their open-post motion. Doug Sewall with a productive night inside of 10 points and 9 rebounds. I was surprised they didn't use the 1-3-1 more. I thought they'd go to it for the last possession consider they had been playing man before that. They showed a litte bit of old school Hubie Brown with the Hawk set. PG on the right wing, Riedeman off a high post screen to the right block looking for a postup on a switch. Reverse the ball high and Lentsch can pop out off a stack on the left block.

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