The No. 8 Frazee Hornets used a full-court press effectively to win the program’s first playoff game since 2011 defeating No. 9 Lake Park-Audubon 70-54 in the play-in round of the Section 6A North boys basketball subsection at Frazee high school Monday, March 5.
“Just make them play faster than they’re used to,” Hornets head coach Hunter Graham said. “They’re a team that wants to play a slower basketball game. We’re better than that full court, pushing the basketball. We’ve got a lot of good athletes and I thought we could pressure them, which created turnovers for us and it was successful.”
Frazee never trailed in the game opening up a 15-6 lead by the 10-minute mark of the first half on a field goal by sophomore forward Broden Fleisher.
The Raiders answered with a 12-7 run to knot the score for the only time in the game at 22-22 on a free throw by Garrett Cossette.
The Hornets responded ending the half on a 10-4 burst to lead at the break 32-26.
Cole Fleisher and Broden Fleisher got Frazee off to a quick start building a 12-point lead four minutes into the second half forcing a timeout from Raiders’ head coach Kyle Haberman with his team trailing 40-28.
The teams traded two buckets each before Frazee took off on another run stretching the lead to 18 points on a pair of free throws by Jack Courneya at the the midway point.
Brandon Carpentier gave the Hornets the largest lead of the game with seven minutes to play putting Frazee up 63-42 allowing Graham to substitute his reserves in the final minutes to close out the first playoff victory since a 72-61 win over Park Rapids March 8, 2011.
“It’s a big part of our program,” said Graham. “We’ve been building for years and we’ve got a young team. We start three sophomores, a junior and one senior and bring freshmen off the bench. They’d played hard every night. Our schedule is pretty tough and they kept fighting at the end of the season when it counts.”
Broden Fleisher led Frazee with 19 points, one of four Hornets in double figures. Courneya scored 16 points, Cole Fleisher added a dozen and Carpentier had 10.
Cody Wolfswinkel led the Raiders with 19 points; Tyler Bjerke recorded 10 points.
Frazee travels next to face top-seeded Henning (24-1) Thursday, March 7.
“Anybody has got to put the ball in the hole that night,” Graham said. “It’s five on five basketball and we want to go into Henning and give them a game. That’s all you can ask for.”
Parkers Prairie, the south subsection No. 1 seed, negated a perfect run through the regular season for Henning handing the Hornets their first loss 77-74 in overtime on Feb. 26.
Frazee snapped a seven-game skid Monday night to improve to 6-18 overall.
LPA 26 28 - 54
FRA 32 38 - 70
LPA - Cody Wolfswinkel 19, Tyler Bjerke 10, Tyler Svare 8, Garrett Cossette 7, Henry Jaster 6, Trent Bjerke 2, Brayden Ecker 1, Hayden Groeneweg 1.
FRA - Broden Fleisher 19, Jack Courneya 16, Cole Fleisher 12, Brandon Carpentier 10, Reid Eckert 9, George Flynn 4.