Stillwater racked up some miles on a weekend road trip while opening the season with boys’ basketball victories over Moorhead and St. Cloud Tech on Friday and Saturday.
The Ponies (2-0) knocked off 10th-ranked Moorhead 66-57 in the opener before running past Tech 81-40 about 20 hours later.
At Moorhead, Tony Lennox scored 13 points to lead a balanced attack for the Ponies in Friday’s season opener. Andrew Duxbury added 12 points before fouling out with about three minutes remaining while Nick Ogren and Matt Anderson added 11 and 10 points apiece against the Spuds, who routed Alexandria 69-42 in their season opener the previous week.
“They’re not going to lose too many games,” Ponies coach Randy Jordan said of the Spuds. “They will have a good shot at making the state tournament.”
The Ponies led by six points at halftime and led by as many as eight points but Moorhead battled back behind 24 points from Aaron Lien to take the lead with about six minutes remaining. Stillwater regained a two-point lead with less than two minutes remaining and then finished the game on a 7-0 run to pull away.
“I think it was a good basketball game,” Jordan said. “Our kids really played hard. We worked (Lien) over pretty hard and Sam (Lagus) did a good job on him and made him work for the points he head.”
Stillwater 29 37 — 66
Moorhead 23 34 — 57
Stillwater (pts): Nick Ogren 11, Andrew Duxbury 12, Matt Anderson 10, Joe Quinn 5, Tony Lennox 13, Chad Schlosser 7 and Sam Lagus 8.
Moorhead: Aaron Lien 24, Cody Dorow 2, Brett Lawerence 12, Austin Nelson 13, Preston Kraiter 1 and Nick Anderson 5.
St. Cloud Tech 40
At St. Cloud, the quick turnaround didn’t seem to affect the Ponies, who stormed out to a 15-point halftime lead and didn’t let up while outscoring the Tigers 43-17 behind a balanced effort in the second half.
Eleven different players scored for the Ponies — out of 19 who played — including a game-high 19 from Tony Lennox. Andrew Duxbury tossed in 14 points while Sam Lagus contributed 11 and Joel Malwitz 10.
“It was good to see us be able to bounce back and play two games in a row,” Ponies coach Randy Jordan said. “We probably had more energy in that game than we did in the Moorhead game.”
The Tigers scored the first six points of the game, but could not solve Stillwater’s press and the Ponies converted many of those turnovers into points on the other end.
“Our press definitely helped with that game,” Jordan said. “I was worried whether we’d have any legs left, but our kids really came out strong and pushed themselves pretty hard and wore them down.”
This game also marked a homecoming of sorts for Jordan, who coached the Tigers for three seasons before taking over at Stillwater. He led Tech to consecutive state tournament appearances in 2008 and 2009, finishing third each time.
“It definitely felt weird walking in the gym and sitting on the other side of the bench,” said Jordan, who had worked with several of the current Tech players at various camps in the past and had plenty friends on hand for the game.
Stillwater 38 43 — 81
St. Cloud Tech 23 17 — 40
Stillwater (pts): Connor Gamble 3, Adam Bruggers 3, Sam Lagus 11, Andrew Duxbury 14, Nick Ogren 5, Tony Lennox 19, Joe Quinn 2, Matt Anderson 6, Chad Schlosser 6, Kyle McKinley 2 and Joel Malwitz 10.
St. Cloud Tech: Andy Foley 10, Isaac Matchinski 3, Ryan Kunkel 6, Bryant Bohlig 4, Sam Schoborg 9, Jake Martig 2, Jay Kedrowski 5 and Anders Benoit 1.