In the first half, Lake City trailed by seven points. The Tigers again trailed by five with 1 minute, 53 seconds remaining in the game, but pulled ahead with 40 seconds to go. The Tigers boys' basketball team completed a 59-54 comeback win over La Crescent-Hokah on Thursday.
After Nate Heise put the Tigers ahead 55-54 with 40 seconds remaining, Jake Wohlers forced a turnover and went to the free-throw line. Wohlers made both and Reid Gastner came up with a steal on the ensuing Lancer possession. Gastner nailed both of his free throws with 5 seconds left to secure the win.
Heise led the Tigers with 20 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Gastner had seven points and a team-high 10 rebounds. Jake Wohlers scored 14 points on four 3-pointers, while Justin Wohlers had 10 points on a pair of 3-pointers and eight rebounds.
Lake City (20-2) next faces Kenyon-Wanamingo on Friday, then Byron on Tuesday.
When Lake City put Waseca on its schedule, the reason was obvious. The Tigers want to play the best teams.
Two weeks before the end of the boys' basketball regular season, the third-ranked Tigers squared off against the second-ranked Blue Jays in front of a packed gym in Lake City. The Tigers shot well throughout, but couldn't keep up late in the second half as the Blue Jays won 79-66 on Tuesday.
Lake City head coach Greg Berge said the loss can provide clarity on things that need to be addressed and focus on what went well, which is why wanted Waseca.
"When you play really good teams this time of year, you learn a lot about your team," he said. "We had won a lot of games in a row and sometimes you get a little comfortable."
It was apparent the Blue Jays were a good shooting team from the start, but in the second half they shot a scolding 68 percent from the field, made 2 of 4 from 3-point range and 10 of 12 from the free-throw line. The Blue Jays seemingly couldn't miss.
"Some of them were open, but a lot of them were contested and tough shots," Berge said of Waseca's shooting. "We can't give up 79 points and win. That's not who we are. The game was probably a little more up-tempo for us."
Berge said one of the solutions could be to simply slow the pace of the game.
"We needed some longer possessions and we needed to make them have some longer possessions," he said. "I think that would play in our favor if we played them again."
The Tigers didn't have a bad night offensively. The Tigers led early on in the first half 12-5. The Blue Jays went on an 11-4 run to tie game 16-16. From there, both teams traded baskets until the Blue Jays outscored the Tigers 25-16 in the final 8 minutes, 35 seconds of the game.
Nate Heise tied a career-high in points with 39. Heise made 4 of 9 from behind the arc and grabbed seven rebounds. Reid Gastner scored 10 points and led the Tigers in assists with six. Justin Wohlers made three 3-pointers, while Jake Wohlers added a pair of 3-pointers. Collectively, the Tigers shot 55.6 percent from the field in the game.
The Tigers tried different ways to bring the ball inside or cut hard to the basket to avoid Waseca's 6'9 post Andrew Morgan. Gastner was given the ball in a one-on-one matchup in the post. From there, Gastner either kicked it back out to an open shooter of Heise driving to the basket.
The Blue Jays played a version of a 4-1 zone in which Morgan was left to hang near the basket waiting for a layup attempt. Berge said it wasn't something they hadn't seen before.
"We've had other teams do that to us, but not every team has the length that (Waseca) have on the perimeter. Their 6'5, 6'4, quick and it presented problems."
Berge added that normally scoring 66 points would win games for the Tigers because they are a good defending team. Again, it came back to tempo.
"We're not a team that wants to play 80 possessions a game. We usually average around 60," Berge said. "They are team that likes to play that style. We can play that style, but we're a team wants to control the tempo."
Lake City (19-2) had a home win streak of 24 games snapped. The Tigers only two losses on the season are against the top-2 ranked teams in Class AA.
Pine Island 67, Cannon Falls 63
Cannon Falls fell in a close game to Pine Island.
Luke Sjoquist paced the Bomber offense with 24 points and three 3-pointers. Drew Otte scored 15 points, while Rhett Schaefer and Grant Mech each had seven points.
Panther Carter O'Reilly recorded a double-double and passed a career milestone. O'Reilly passed 1,000 points for his career. He scored a game-high 29 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. Caleb Henderson had 13 points and Max Owen added nine points.
Cannon Falls next faces Rochester Lourdes on Friday. Pine Island takes on Plainview-Elgin-Millville on Thursday.
Randolph 74, Lanesboro 40
Randolph added on to its 11-point lead at the half in a 74-40 win over Lanesboro.
Dane Ehleringer led a balanced scoring attack for the Rockets with 13 points. Nick Drinken had 12 points. AJ Weidner scored 10 points. Isaac Stoesz added nine points. Ehleringer and Weidner combined for half of the team's 12 3-pointers.
Randolph next travels to Glenville-Emmons on Friday.
Z-M 84, Tri-City United 35
Zumbrota-Mazeppa led 45-21 at the half and continued to pull away in a lopsided victory.
The Cougars shot 59 percent from the field, making 70 percent of its 2-point shots.
Zach Hutton led the Cougars with 21 points and seven steals. Willie Holm poured in 15 points. Anthony Cylkowski had 12 points, five rebounds and four assists. Tanner Gates added 10 points and four rebounds.
Z-M (11-12) next faces Kasson-Mantorville on Tuesday, Feb. 18.
Triton 73, K-W 64
The Goodhue boys' basketball team led by 17 points at the end of the first half and sustained the double-digit lead en route to a 73-51 win over Fillmore Central on Monday.
Will Opsahl led the scoring for the Wildcats with 16 points and a pair of 3-pointers. Sam Opsahl had 10 points with two 3-pointers, while Conor O'Reilly also had 10 points. Adam Poncelet scored nine points and Sam Peterson added eight points.
Cannon Falls 89, LeRoy-Ostrander 50
Cannon Falls poured in 60 points in the first and never looked back in an 89-50 win against LeRoy-Ostrander.
Bomber Drew Otte led the scoring barrage with 20 points and four 3-pointers. Luke Sjoquist scored 18 points. Rhett Schaefer and Marcus Banks each had 11 points. Grant Mech added nine points.
Schaeffer Academy 80, K-W 56
Schaeffer Academy led by 14 points at the half and continued to cruise in the second half en route to an 80-56 win over Kenyon-Wanamingo.
Tate Erlandson scored a team-high 16 points for the Knights. Laden Nerison was right behind Erlandson with 15 points. Casey Wesbur made three of the team's six 3-pointers, finishing the game with 11 points.
Randolph 61, Pine Island 42
Randolph blew past Pine Island 61-42, padding a 12-point lead at the half.
The Rockets were led by Nick Drinken's 15 points. Isaac Stoesz scored 14 points. Clay Nielsen had 10 points and AJ Weidner added eight points on two 3-pointers.
Carter O'Reilly led the Panthers with 11 points. Connor Bailey had 10 with two 3-pointers, while Max Owen and Dylan Holzer each had six points.