Boys Basketball: Cannon Falls ignites in second half to start playoffsCANNON FALLS – Cannon Falls’ defense has helped fuel its offense all season and Tuesday in the first round of the Section 2AA playoffs junior Paul Rolfes served as the spark.
By: Nick Gerhardt, The Republican Eagle
CANNON FALLS – Cannon Falls’ defense has helped fuel its offense all season and Tuesday in the first round of the Section 2AA playoffs junior Paul Rolfes served as the spark.
Rolfes provided the third-seeded Bombers some energy in the second half and helped guide Cannon Falls to a 59-43 victory over sixth-seeded Montgomery-Lonsdale.
Rolfes scored six of the team’s first 13 points in the second half to help give the Bombers a 15-point lead less than four minutes into the second half. Rolfes finished with 12 points, eight of which came in the second half. Rolfes also finished with eight rebounds, five offensive, six assists and three steals to fill up the stat sheet.
“He is a defensive sparkplug,” Cannon Falls head coach Josh Davisson said. “There’s times when that gets to be a little too much, he gets out of control, but when he’s controlled and aggressive like he was tonight that was a big spark for us.”
Rolfes tried to take two charges but got called for a blocking foul both times and went on to foul out after getting whistled for a charging call of his own with 4:20 left to play. His truncated second half still proved a difference-maker to move Cannon Falls (21-7) on to a second round matchup with No. 2 seed and defending section champion Waterville-Elysian-Morristown (25-2) Thursday in Waterville. The Buccaneers finished third in Class 2A last season.
“We just wanted to have a fast start because in the first half we were stagnant a little bit,” Rolfes said. “I wanted to outhustle them.”
He and the Bombers did outhustle the Redbirds in the second half with a change from a zone press to a man-to-man press. The change forced Montgomery-Lonsdale (8-18) into more turnovers and Cannon Falls took advantage.
Sophomore Jordan Lundell added 12 points while senior Cedric Dicke had 10 points and eight rebounds. Junior Noah Callister added nine points and eight rebounds and sophomore Brock Peterson finished with eight points.
The second half made up for a sloppy first half for both teams. The Redbirds had a stretch of six consecutive possessions where they turned the ball over. Montgomery-Lonsdale tallied 20 turnovers for the game. The Bombers hardly capitalized during that stretch and only held a 27-24 lead at halftime.
“The first half we didn’t take very good shots and then they didn’t go in,” Dicke said. “I thought we had better, quality shots in the second half.”
Cannon Falls finished 25 of 56 from the field for 44 percent, but went 2 of 12 from 3-point range and 7 of 15 from the free-throw line.
Dalton Zeug led Montgomery-Lonsdale with 18 points, but only had four points in the second half. The Redbirds shot 19 of 45 for 42 percent from the field.