Boys Basketball: Defensive intensity leads Cannon Falls to winCANNON FALLS - Cannon Falls’ defense was suffocating Tuesday night in a Hiawatha Valley Blue Division matchup with Pine Island.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
CANNON FALLS - Cannon Falls’ defense was suffocating Tuesday night in a Hiawatha Valley Blue division matchup with Pine Island.
The Bombers held the Panthers to less than 40 percent shooting, forcing 15 turnovers and keeping Pine Island’s offense out of sorts the entire night. For its efforts, Cannon Falls came away with a 65-46 victory.
“That’s a pace of play we don’t mind playing,” Cannon Falls head coach Josh Davisson said of a defensive game. “If we keep teams under 50, that’s our goal.”
A balanced offense also showed up for the Bombers as three players scored in double figures and the team shot 25 of 47 from the field.
“We were just patient on offense and got them tired out,” Cannon Falls’ Brock Peterson said of the Bombers’ efficiency on the offensive end. “We were making them work on defense.”
Peterson led all scorers with 18 points for Cannon Falls (5-6, 2-1 HVL Blue), Jordan Lundell contributed 15 points and Tanner Jackson notched 17 points and three rebounds.
“It was my teammates,” Peterson said. “They penetrated and dished out the rock for the trey. When I’m hitting shots … I want to get other people open shots.”
Paul Rolfes didn’t fill up the stat sheet Tuesday night but left an imprint with two steals and two assists while being a catalyst for the Bombers’ constant ball pressure Tuesday night.
“To his credit, he’s figured out his role and excelled,” Davisson said. “You put him on the point guard or the other team’s top player and he will just hound him. It’s the dirty work no one likes to do.”
Ben Warneke had 17 points to lead Pine Island (1-7, 0-2 HVL Blue). Jared Lohmeyer added 13 points and Colton Sinning provided 10 points and eight rebounds in the loss.
The Panthers held an early 8-2 lead before Cannon Falls took the lead for good on a basket by Peterson at 7 minutes, 5 seconds of the first half to make it 15-13. The Bombers led 26-20 at halftime and were content with long possessions finished with high-percentage shots.
“They’ve been playing more in control,” Davisson said. “We’ve been searching for some leadership.”
Coming out of halftime, Cannon Falls extended its lead to 37-26 at the 14:09 mark and continued to stifle Pine Island. From 15:18-12:37 of the second half, the Panthers made just one basket as the Bombers led 44-29. The lead continued to expand as Jackson gave Cannon Falls a 52-38 lead with 7:27 remaining. Pine Island was never closer than 11 points the rest of the way.
After starting the season 0-3, the Bombers are finally feeling comfortable and adjusting to their roles.
“At the beginning of the year, we wanted to shoot right away,” Peterson said. “We’re learning what each other can do and what each other’s role is and that’s what is making us successful.”
“The biggest thing is they’re starting to trust each other in their spots,” Davisson added. “They’re coming along and they’re starting to see the potential of where they can get to.”
Cannon Falls will go for its third consecutive win Friday at Kenyon-Wanamingo.