Cards’ surge sinks BattlersPublished 10:25am Friday, March 22, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS – After fighting through a tough Section 6A tournament and making an appearance in the Class A state playoffs, the Battle Lake boys basketball team season came to an end as the Upsala Cardinals were able to remain undefeated with a 71-60 victory in the quarterfinals at Williams Arena Thursday.
The first half saw the Cardinals jump out to an early lead as guard Garrett Wolf dropped in 11 first half points. The Battlers were able to get back into the game as Dan Marso hit three treys in the half, but still saw Upsala make a few runs and stretch the lead. Head Coach Dan Peterka’s squad was able to limit the damage as they left for the locker room down 36-30 at the break.
Entering the second half, the Cardinals looked to extend their lead, but the Battlers were able to put a scare into the undefeated team as they took the lead with 13:50 remaining in the half. The momentum looked to swing towards Battlers as the Battle Lake crowd erupted at the Barn.
Just when you thought the David would once again topple Goliath, the Cardinals came storming back putting together a 16-2 run.
The absence of starting guard Tony Ukkelberg seemed to change the flow of the game for the Battlers as the freshman scoring threat was stuck with four fouls early in the second half.
“(The fouls) took Tony off the court, but Evan VanErp does a nice job at the point,” Battlers’ coach Dan Peterka said. “Not having Tony on the court did hurt us a little in scoring.”
Upsala was able to build a nice 10 point cushion in the waning minutes of the game to lock up the win and advance in the tournament.
Dan Marso led the Battle Lake shooters in scoring with 14 points, while teammates Petric VanErp (10) and Tony Ukkelberg (10) also were in double figures.
The Cardinals were led by Christian Pekarek with 25, 17 coming in the second half. Garret Wolf and Dylan Zimmerman chipped in 15 and 13 points, respectively, while Avery Smieja pulled down 12 rebounds in the game.
The game saw great shooting from the field by both teams as Upsala shot 49 percent, while the Battlers drop in 43 percent of their shots.
Two key factors in Upsala’s win is their attempts from the charity stripe and the rebound game. The Cardinals were able to make 14 of 25 shots from the free throw line and out-boarded the Battlers 38-29
The Battlers finish the year as the Section 6A champion with a 22-6 record.
“I am very proud of the guys. They have come along way since the beginning of the season and continued to improve throughout,” Peterka added.
BATTLE LAKE (60) – Dan Marso 14, Petric VanErp 10, Tony Ukkelberg 10, Evan VanErp 9, Tyler Ukkelberg 8, Nick Trosdahl 4, Brock Beichner 3, Micah Rogness 2. FG – 25/57 FT – 4/5 PF – 19
UPSALA (71) – Christian Pekarek 25, Garrett Wolf 15, Dylan Zimmerman 13, Avery Smieja 9, Matt Abeler 5, Eric Frieler 4. FG – 26/53 FT – 14/25 PF – 10
BL 30 30 – 60
UP 36 35 – 71