Spartan boys basketball barely loses to GrantsburgSomerset’s boys basketball team nearly took down one of the top teams in the Lakeland Conference on Monday night.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
Somerset’s boys basketball team nearly took down one of the top teams in the Lakeland Conference on Monday night.
The Spartans went toe-to-toe with Grantsburg until the final moments of Monday’s game. Grantsburg hit late free throws to pull away to a 63-53 win over the Spartans.
Grantsburg is currently 13-3 and in second place in the West Lakeland Conference. Somerset is now 2-12 with a 1-7 record in the Middle Border Conference.
Monday’s game started badly for the Spartans, with Grantsburg taking a 14-4 lead in the first quarter. There was nothing wrong with the Spartans’ play in the second and third quarters. Led by some sizzling shooting from senior Danny Sheridan, the Spartans cut the margin to one point by halftime. The Spartans took a two-point lead with eight seconds left in the half, but Grantsburg hit a three-ball at the halftime buzzer to lead 25-24.
The third quarter was an offensive showcase for both teams. The teams swapped the lead throughout the quarter. Both teams ended up scoring 21 points in the quarter, putting Grantsburg up 46-45 entering the fourth.
Grantsburg hit a couple outside shots early in the fourth quarter and the Spartans couldn’t match them.
“We had some empty possessions,” said Spartan coach Brent Larson, who delves heavily into the analytical side of his team’s play.
This was one of the Spartans’ finest shooting games of the season. The Spartans made 50 percent of their two-point shots and 64 percent of their three-point attempts. Sheridan led that effort. He finished with 18 points, including 13 points in the second quarter.
Gaelin Elmore contributed 11 points and six rebounds and Tommy Vanasse played one of his best offensive games, supplying nine points.
The Spartans had a much more difficult assignment last Friday, losing at MBC leader New Richmond 63-43.
New Richmond jumped out to a 9-1 lead in the opening minutes of this game and the Spartans were never able to contend. The Spartans were forced into numerous turnovers by the Tigers’ trapping halfcourt defense.
“Defensively, they really locked us up,” Larson said.
Sheridan and Elmore led the Spartans with nine points each in the loss.
The Spartans nearly pulled off a substantial upset in MBC play last Tuesday, losing at Prescott 61-53. Somerset led by one point at halftime and the game was up for grabs until the final moments.
“It was our best game of the year,” Larson said. “We played with great energy. They were aggressively taking the ball to the rim.”
The Spartans have played several top teams tough until the final minutes of the game. Larson said the next step for the team is to make better decisions and take better care of the ball in the late stages of those games.
Sheridan led the Spartans with 14 points and Reggie Larson had one of his best games, scoring nine points, all on three-pointers. The Spartans hit nine of their 20 three-point shots in the game.
The Spartans complete a three-game in four day stretch this Thursday when they host Ellsworth. The Spartans will be on the road next Tuesday, playing at Osceola.