|3/17/2023 11:14:00 AM|
Wildcats fail to topple Big Lake, end season in quarterfinals
Patrick Rowe has been a star for the Chisago Lakes boys basketball team this year.
But, at times, he has lacked a supporting cast and it’s cost the Wildcats in games. That’s what makes the sixth-seeded ‘Cats 83-75 loss to third-seeded Big Lake in the opening round of sections so tough.
They got the support on offense for Rowe, with Owen Larsen matching Rowe’s 20 points and Zander Schmidt netting 19. But Big Lake was relentless on offense and just outplayed the 11-16 ‘Cats for stretches, and it proved to be the difference.
The Hornets built their lead early, going up by eight points in the first half, 41-33. In the second half, the teams traded baskets but Chisago Lakes never quite made the run needed to erase that first half deficit, and fell 83-75.
Rowe had 20 points and 10 rebounds, Larsen had 20 points and seven boards and Schmidt had 19 points and three steals.
Jack Walker added six points in his final game as a Wildcat.
Big Lake proceeded to lose by 20 in the section semifinals to St. Francis, which is taking on Princeton in the Section 5AAA championship Thursday, March 16 for the right to go to the state tournament.
Chisago Lakes’ future does look bright, however. They’ll graduate a handful of seniors, including guard Abe Olson, sharpshooter Walker, Larsen’s well-rounded game, spark plug Trae Griffin and leader Dan Wille.
But, they’ll return Rowe, who averaged 25.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, 4.8 assists and two steals per game this year, as well as clearing the 1,000 career point mark late in the season. The 6’6 junior is starting to get some attention on the Division I level after his sensational year.
They’ll also bring back Ian Larsen, who averaged nearly 10 points per game, as well as Schmidt, who averaged nine points per contest and showed explosiveness at times.