By Kelsie Hoitomt
BOYCEVILLE — There was a mere four point difference between the two final scores in the game between the Boyceville boys’ basketball team and the St. Croix Central Panthers. It was the Panthers that stole the show in the 56-52 final last Friday night.
“It was one of those games where we fought foul trouble the entire game; three guys fouled out and we had another with four fouls,” explained coach Jay Lagerstrom.
It was a clean game in the first quarter with a couple fouls called, but the Bulldogs maintained a two point lead of 14-12 with the help of a trey from Justin Schulz and Hunter Anderson.
The lead quickly changed hands in the second quarter as the offense only posted five points, all from Jake McIntyre with three free-throws and a double.
The Panthers posted 13 points for a 25-19 half time score.
The fouls were heavy in the second half with over 30 free-throws attempted between the two teams.
Despite being down, the Bulldogs did close the gap in the Panther’s lead by three points in the second with a 39-29 third quarter score.
The Bulldogs fought back hard in the final eight minutes to almost win the game with 23 points posted from just three players.
McIntyre had a shot from inside and then finished with six out of seven free-throws made. Jordan Kuhn worked his magic from outside the arch with two treys and a free-throw as well. And Brady Schutts also contributed with a three-point shot and a double with three free-throws.
The Panthers finished with 17 points in the fourth quarter, 11 of which were free-throws.
As a team, Central had a total of 30 attempts at the line and they were successful with 19 of them. On the other side, the Bulldogs had 19 attempts with 13 making it through the net.
“I thought the boys battled hard and gave ourselves a chance at the end when they could have easily folded when we were down by 12,” said coach Lagerstrom.
Finishing the night with the team high in points was McIntyre with 13 from nine free-throws and two doubles.
Following was Schutts with 11 points from two treys, three free-throws and one double. Kuhn and Schulz each had nine points, Anderson finished with seven and Tyler Draeger had three.
Next on the schedule for the Bulldogs was the tournament in Clayton Friday and Saturday, Dec. 27 and 28. Their first game was Friday at 5:00 p.m. against Northwood and their second game was Saturday at 1:00 p.m. against Siren.