ELY - The Wolves played solid basketball for most of Tuesday night’s game against 13-7 Lakeview Christian Academy, but it nearly fell apart in the waning minutes. Some clutch free throws were just …
ELY - The Wolves played solid basketball for most of Tuesday night’s game against 13-7 Lakeview Christian Academy, but it nearly fell apart in the waning minutes. Some clutch free throws were just enough to allow Ely to salvage a 60-57 win.
The teams played head-to-head until about midway through the first half when Ely started to gain ground, eventually taking a nine-point lead into the break.
The Wolves maintained a double digit lead throughout the second half, that is until the final three minutes.
“We didn’t play well down the stretch and allowed them to get right back into the game,” said Ely Head Coach Tom McDonald. “They hit some big shots in the last few minutes.”
Ely was stuck on 58 points as Lakeview Christian Academy crept back and trailed by one with just 6.2 seconds left in the game. The Lions were at the line shooting two free throws with a chance to take a lead for the first time since early in the game. They missed both and fouled immediately, giving Ely the opportunity to build on their lead. The Wolves added two free throws to eke out the win.
“It was nice to see us pull out the win,” said McDonald. “I thought our kids fought hard and had the will to win.”
The Wolves were led on offense by Pat Vanderbeek, who poured in 20 points. Carter Gaulke had a good all-around night with 15 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Michael Lah led the team with 12 boards and added nine points.
Ely visited Mesabi East on Friday night to play a much taller Class 2A team. Solid defense and hot shooting in the second half gave the Wolves a 73-55 win.
The Wolves stuck to their season-long game plan of playing good defense and working to get good shots.
“I thought they played really well against us and we didn’t shoot the ball well in the first half,” said Ely Head Coach Tom McDonald. “We struggled defending their size all night as they start a 6’-7” and 6’-6” player.”
The Wolves came out after halftime and played better defense and hit a number of open shots. The Giants’ size didn’t seem to bother Ely as much in the second half.
“We started to hit shots in the second half,” said McDonald. “We tightened up our defense which helped get us the win.”
Pat Vanderbeek had another big night scoring 26 while hitting on eight three-pointers, six coming in the decisive second half. Carter Gaulke had a double-double netting 19 points and ten assists while Michael Lah led the team with eight rebounds.
The 18-13 Wolves will host Mt. Iron-Buhl on Tuesday. Game time is 7:15 p.m.