Ely boys advance to quarterfinals

The number two seed Ely boys basketball team advanced to the quarterfinal round of the Section 7A tournament with a 74-44 win over Mt. Iron-Buhl Wednesday night.
The seventh seeded Rangers advanced to play Ely by dismantling Northeast Range on Monday, 88-29.
The Timberwolves had beaten Mt. Iron-Buhl twice this season but McDonald knew his team couldn’t take anything for granted. He also knows tough defense is needed to advance in the tournament.
“It was 30-22 at halftime and we didn’t shoot the ball very well in the half but played pretty good defense against them,” said Ely head coach Tom McDonald.
“We came out in the second half and started shooting better and getting good looks out of our offense and started to pull away from them. I thought we clamped down on defense in that half also.”
Senior Carter Gaulke put up his first career triple double with 28 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists.
“Carter really ran the offense well in the second half and just controlled things for us,” said McDonald.
Junior Patrick Vanderbeek continued his hot shooting from the outside for the Timberwolves in the game played at Greenway High School.
“Pat had 20 points and hit six 3’s which puts him at 133 for the season which breaks his season record of 129 last year,” said McDonald.
Senior Blaise Lah had seven rebounds, sophomore Eric Omerza had eight points as did classmate Dylan Fenske.
The Wolves travel to Hibbing Memorial today to face sixth seeded Bigfork, a surprise 75-71 winner over number three seed Deer River.
Ely traveled to Bigfork Jan. 16 and beat the Huskies 66-45. An Ely win puts them in the semifinals against either Carlton or Wrenshall on Thursday night in Hibbing.
Likely waiting in the finals will be the state’s top ranked Class A team, North Woods who beat Littlefork 136-36 Wednesday night.