Boys Basketball: Cannon Falls bombs Lake City
LAKE CITY – Cannon Falls is on a bit of a hot streak, putting together three-straight impressive performances against the meat of its schedule.
A one-point victory over fourth-ranked (Class 2A) Rochester Lourdes last Friday, and a three-point win over defending Class 2A champion Minnehaha Academy Saturday led into the Bombers’ first Hiawatha Valley League Blue Division game at Lake City Tuesday evening.
And by riding a group of seniors, Cannon Falls got its third win in a row against the Tigers, 66-32, in a game that, on paper, the Bombers should have won.
“We’re starting to get there,” said Cannon Falls head coach Josh Davisson. “I don’t know that in the Blue, you expect to win ever, because we know so each other so well. (Lake City) coach (Greg) Berge knows us very well, the players know each other so well just from both playing basketball for so long and then the Lundells are cousins. A couple of my guys will stay overnight here sometimes and hang out. We just know each other so well, so there’s never a sure thing.”
Early on, the sure thing might have been the Tigers and their ability to make life difficult for the surging Bombers. Jesse Oliver and Reid Lundell both hit 3-pointers in the first two minutes as Lake City jumped out to a 10-4 lead.
Cannon Falls fought back with some balanced scoring before senior Hunter Johnson scored eight points in the final three minutes of the first half, stretching a 21-20 Bombers lead into a 33-23 halftime advantage.
“We told our guys, the only thing that changed was our mindset,” said Berge. “They did not do anything different offensively or defensively against us, and we didn’t do anything (different) offensively or defensively against them. We told them, this game is 90 percent mental, and 10 percent physical. They’re not 34 points better than us. But they went on a run … and we let it get to us mentally.”
After the two teams got back on the court, Johnson gave way to classmate Austin Noble, who scored 10 of the Bombers next 12 points, giving Cannon Falls a 35-point lead.
Lake City scored five quick points off a couple of Bomber turnovers, but hit just one more field goal in the final eight minutes.
Johnson, who scored 12 points in the game, turned his attention to passing in the second half, finishing with nine assists, several of which went to Noble in the post. And Noble, who did not score in the first half, banged his way through Lake City in a way that had not been seen in the first 18 minutes.
“In the first half, when they were coming to me, they were doubling on me,” Noble said. “So we told guys to get open once it comes down low, and right off the bat, Hunter took a back cut and I hit him. So I think that opened things up in the middle for us. And after that, we kind of took off.”
The Tigers, led by Cory Dick’s nine points and Reid Lundell’s eight, could not get back in the game as the reserves for both teams played big minutes down the stretch.
Two other seniors, Peter Haggerty (8) and Alex Bultena (9), made impacts for the Bombers, as did Jordan Lundell, who was playing in his first action of the season. Scoring 10 points in limited minutes, Jordan Lundell could prove to be a big spark to a team already on fire.
“It’s like riding a bike,” Davisson said. “He’s been politicking pretty hard to play, and originally it was going to be after Christmas break. I think as the season went down, and he’s sat more and more games – he’s never had to sit our games – he just started to work and rehab harder to get better.”
Cannon Falls (3-6 overall, 1-0 Blue) will host Triton Friday. Lake City (2-6, 0-1) will welcome Pine Island the same day.