Late T-S rally sinks Wolves
For the better part of 30 minutes of basketball Tuesday night, the Ely Timberwolves stymied and shut down undefeated Tower-Soudan.But the Golden Eagles turned the tables in the final two minutes of the high school boys basketball game, blanking the Wolves and hitting enough key shots to pull out a 55-51 victory.The Wolves led 51-47 with two minutes left, but Tower-Soudan scored the final eight points and finished off a 14-3 run that encompassed the final five minutes.Jesse Quick’s three-pointer cut the gap to 51-50 with 1:40 to go, and Steve Jamnick sank two free throws 30 seconds later to put the Golden Eagles (4-0) ahead to stay.Zach Schroeder, Quick and Robbie Reichensperger all had single free throws in the final minute to seal the win.The late collapse spoiled an otherwise solid evening for the Wolves and especially senior star Tim Scott - who led all scorers and carried the Ely offense with 37 points.“We just battled with one of the better teams around and had a chance to win,” said Ely Head Coach Tom McDonald. “If you take anything positive from it, that’s what you take.”Ely (3-2) led almost the entire game, with Scott putting on an offensive clinic and the Wolves keeping Jamnick - the Golden Eagles’ 6-10 center - in check.Luke Spangler, a 6-2 senior, was making his first varsity start in place of suspended regular Mike Popesh, and played in front of Jamnick in Ely’s zone defense.Jamnick scored 22 points, but he was held to 12 through three stanzas and most of his fourth-quarter points came after Spangler fouled out.“That (Spangler’s foul out) hurt because he did an excellent job on him all night,” said McDonald. “Defensively he’s always been good and hopefully we can get him shooting a little bit better.”The Wolves looked to run against the Golden Eagles, and Scott’s acceleration helped the hosts out to an early lead.Twice in the first quarter, he picked off passes on the defensive end and drove for layups.He had 10 of Ely’s 16 points in the first frame and the Wolves built a 16-13 lead.It was more of the same in the second.The Golden Eagles had trouble getting the ball to Jamnick and their outside shots weren’t falling.The Wolves scored in transition and on Scott drives, and both Scott and Eric McDonald nailed three-point shots to give Ely a 28-21 halftime lead.“They let Tim free and he was just going to the basket like crazy,” said McDonald. “He wasn’t afraid at all of 6-10 inside.”Quick had three buckets in the third quarter and T-S trimmed the Wolves’ lead to 36-35 going into the final quarter.Ely responded with a run of its own.Scott got a bucket and was fouled by Jamnick. He missed the free throw but the Wolves got the ensuing rebound and kicked it out to Scott for a three-pointer.The five-point play sparked the Wolves and Ely built its lead back to seven at 48-41.Spangler fouled out down the stretch and Jamnick began to assert himself down low.His inside basket made it a four-point game and Ely took timeout with 2:21 left, leading 51-47.“I told them let’s win it at the (free throw) line but we never went to the line,” said McDonald.Scott missed a baseline jumper, and T-S sliced the lead to one on Quick’s long-range bomb.Ely turned the ball over on the ensuing possession and Jamnick drilled two free throws to put the Golden Eagles in front.The Wolves had several good looks in the final minute, but couldn’t get anything to fall.T-S, however, missed nine free throw attempts in the last quarter and gave the Wolves new life.With the score 54-51, Reichensperger came up with a key steal with 12 seconds to go. He missed two free throws, but the Golden Eagles got the rebound and Reichensperger finally iced it with a free throw with seven seconds left.Quick (25 points) and Jamnick (22) provided nearly all of the T-S offense.Scott was a one-man wrecking crew for the Wolves. McDonald added six points and Spangler finished with four. Nick Furnstahl and Kevin Hartshorn wound up with two points apiece.The Wolves were competitive with the Golden Eagles despite the absence of two key players - Popesh and the injured Steve Milkovich.TUESDAY’s BOX SCORET-S 13 8 14 20 55Ely 16 12 8 15 51T-S-- Jesse Quick 25, Steve Jamnick 22, Zach Schroeder 4, Ryan Potter 3, Robbie Reichensperger 1. Totals 20 8-20 55.3-point goals -- Quick 2, Schroeder 1Ely -- Tim Scott 37, Eric McDonald 6, Luke Spangler 4, Nick Furnstahl 2, Kevin Hartshorn 2. Totals 17 11-16 51.3-point goals -- Scott 2, McDonald 2Wolves 85, Cotton 51McDonald scored 27 points and the Wolves pulled away from the Cardinals by outscoring them 43-18 in the second half.Cotton had a 22-19 advantage in the second quarter and trimmed the Wolves’ lead to 41-33 at halftime.It was all Ely in the final two quarters.Scott had 22 points and 15 rebounds. Furnstahl hit double figures with 11 points and Popesh poured in nine.Spangler and Hartshorn finished with four points each.DEC. 10 Box Score:Ely 22 19 21 22 -- 85Cotton 11 22 9 9 -- 51Ely -- Ryan Bagnal 3, Jeremy Boedeker 2, Nick Furnstahl 11, Kevin Hartshorn 4, Pat LeKatz 3, Eric McDonald 27, Mike Popesh 9, Tim Scott 22, Luke Spangler 4. Totals 34 15-25 85.