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Cromwell-Wright defeats Tigers in section semifinals

Nevis' Derek Lindow put up a jumper during the first half of Wednesday night's Section 5A semifinal game against Cromwell-Wright at Brainerd. Photo courtesy Dave Harwig.1 / 2
Nevis' Luke DeWulf went in for a layup during Wednesday night's Section 5A semifinal game against Cromwell-Wright at Brainerd. Photo courtesy Dave Harwig2 / 2

Cromwell-Wright relied on defense and 3-point shooting to earn the No. 1 seed in the North for the Section 5A boys basketball tournament.

The Cardinals relied on that combination to advance to the Section 5A championship game with a 69-51 victory over Nevis Wednesday night (March 13) at Brainerd.

Cromwell-Wright led all Class A teams by allowing only 41.1 points a game while attempting an average of 22 3-pointers a night to spark the offense. The Cardinals held Nevis to 22 first-half points and three 3-pointers in the game while making nine 3-pointers on the offensive end to return to the section title game.

Nevis, the No. 3 seed, was able to offset 3-pointers by Marcus Pocernich and Isaac Shelton as baskets by Michael Landquist and Luke DeWulf and a 3-pointer by Derek Lindow produced a 10-10 tie.

Three-pointers by Shelton and Pocernich sparked a 10-0 run as Cromwell-Wright claimed a 20-10 lead before a 3-pointer by Micah Pocernich and a basket off a rebound by Cameron Cahoon made it 28-16. Landquist’s three inside baskets led the Tigers. Baskets by Landquist, DeWulf and Lindow cut the gap to 28-22 before a basket off a rebound by Jaden Gronner gave the Cardinals a 30-22 lead at the half.

Another 3-pointer by Shelton capped a 9-1 run to start the second half as Cromwell-Wright led 39-23. A basket by DeWulf and a 3-pointer by Lindow made it 39-28 before a 3-pointer by Micah Pocernich and a putback by Gronner gave the Cardinals a 45-28 advantage.

A 3-pointer and jumper by Ty Warrington, a putback by Landquist, a layup by DeWulf and a jumper by Lindow kept Nevis within 54-43 before a 3-pointer by Marcus Pocernich pushed the lead to 58-43.

After a layup by DeWulf and three free throws by Eddie Kramer cut the gap to 58-48, a layup by Marcus Pocernich was followed by a jumper and layup by Gronner as the Cardinals claimed a 64-48 lead. A layup by Shelton sealed the win.

Landquist (15), Lindow (13) and DeWulf (12) scored in double figures for the Tigers, who end the season with an 18-11 record. Nevis was eliminated from the section playoffs in the North title game last season as Cromwell-Wright prevailed 55-50.

Marcus Pocernich (17), Shelton (15), Micah Pocernich (14) and Gronner (10) led a balanced offensive attack for the Cardinals, who improved to 24-3. Cromwell-Wright defeated the Tigers 67-55 on Feb. 22.

NEVIS: Warrington 2 3-5 8, DeWulf 5 2-2 12, Lindow 4 3-3 13, Kramer 0 3-3 3, Landquist 6 3-4 15, Soldwisch 0 0-0 0, McNamee 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17 (FG), 14 for 17 (FT).
CROMWELL-WRIGHT: Ma. Pocernich 6 2-3 17, Mi. Pocernich 5 1-2 14, Shelton 5 2-2  15, Gronner 5 0-0 10, Jones 3 1-2 7, Cahoon 1 4-6 6. Totals: 25 (FG), 10 for 15 (FT).Halftime: Cromwell-Wright 30, Nevis 28. Three-pointers: Warrington 1, Lindow 2, Ma. Pocernich 3, Mi. Pocernich 3, Shelton 3.
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