Grand Rapids Herald-Review
GRAND RAPIDS — One thing the Grand Rapids High School boys basketball team can’t afford this season is to have John Sutherland in foul trouble.
Sutherland, the 6-foot, 7-inch senior forward for the Thunderhawks and the leading scorer in the state of Minnesota amongst Class AAA players last season, picked up his second foul of the game with less than six minutes gone Tuesday night against Duluth East. That forced Grand Rapids coach Dan Elhard to remove Sutherland from the game, taking out much of the Thunderhawk offensive firepower.
While Grand Rapids was able to persevere for much of the first half without its star player, Duluth East was able to stretch the lead out at the end and took a 12-point lead at halftime.
Grand Rapids was able to pull to within six points at one point in the second half but the Greyhounds were able to pull away from the Thunderhawks and take a 75-57 victory in action in the Grand Rapids High School Gymnasium.
Coach Elhard said he was proud of the effort his team put out when Sutherland was forced from the game. He said the early foul trouble played a large role in the 12-point deficit at the half.
“I thought our guys picked it up defensively and I thought we did a lot of good things that first half,” Elhard said. “We struggled to score even though I thought we had some really good looks. The shots just didn’t fall and sometimes it is kind of a make or miss thing; you do a lot of the right things but you just don’t get open shots.
“But I am proud of the effort that they gave.”
In a low-scoring first half, the Thunderhawks could put only 13 points on the scoreboard but was helped out by their good defense and some cold shooting from Duluth East. However, it was a different story in the second half as the teams combined for 94 points.
The Thunderhawks pulled to within 33-27 with 14:50 left in the game after a 3-pointer by Easton Fothergill, but several turnovers by Grand Rapids soon had Duluth East leading by double digits. The Thunderhawks could not make a serious run from there as the Greyhounds went on to take the win.
Will Van Scoy led Duluth East with 20 points on the night while Noah Paulson scored 14, Mattie Thompson, 13, Noah Winesett, 11, Michael Kaselic, seven, and Giovani Saldivar added six.
Despite missing significant time in the game, Sutherland still managed to score 28 points for Grand Rapids. Fothergill drained three 3-pointers and scored nine points while David Ellies had six and Dawson Persons and Austin Hanson both scored five.
“We uncharacteristically turned it over kind of softly I thought against their pressure,” Elhard said about the second half when Grand Rapids had pulled to within six points. “The pressure wasn’t anything that we haven’t seen before. That is something that we have to fix up a little bit. It is kind of early-season basketball and sometimes good opponents like Duluth East show you some things that you have to work on and we have a list of things.
“But overall I thought the effort was there and the attitude was there.”
Elhard said Duluth East is a good team that doesn’t have many weaknesses.
“I think they are going to have a real successful year if they stay healthy,” Elhard said. “They have some elite athletes and they have some height inside. They can shoot and handle the ball pretty well and they defended well in the first half.
“They are a good team and like I told the boys, we have another shot at them and if we work on some things I think we can be right there with them.”
Grand Rapids is now 1-1 for the season.
Duluth East 25 50—75
Grand Rapids 13 44—57
Duluth East: Giovani Saldivar 6, Will Van Scoy 20, Joe Vos 4, Noah Winesett 11, Mattie Thompson 13, Noah Paulson 14, Michael Kaselic 7.
Grand Rapids: Trent Johnson 2, Dawson Persons 5, Easton Fothergill 9, Austin Hanson 5, John Sutherland 28, David Ellies 6, Trey Winkels 2.
Total Fouls: PL 10, GR 20; Fouled Out: Johnson; 3-pointers: DE, Saldivar 2, Van Scoy 2, Winesett 2, Thompson, Kastelic; GR, Persons, Fothergill 3, Sutherland 2, Ellies 2; Free throws: DE 17-of-22; GR 9-of-12.
Grand Rapids 72
Pequot Lakes 49
In the home and season opener for Grand Rapids, the Thunderhawks came away with a 72-49 victory over Pequot Lakes.
The Thunderhawks led 37-30 at the half and outscored Pequot Lakes 35-19 in the second half to win going away.
John Sutherland scored 28 points to pace Grand Rapids in scoring. Austin Hanson scored 14, David Ellies, 10, and Dawson Persons added seven.
Alex Morgan had 14 points to lead Pequot Lakes in scoring. Korey Jackson added 11 points.
Pequot Lakes 30 19—49
Grand Rapids 37 35—72
Pequot Lakes: Bode Magnuson 6, Daltin Hekerman 8, Alex Morgan 14, Korey Jackson 11, Ryan Monahan 8, Simon Wuflestad 2.
Grand Rapids: Trent Johnson 5, Jacob Johnson 2, Dawson Persons 7, Easton Fothergill 4, Austin Hanson 14, John Sutherland 28, David Ellies 10, Ty Pederson 2.
Total Fouls: PL 14, GR 15; Fouled Out: None; 3-pointers: PL, Hekerman 2, Jackson 2; GR, T. Johnson, Hanson 2, Sutherland 2, Ellies 3; Free throws: PL 6-of-14; GR 10-of-13.
Eveleth-Gilbert/Mesabi East 12,
At Hoyt Lakes, the Eveleth-Gilbert/Mesabi East boys’s hockey team put up eight in the first period to cruise to a 12-0 win over visiting Ely/Tower-Soudan Tuesday, 12-0.
Elliot Van Orsdel and Will Troutwine led the scoring attack with two goals each, but eight other Golden Bears also scored in the winning effort.
Gage Johnson, Tommy Schlotec, Cole Meyer, Hunter Levander, Nate Tassoni and Alex Haas all had first period goals. Trentin Pocrnich recorded his goal in the second period and Lucas Hultman added a goal in the third.
Andrew Torrel stopped 12 shots in the net for Eveleth-Gilbert. Ely goalie Ben Cavalier stopped 40 shots in the contest.
Mountain Iron-Buhl 76,
Littlefork-Big Falls 43
At Mountain Iron, Asher Zubich poured in 35 points for the Rangers to lead Mountain Iron-Buhl past Littlefork-Big Falls, 76-43.
Zubich nailed six threes in Tuesday’s performance. Teammate Nicolas Jesch added 21 including three three-pointers. Matt Kennedy led the Vikings with 20 points.