It is off to the sub-section semifinals for Sibley East’s boys’ basketball team.
The fourth-seeded Wolverines, on their home court, opened post season play Tuesday with a 59-42 win over #5 Watertown-Mayer.
Sibley East will now face top seed Rockford on Thursday at Howard Lake. Game time is set for 6:00 p.m.
It was a seesaw battle between the Wolverines and Royals until the final ten minutes of action. The difference was a strong start and finish by Sibley East.
Dandy defense enabled the black and gold to jump off to a 14-2 lead. Sparking the offense in the spurt were Wolverines Michael Schultz, Ian Berg and Marshall Bjorklund.
Watertown-Mayer clawed its way back into the contest and eventually trimmed the margin to 19-15.
Baskets by Bjorklund and Tyler Agre returned a 12 point lead to Sibley East. But, three straight turnovers enabled the Royals to cut the margin to 30-22 by halftime.
Sibley East again pushed the lead to double digits early in the second half. But, back came Watertown-Mayer. This time the Royals would trim the lead to 33-30 but they would get no closer.
Berg’s three-point basket kicked off a 12-0 run by the Wolverines and this time the Royals had no answer. Baskets by Berg, Bjorklund, Schultz and Erik Goetsch enabled Sibley East to extend its lead to 49-32.
Watertown-Mayer scored the next six points but the Wolverines maintained a double digit lead for the remainder of the contest.
Bjorklund again highlighted action for Sibley East. The sophomore center recorded 26 points, 18 rebounds, eight blocked shots and four assists.
Berg and Goetsch led Sibley East’s defense with four and three steals respectively.
…lose regular season finale
A late surge wasn’t enough for Sibley East’s boys’ basketball team Thursday.
Todd Warzecha’s Wolverines closed out their regular season with a 60-56 loss to Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted in non-conference action at Howard Lake.
Free throws and turnovers again slowed Sibley East. The Wolverines made 2 of 12 free throws in the second half while the Lakers were 11 of 15 from the foul line.
Sibley East’s offense was also stymied by 20 turnovers. Howard Lake meanwhile coughed up the ball 24 times.
Six Wolverines scored points in the first half and the black and gold led throughout the first 18 minutes of action.
Although Sibley East led 28-23 at the break, it was the Lakers who went into the locker room with the momentum. According to coach Warzecha, a Howard Lake player hit a long three-point basket at the end of the first half. It gave the Lakers momentum which carried into the second half, Warzecha explained.
Balanced scoring and some steady free throw shooting enabled Howard Lake to take command of the contest in the second half.
The Lakers would stretch their lead to eleven points with three minutes remaining in the contest. Sibley East would make a late run to knot the game. But, down the stretch, Holy Family regained the edge at the free throw line.
Sibley East finished the night 4 of 14 from the foul line and 4 of 14 from three-point range. Howard Lake meanwhile only shot free throws in the second half (11-15). The Lakers made five three-point hoops.
Many of the other team statistics from the game were even. Sibley East charted 37 rebounds, one less than Howard Lake. The Wolverines shot 38% from the field while the Lakers shot 36%.
Sophomore center Marshall Bjorklund led Sibley East’s offensive attack. He recorded a game high 20 points. Bjorklund also charted 16 rebounds, six blocked shots and three assists.
Ian Berg hit a trio of three-point baskets for the Wolverines and finished the game with eleven points. The sophomore guard also contributed two steals and two assists.
Junior Tyler Agre recorded seven points and seven rebounds for Sibley East.
Erik Goetsch and Michael Schultz highlighted defensive play for the Wolverines with four and three steals respectively.
Sibley East finished the regular season with a record of 16-8.