Warriors are sub-section champs following win over Pine Island

Ryan Pitts/The Caledonia Argus  The Caledonia Warriors are once again sub-section champs following a 70-57 win over Pine Island in Rochester on Saturday. Pictured front row left to right: Casey Storlie, Sam Barthel, Thomas Jergenson, Nick Loging, Andrew Goergen, Noah King and Eli King. Back row left to right: Riley Gavin, Austin Heim, Jordan Burg, Marten Morem, Walker Spier, Owen King, Tate Meiners and Noah Kearney.
Ryan Pitts/The Caledonia Argus
The Caledonia Warriors are once again sub-section champs following a 70-57 win over Pine Island in Rochester on Saturday. Pictured front row left to right: Casey Storlie, Sam Barthel, Thomas Jergenson, Nick Loging, Andrew Goergen, Noah King and Eli King. Back row left to right: Riley Gavin, Austin Heim, Jordan Burg, Marten Morem, Walker Spier, Owen King, Tate Meiners and Noah Kearney.

By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

Early in the game, you weren’t quite sure how it would go for the Caledonia Warriors.

But in the end the Warriors held on to win 70-57 over the Panthers who led early, rallied to within four points late but ultimately lost by double-digits.

Pine Island kept things close and interesting early, using their two big men, 6’9”  foreign exchange student Mark Mboya Kotieno and the athletic 6’4” Broc Finstuen to cause problems for the Warriors.

After five minutes of play, the Warriors’ shots were only falling from the outside. They were 3-for -3 on three point shots (Andrew Goergen, Sam Barthel, and Owen King) and had an early 9-6 lead.

Then the Panthers went on a 7-0 run and led 13-9.

Things were tied at 16 apiece until the Warriors went on a late run and led 36-26 at the half.

Junior sharpshooter Owen King led all scorers at the half with 19 points.

Ryan Pitts/The Caledonia Argus  Jordan Burg looks for space against the middle stuffer for the Panthers.
Ryan Pitts/The Caledonia Argus
Jordan Burg looks for space against the middle stuffer for the Panthers.

Pump the brakes

As a rocaous crowd hooted and gleeped, in the second half the Warriors slowed the game way down.

Their strategy was to pull Mboyo-Kotieno out to the center court line with a faster guard and slow down the pace of the game.

The Warriors moved the ball around well outside of the three point line, creating off the ball movement opportunities for points for Marten Morem and Noah King who had struggled to find his shot in the first half, but found it in the second stanza.

Noah King finished with 16 points, 14 of which came in the second half.

Andrew Goergen put a quick move on the 6’9” Pine Island center and drove to the basket for an easy lay up, and two of his seven points.

With three minutes to go, the Warriors lead was 15.

Five quick points by Pine Island brought the score to 10 with just over two minutes to go.

The Panthers tried to make a rally late but the Warriors thwarted their efforts.

They were named the sub-section champions following the win.

Ryan Pitts/The Caledonia Argus  Owen King had 26 points to lead all scorers.
Ryan Pitts/The Caledonia Argus
Owen King had 26 points to lead all scorers.

Points

Owen King: 26

Noah King: 16

Marten Morem: 11

Andrew Goergen: 7

Sam Barthel: 6

Jordan Burg: 2

Austin Heim: 2

Pine Island : 26       31–57

Caledonia: 36       34–70

Up next:

The win means Caledonia advances to the section final where they will face Lake City for another trip to the State Tournament on the line.

The game is at the Mayo Civic Center Arena and will be played on Thursday, March 16 at 6 p.m.

Ryan Pitts/The Caledonia Argus  Noah King had a solid second half for the Warriors against Pine Island.
Ryan Pitts/The Caledonia Argus
Noah King had a solid second half for the Warriors against Pine Island.