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Silver Bay ‘so close’ to upsetting Lakeview Christian

Silver Bay sophomore Weston Monson (15) goes to comfort his brother, senior Hunter Monson, after the Mariners 39-34 loss to Lakeview Christian Academy in the Section 7A quarterfinals. (Photo by Lisa Malcomb)1 / 2
Silver Bay freshman Mason Ollman raises up for a shot over Lakeview Christian Academy's Brandon BarBee in the Mariners' 39-34 loss in the Section 7A quarterfinals Saturday. (Photo by Lisa Malcomb)2 / 2

With time running down and facing a two point deficit, Silver Bay junior Jason Blood pulled up for a go ahead 3-pointer, but the shot came up short and clanged off the front of the rim and the Mariners went on to lose to Lakeview Christian Academy 39-34 in the Section 7A quarterfinals Saturday in Romano Gym at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

“He was so close,” Silver Bay coach Terry Blood said. “He got some good looks. Even in the second half, that was a good look, he can hit that shot.”

The play was a microcosm of the rest of the game, with Silver Bay playing outstanding defense against the sharpshooting Lions, but even good looks at point blank range for the Mariners just didn’t fall.

“Our defense was good enough for us to win,” Terry Blood said. “We haven’t shot very well lately and that hurt us.”

The Mariner offense struggled throughout the game, managing only five field goals in the first half and just 12 in the game, but the defense hounded LCA ball handlers all night. Freshmen Riley Tiboni and Mason Ollman harassed Josh Reinertson, the Lions’ leading scorer, throughout the game, forcing him to pass out of traps and putting the ball into other players hands. On the few occasions where the defenders lost track of Reinertson, he was able to burn the Mariners by burying a 3-pointer.

Silver Bay as a team caused numerous turnovers, forcing traveling violations, picking off passes or just by tying up an LCA player down low and forcing a jump ball. Even when the result wasn’t a turnover, hustle plays by the Mariners forced the Lions to reset their offense and start over.

“The kids played good defense and they filled in, it was a good group effort,” Tery Blood said. “We just didn’t make our shots, but everything else, the tempo, the structure of it, the ball pressure was perfect. We just didn’t make those we needed to make.”

After a sluggish first half that ended with Silver Bay down by a score of 18-17, LCA put together a little run and went up 35-25 with less than five minutes to play on Lance Puffer’s second 3-pointer of the half.

Silver Bay’s offense came to life for the first time in the game, scoring nine straight with Jerry Congious III hitting his third triple of the game and cutting the LCA lead to 35-34 with less than two minutes to play.

Reinertson was fouled on the next trip down the floor and made 1-of-2 free throws to set the stage for Jason Blood’s potential go ahead shot. The shot fell short and after a made shot by Jonny Emerson, the Mariners were forced to foul and wouldn’t get another look as good as Jason Blood’s shot.

Jason Blood led all scorers with 13 points and Congious ended up with nine on three 3-point shots. Other scorers for Silver Bay included: Ollman with four points; David Schober and Hunter Monson with three each; and Weston Monson with two.

Silver Bay (14-11) exceed most expectations this year with a younger team that lost its leading scorer from last season in Michael Fischer and inside presence in Matt Barker. Jason Blood, however, stepped up to fill in the scoring gap and the emergence of younger players including sophomore Weston Monson as well as Tiboni and Ollman allowed Terry Blood to give seniors like Congious, Hunter Monson and Zach Lewis rest and keep the rest of the team fresh during late game situations.

Jamey Malcomb

Jamey Malcomb has been a reporter for the Pine Journal since October 2018. He previously worked as a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle from 2015-2018. Malcomb is a native of North Carolina and holds a bachelor's degree in English and history from the George Washington University and a master's degree in education from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Malcomb moved to Minnesota in July 2012 and worked as a sports clerk and news assistant at the Duluth News Tribune. 

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