PREP BOYS BASKETBALL: Key run carries Pipestone Area past Panthers

Photo by Emily Daniels TMB’s Jake Tauer tries to drive past a Pipestone Area defender during their game on Thrusday.

TRACY – A key second-half run for the Pipestone boys’ basketball team proved to be the difference maker during their game against the Tracy-Milroy-Balaton Panthers on Thursday night. With the score getting as close as a one-point gap, the Panthers couldn’t seem to find the final push they needed to take out the Arrows as they fell 60-39.

Despite the loss, coach Rick Haberman thought the team had the effort, but there were a few things that could be fixed going forward.

“We played an excellent game for three quarters and we were doing everything that we wanted to do but Pipestone went on a 16-0 run and ended the game on a 23-4 run and that kind of put the game away,” said Haberman. “We battled really well but got them to the foul line too much and we’d like to keep them off the line more in the future as well as rebounding better.”

The Arrows came ready to play right away in the first half going on a six-point run to start. TMB found its chance to put its first points on the board when Lucas Gervais hits both of his free throws, but the Panthers still found themselves trailing 6-2 with 13:11 left to play in the first. Fritz Landherr made his presence felt on the court when he became essential to the Panthers offense with two back-to-back steals to give TMB chances to score on the offensive end. As the Panthers found themselves with the possession of the ball more, Moses Dolan was able to drive one in and score to cut it to five at 9-4 with 11:19 left on the clock. The Panthers started to see a few unfortunate fouls on the defensive end, though, sending the Arrows to the line more than they should’ve which gave Pipestone the chance to grow their lead to 11-4. With the Arrows extending their lead at the line, Jake Tauer started to heat up behind the arc, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers to trim Pipestone’s lead to just one at 11-10 with 9:10 left to play in the first half. After a few minutes went by and the clock saw 6:30 left both teams started to pick it up on offense, trying to fight for control going into halftime. TMB would struggle offensively, however, and they started to see their ball handling fall apart and go on a cold streak shooting from the field as the rest of the period saw mistakes that were unnecessary, giving Pipestone the lead at halftime 24-19.

The Panthers saw a big start on offense to start out the second half with another 3-pointer from Tauer closing the score to a two-point gap with 16:20 left on the clock. TMB saw its shots connecting more in the second frame, cutting into Pipestone’s lead but the Arrows responed to TMB’s strong answer with a spurt of its own to make it 32-26. Matt Timmerman brought the heat under the basket for the next few minutes, racking up six points to close the gap to three points at 37-34, but the Arrows answered again, this time with a 16-point run to outdistance themselves. The Panthers then struggled the rest of the way to get back into the game, as Pipestone continued to maintain its large lead. Rebounding was one of the places where TMB struggled in both halves but saw it shine a little more towards the end of the second half. The half continued to favor the Arrows offense with big shots from them but Tauer found one more opportunity of the night to put up one more 3-pointer but finished the night falling to the Arrows 60-39.

Tauer led the Panthers with a total of 12 points followed by Matt Timmerman and Moses Dolan contributing six each. TMB shot 15 of 48 in total shots and 4 of 8 at the free-throw line.

The Panthers will be back in action at home tonight against the Lakeview Lakers.

Going forward in the rest of their season Haberman sees the potential that his team has but they need to apply it for the entirety of the game and not just parts of it.

“We can play with a really good team. We’ve seen many signs of that going throughout the season where we’ve played really good stretches of basketball,” said Haberman. “And now our goal going forward is we need to do that for the entire 36 minutes of the game and that’s something we can work towards.”